THERE IS MORE II
O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged 2 Corinthians 6: 11-13.
One of the most interesting characters in the bible is the man Solomon, the king of Israel. Solomon’s story is exemplary of what some may call the good life, his entire life was characterized by wealth, excellence and wisdom. It’s interesting to note that Solomon inherited almost everything from his father David; An establish kingdom, a record full of military conquests, powerful and loyal allies, and a bank full of money to build a temple. All these things were enough for Solomon to retire and live the rest of his life in convenience and pleasure, however it was quite different with Solomon. The man improved greatly upon what he had received so much so that Israel became the hub for architecture and excellence, in fact modern scholars argue that Solomon is the first Shipping magnate in history. But how was Solomon able to make Israel a world power in his day? Let’s see what the bible says about this.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
1 Kings 4:29
Solomon had wisdom and understanding unlike another, however that wasn’t all that he received from God. The latter part of this verse tells us the key ingredient of Solomon’s success and whenever I read it, I’m always at the edge of my seat, “largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore”. What could this mean? Largeness of heart in our modern parlance will sound like vision, or a strong will, however it goes beyond that. The imagery used by the writer here for emphasis is intentional and does justice to the context, to the Hebrew ear, it speaks about an ability to envision, conceive and produce realities far beyond one’s means and physical capacity. What a man Solomon must have been?
In our opening text Paul writing to the Corinthian church uses the same language to express how he lived and what he expected from them as believers. The apostle uses a language of rebuke “straighten bowels” here to drive the point that the Corinthian Christians were not living at the best they should have been, in context he was addressing how they were so narrow minded in their thinking that it affected their capacity to love. This Corinthian problem isn’t only unique to the Corinthian church, it a common thing found among believer’s everywhere.
Have you found believers who are so narrow minded that their lives only consist of themselves and nobody else? This goes a long way to affect how they see other people and how they handle situations. Now that’s a clear sign of “straighten bowels” and it’s a product of fear. Friends, such a life is not for us as children of God. We must refuse to allow our circumstances and influences from the world around us reduce our hearts. Just like Solomon we have largeness of heart like the sand in the sea shore. The message version is clearer in passing this message across.
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
2 Corinthians 6: 11-13.
There is a narrative of Christianity that is contrary to what scripture says, it the narrative that Christianity is all about a little, boring and simple life. No where in the bible do we see anyone living such a life, the scriptures are a litany of victories in the most adventurous enterprises of mankind. The life we have received is a “wide-open, spacious life”, a life full of unending possibilities.
Paul gives an important admonition here, “Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”.
Opening up our lives starts with a decision, a decision that must come from dissatisfaction with the status quo and that kind of decision doesn’t come from a heart influenced by fear, but it comes from a heart that is fed by the word of God. We must engage the word more frequently than we use to. To live openly, we must first live in the word.
The word of God is our access to the wide-open and spacious life!
Dear Father, thank you for your words that I have received. Today, I choose to live openly and expansively just as you have purposed for me. I declare that I have entered into the life you have set for me, the wide-open and spacious life. I ask that even as I study and meditate on the word, my eyes are opened to see limitless possibilities in God. Thank you for my heart is enlarged by your word today in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN