Summary: For a number of years the Apostle Paul endured strained relationships with Christians friends in a church in Corinth. Even though he had helped establish the church, some serious misunderstandings developed between Paul and his friends.
2 COR. 2:12 17
For a number of years the Apostle Paul endured strained relationships with Christians friends in a church in Corinth. Even though he had helped establish the church, some serious misunderstandings developed between Paul and his friends.
In order to repair this broken relationship Paul made a visit to the church but instead of helping the situation, it only made it worse. So he returned to Ephesus and decided to deal with the matter by writing a letter.
The letter was completed and was given to his co worker Titus who was to deliver the letter to the Corinthians...and Paul went on to Troas to minister there.
Well, Titus was supposed to meet Paul there in Troas where Paul was preaching, but didn’t arrive there when he was supposed to. And Paul started to get a little anxious about his friend’s welfare, and also about the situation in Corinth.
Apparently, God had opened up a wonderful "door" of ministry for Paul there...but he was so troubled about Titus and the Corinthians that he bypassed this open door and went instead to look for Titus in Macedonia.
Our text tells of Paul’s excitement when he and Titus were reunited. But even more, he was absolutely thrilled because of the obvious reconciliation that had taken place between him and the Corinthians. And we see that it was Paul’s conviction that God had led every step of the way as this was accomplished.
We are living right now in the middle of unusual and incredible opportunities. And I believe that God’s Word provides us with the insight and encouragement we need to face the most exciting times our world has ever seen!
As we look to God’s Word, I want to show you what you can do when faced with an open door...when God puts you in the position where you have the unique opportunity to step out in faith and accomplish the task that God has chosen for you to do, or to be a part of.
The first thing you can do is to risk accepting the challenge. Jesus told a parable once about three men who were suddenly faced with an unbelievable chance to do something magnificent. We call it the parable of the talents...but a more modern name might be the parable of the investments.
It seems there was this businessman who decided to take an extended trip. So he left portions of his investment portfolio in the trust of three brokers. When he returned from his travels, he called in each one of the brokers in order to audit their accounts.
The first two men who had invested his wealth were commended for a job well done. Apparently they had earned the right to keep his accounts as well as getting a sizable bonus.
But the third man had been afraid to risk what was left in his care. So he had done nothing with the funds. As a result, he lost the account and also his job. He was the textbook case of missed opportunity.
One of the consistent characteristics of people who get ahead in life is that they are decisive. Sure, they are bound to make mistakes. But most of all they make decisions and move on. And I believe that God desires for us to be a lot more like those people.
Along with that I am convinced that God has given us two incredible things...absolutely awesome potential...and the freedom of choice. Elaborate......
The tragedy is that for the most part, we have refused them both. If the story Jesus told truly represents God’s relationship to man...and it does... then it ought to make us sit up and take notice.
The businessman told his broker that he would have accepted anything even a rock bottom savings account interest. Do you catch what he was saying here? He was not really so much concerned with how much the broker made.
What concerned him was whether the broker would take advantage of the opportunity given him by this gracious businessman. What he condemned was not the guys failure to earn a sizable return. What he condemned was the broker’s decision to do nothing at all. And because of that, he lost everything. What a waste!
Well, the second way to respond to opportunity is to learn to recognize it even when it is disguised as difficulty. In a famous study by Victor and Mildred Goertzel, the home backgrounds of 300 highly successful people were investigated.
All 300 of these people made it to the top of their respected fields. And they were names all of us would probably recognize...like Franklin Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Albert Schweitzer, Clara Barton, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Ghandi...
Well here is what the study revealed. 3/4ths of these people were troubled in childhood by either poverty, broken homes, rejection, or over possessive or dominating parents.