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2 Corinthians 7:1-7  (CJB)

Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.

Make room for us in your hearts — we haven’t wronged anyone, we haven’t corrupted anyone, we haven’t exploited anyone. I am not saying this to put blame on you, for I have already said that you have a place in our hearts, whether we live together or die together; that I am very confident in you; that I am very proud of you; that you have filled me with encouragement; and that in spite of all our troubles, I am overflowing with joy.

For indeed when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest. On the contrary, we faced all kinds of troubles — altercations without, apprehensions withinBut God, who encourages the downhearted, encouraged us with the arrival of Titus! However, it was not only his arrival which encouraged us, but also how encouraged he was about you, as he told us how you long to see me, how distressed you are over my situation, how zealous you are in my defense — this news made me even happier!

The reality of the day to day that makes up the work of restoration the ongoing experience of "altercations without, apprehensions within".  Ironically most times those altercations come from those working with us, those making up the team of care [board, donors, volunteers, staff] and the apprehensions within from self-doubt, misplaced focus, unresolved personal hurt, personal agenda and need for control.  People, however, those we are working to serve and those working together to serve are in fact messy, unpredictable and responsible to the Lord individually.

Our Father knows this...He knows our limitations and short comings.  He sets before us missions of love that can seem daunting especially when it feels all we do is fight, however, just as in 2 Corinthians 7 He never fails to encourage.  He gives us grace to walk through the messy and the hurts...He calls us to face our internal condition and to put aside our need for control to take our eyes off of the messy, daunting, seemingly overwhelming and to serve as unto the Lord.  He puts before us each day the question " whom this day will you serve?" 

When we come with our eyes fixed on our Master (and we can only truly serve one) then the overflow will be love, grace, and room for the messy, the hurt, and ultimatly trust this trusting faithfullness will make the way through all altercations and apprehensions. 

May you serve today as unto the Lord taking your eyes off the messy, the hurt, the uncontrollable!  May  your trusting faithfullness grow and push aside your doubt and fear!  May you be willing to allow the Lord to purify you to grow you into a faithful, loving, and teachable servant!

 Colossians 3:23-25 (CJB)

23 Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. 24 Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah. 25 Don’t worry — whoever is doing wrong will be paid in kind for his wrong, and there is no favoritism shown.