At the Right Time and Place

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“As God’s partners we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you.

On the day of salvation, I helped you.

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

Paul recognized that he had been chosen for such a time as this. He was determined to see to it that no one would stumble because he was negligent in his calling. I like to think that the “we” he refers to does not just reference his immediate associates, but also includes those of us who have accepted the Lord’s marvelous gift and are likewise partners as true ministers. The real question for us becomes one of sacrifice; are we willing to endure “hardships and calamites of every kind for the sake of the gospel?” Are we willing to be beaten, thrown in jail, face angry mobs, work until we are totally and completely exhausted, endure sleepless nights, or go without food if that was what is required to share the gospel?

It’s not an easy assignment by any stretch of the imagination. You can see in the text that Paul and his comrades were able to endure every hardship and tolerate every sacrifice because the Holy Spirit was working within them (v. 6). The source of their power and commitment is rooted in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Read closely and you will see that there is an appointed time when the Holy Spirit will, if He hasn’t done so already, fills us too. He will supply us with the same power, conviction, strength and endurance that He gave to Paul and his associates. Whether you have a lot or nothing, He will sustain you through it all.

There is a story of a man who traveled to a very sinful city and cried out day and night, begging the inhabitants to turn from their sinful ways. Month after month he walked around with signs and yelled from the highest points of the city, but no one listened, and no one changed. Someone asked why he continued to do it since there was obviously no one listening. His response is what I want to leave you with. He said, “When I first arrived, I thought I could change them. Now I do it because I don’t want them to change me.” Like this man of great faith, it’s not the results of the work that you do, it’s the willingness to be available to be used when the appointed time has come.

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book here.

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