12 弟兄們，我勸你們要像我一樣，因為我也像你們一樣。你們一點沒有虧負我。 13 你們知道我頭一次傳福音給你們，是因為身體有疾病。 14 你們為我身體的緣故受試煉，沒有輕看我，也沒有厭棄我，反倒接待我，如同 神的使者，如同基督耶穌。 15 你們當日所誇的福氣在那裡呢？那時你們若能行，就是把自己的眼睛剜出來給我，也都情願。這是我可以給你們作見證的。 16 如今我將真理告訴你們，就成了你們的仇敵嗎？ 17 那些人熱心待你們，卻不是好意，是要離間你們（原文是把你們關在外面），叫你們熱心待他們。 18 在善事上，常用熱心待人原是好的，卻不單我與你們同在的時候才這樣。 19 我小子啊，我為你們再受生產之苦，直等到基督成形在你們心裡。 20 我巴不得現今在你們那裡，改換口氣，因我為你們心裡作難。
12. I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13. As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14. Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15. What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17. Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19. My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20. how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
- God uses the raw material of our lives – circumstances, family, and personality – to conform us to the image of Christ. This is God’s formation work in us. We can choose to continue to depend on the do’s and don’ts to pursue perfection, or we can choose to rely on the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to rule every aspect of my life, to reflect Christ’s image, Christ’s character and Christ’s beauty through us.
- Every time I cry to God with the simple prayers: “Lord, I belong to you! Lord, help me! Lord, have mercy on me! Lord, I thank you! Lord, I love you!…”, it is my choice to rely on the Spirit. How many times last week have I cried out to God with the short prayers to tell God and myself that I love Him and I choose to rely on Him for every day of my life?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Teach your children the 5 short prayers and encourage them to call on the Lord all through the day. God, I belong to you; Lord Jesus, have mercy on me; Lord, save me; Father, I thank you; Lord, I love you. Have an older child copy the 5 prayers onto Family Devotional Journal.