Wednesday, September 21, 2022


by David Brenneman

"This is the third time I am coming to you. 'Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'  I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, since you are seeking proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you."" 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 NASB95

I read this and read this this morning and often wonder just what would any of the churches that I've attended in my life do if Paul lived in this day and age and wrote something like this towards them.  Would they or I have taken him seriously?  

We often read of the Advanced Team that goes ahead of popular people.  Those that are sent ahead to make sure everything from where the person is going to stay, how they will get around town, what places they might eat if they do eat out, who they will meet with etc. is taken care of.

Paul's letters were his only advance warning of his pending arrival, which, could take quite a long time in light of how long it took to get from place to place in those days.  They wouldn't know if he wrote something, honestly, and left that same day to arrive near the time the letter was written or if he left days or months later.  They just knew he was coming.  They knew from his letter that there was going to be meetings with people.  They knew to get their act together and straighten up and be prepared...he was coming and they knew from his letters what to expect when he got there.

Their individual issues and problems probably got seriously reprioritized.  They probably started having 'cleaning days' to get the place ready for his arrival.  Many probably were personally impacted by his coming because they volunteered to offer their place for him to stay.  So preparations needed to be made to support him in his ministry while he was there.

What if indeed Paul lived in today's world and decided to come it the church you attend or to you?  What would you do differently than you do today?  What would you have to stop doing because in all truthfulness you know he would not approve of?  What would you start doing that you weren't doing before he would come?  What is in your pantry, in your kitchen, your Man Cave or She Cave that you would be removing to put in storage somewhere until after he left?  What would you be doing differently?  Would the house be rearranged to show him that television wasn't your high priority in your living room?  Would you indeed start packing up a lot of stuff for him not to see?

Please don't lie to yourself and say you wouldn't do anything differently.  We all know we would do something if not everything differently if some celebrity were saying in advance that they were coming.
Some would actually do like King Hezekiah and actually show off everything in our house.  Some would install locks on doors to keep people out.

Now...consider the larger until now unsaid question:  What if Jesus decided to stay at your house physically?  What if He did and you had to go to work, you came home and you just find Him sitting in a chair in your house just looking at you.  He then asks you to please sit down He's got some questions for you about some things He found in your house.  How would you react?  What would you do?  This is Jesus we're talking about.  This is sort of big step from a person like Paul who would have to physically go to and through everything in your home to begin to ask that question. This is Jesus who already knows.

What would you do differently?  Sure we can be bold and say we are what we are.  Until we would hear that knock on the door, knowing who was on the other side. Things would get tossed under a rug, behind a pillow, thrown in a closet. 

People are often very brash towards God until the very things they stand on come crashing down and there's nothing between them and God.  People can think they are content until what makes them content is taken away by God or our own devices and consequences.

If...Jesus were to visit you, what would you do differently?  Would you try to make yourself live differently even though He already knows everything you have been doing already?  As kids we often did that with our parents.  We're doing something we shouldn't have and it's plainly obvious our parents already knew what we were into...yet try to play dumb or act like nothing was going on.  This doesn't work with Jesus.

Our reasons for why we do things and our excuses for doing what we do really are going to be tested when we know for sure that Jesus is going to be knocking on that door to our house, our home.

Read in the Gospels and you see that Jesus always asks questions that go just a bit deeper than people were expecting.  He goes to the heart of the matter.  

Jesus came to seek and save the lost in this world..and He found many many people.

If someone like Paul would write you a letter that began like 2 Corinthians 13 does...what would you do?   You already have his first letter, this is his second time writing...and it's obvious that others that know you have been writing to him.  

Jesus taught his Disciples a lot.  He taught them what it meant to deny self and take up their own cross and to follow Him.  Their wants, their desires, were filtered by the cross they would carry.  Everything from their status amongst themselves to their possessions were filtered by the cross they would carry.

If the cross you take up to follow Jesus would become a filter in your life would you have much to let go of?  We often catch glimpses of someone carrying a cross in movies and television shows leading up to Easter Sunday.  It truly takes everything left in a person to keep that cross on their backs to bear that weight.  

We often don't think that this or that in our lives is all that bad.  That we deserve this or that because we're not that bad.  We often allow habits that in all honesty we would absolutely not do if Paul or Jesus would be visiting physically.  We wouldn't eat the same.  Lots of things would be done differently while they stayed. 

The thing about this "If..." is that it's not an if.  

Jesus does want to enter your life and to be your Savior.  He wants a personal relationship with you if only you would open the door and bid Him enter in.   You aren't defined by your past.  You aren't identified by what you've done in your past. You aren't even defined by your present situation.  When you come to Christ you are now a child of the King.  You are now a child of God.  You have had all your sins, all your past wiped clean.  Are given new Spiritual clothes to wear that are without spot or blemish.  You're given the Spirit of God to live in you and guide you.  You may not escape the consequences of your physical choices and decisions but as it was with Daniel and what happened to his friends, you won't ever face anything alone.  You also become part of the body of Christ while on this Earth.  You have a place in the body of Christ and have new responsibilities that are for you to be doing.  Life will get different but in a very good way.  You'll learn of things to let go of in your life that just aren't important anymore.

When we live for Jesus...should it ever be that hypothetical situation of Him coming to visit...there's no place in our hearts or homes that we wouldn't be afraid of Him knowing about or of Him asking about.


I imagine it would be difficult for those getting that letter to read.  You have some there who indeed were living as they were taught in regards to being a fully devoted follower of Jesus.  Then you have others reading it who probably realized quickly they have to change and change now before he arrives.  Then there's others who are so caught up in themselves who will indeed be those whom he would call out publicly and privately.  

When we moved quite a bit of the lives we had built up was left behind as donations or the trash.
When we moved in we made a greater attempt to look at what we were placing in this new to us home.
Our priorities changed somewhat because of this move meant new things in our lives.

If...if...if you were suddenly face to face with Paul or Jesus...would you become like the man whom Jesus met with who promised to make retribution to everyone he'd ever defrauded?  Would you be any different than you are today?   Would you be a Mary or a Martha when they came into your home?
Another aspect of Martha's busyness is that while doing so she wasn't giving herself time to consider what Jesus was teaching that meant so much to Mary.  We often do things in our lives to 'keep from thinking'.  We veg out on binge watching movies or television shows or other things to keep from thinking.  We can even binge on books and articles.  We can waste hours doing things that do nothing for us Spiritually.  

But notice one huge thing about Jesus in the Gospels.  Not one single person regretted their personal time with Him.  The only exception would be those who opposed Him.  Everyone who spent personal time with Jesus came out better for it.  His Disciples never once wrote of regretting following Him. 

It's on you to choose to live for Jesus now in your life.  You can't change your past but you can change your now and your future by clearing out and getting rid of what really doesn't belong in your life, no matter what the world says you need in your life.  We are professionals at making excuses for why we do what we do. were paid a visit today...what would you do?

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