#DailyDevotion Let No Obstacles Get In The Way Of Jesus
2 Cor. 6:3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Whatever Paul meant by he put no obstacle in anyone’s way he didn’t mean what a lot of moderns mean by it. At least as I see it being interpreted today some seem to think obstacles meaning letting morality go. Yet if you read Paul’s letters that can’t be it. Some apply it to how we worship, yet throughout the Roman world of the first several centuries, the service of the word follows closely the pattern of the first century synagogue. So what can Paul mean?
Well the verses that follow pretty much sum it up and I don’t know how many Pastors or lay Christians could follow. Verses 4 and following list all the sort of obstacles St. Paul faced and overcame to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to people: afflictions, hardships, calamities, beating, imprisonments, riots, sleepless nights, hunger, treated as impostors, dishonored, slandered, and the list isn’t exhaustive, St. Paul and his companions endured such things to bring us the gospel of the free gift, the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name.
We should be encouraged that the Lord did make it possible and should it come to it, he would make it possible for us as well. Paul tells us how as well: by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit (it’s interesting he’s smack dab in the middle of it), genuine love, truthful speech, the power of God, the weapons of righteousness for the left hand and the right. I believe those weapons are the word of God and prayer based on the armor of God lists from Ephesians. Through faith in God’s word and promise Paul had all these things. We too need to be in that word so we may have true knowledge God, learn his promises and how he has fulfilled it in the past so we may have faith he will fulfill it now and in the future and so we may know what the will of God is so we may know what to pray for.
St. Paul overcame these and many other obstacles to bring us the word so that his hearers would not have to endure these obstacles themselves. In what ways can we remove similar obstacles so people can hear the word of Christ? What obstacles might they have? Transportation? Rough neighborhoods? Work schedules? Can’t read? Maybe lose their family if they convert? Such are the obstacles Paul would not let get in the way of delivering the good news of Jesus Christ. With God’s help, when we see them, we should try to remove those obstacles as well.
Gracious God and Father, your servant Paul endured much for the sake of the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us faith like Paul’s that we might endure all things through the word of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to remove the obstacles and to endure them to bring your people the good news of Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.