May 24, 2021: To Spend and Be Spent
“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2 Cor. 12:15, KJV).
Every choice we make, every course taken, has a cost. The apostle Paul was well aware of the cost of apostleship. In his second letter to the church in Corinth, he tenderly expresses how he felt about the believers. He announced that he was going to make a third visit to them and that in no way would he be a burden to them.
On the contrary, he told them: “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you.” This is the mark of a servant of God who had come to know the heart of God as manifested through His Son. Jesus speaks these words of assurance today. When I understood that these words apply to a leader in God’s work for the people, I was impressed. When I understood them to come from Jesus Christ to me, I was humbled in amazement.
The thought that Christ spares no blessing or good thing for His people is why we praise Him today. But to realize that He divested Himself of everything and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross— for you and me—is why we bow in surrender to Him.
“Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Paul recognizes the tendency of the fallen human heart. It is easy to take for granted the one who loves you most. He experienced loneliness, ungratefulness and doubters along his journey. Scripture records the history that the greater manifestations of God’s favor and blessings were often repaid with ensuing unfaithfulness and unbelief from His own. May we recommit our love to Him.
Dear Lord, help me love You more. Amen.
John Rengifo is an associate pastor of the Ellicott City church in Maryland.