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Aug 27 2017 Worship Guide :: Numbered

::  Download the 8.27.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 8.27.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 8.27.2017 Sermon Audio [to be posted Sunday afternoon]

Preparation for Worship on August 27 2017 :: Numbered

“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me.” (J.I. Packer)

“A census presses the question, ‘Are you in or are you out?’… To be counted means being identified as part of the people of God, with all of its responsibilities and privileges.” (Iain Duguid)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for August 27 include ::

:: Father Long Before Creation (Chinese Hymn, c.1951) CHART :: All Ye Refugees (Scott, Haddock & Paris, 2015CHART :: O Come to the Altar (Elevation Worship, 2016) CHART :: Love’s Redeeming Work Is Done (Charles Wesley, 1739) CHART :: All Things New (Horatius Bonar, 1846) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART

Call to Worship :: Psalm 65:1-4

Praise awaits You, our God, in Zion;
to You our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
to You all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
You forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those You choose
and bring near to live in Your courts!
We are filled with the good things of Your house,
of Your holy temple.

Confession of Sin

Heavenly Father, You created us in Your image that we might reflect Your righteousness, holiness and truth.  You gave You only Son, that we might have life. You poured out Your Holy Spirit upon the Church to grant us power to love and serve You.  But we have sinned.  Forgive our closed minds; We have denied Your truth.  Forgive our closed eyes; We have been blind to our calling.  Forgive our closed hands; We have hoarded Your gracious provision.  Forgive our closed hearts; We have limited our affections to ourselves and our own. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us all of our sins.

Words of Encouragement :: Ephesians 2:12-13

Remember that you were once separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

New Testament Reading :: I Peter 2:4-6

As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

Sermon :: Numbers 1:5-54

And these are the names of the men who shall assist you. From Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab;from Issachar, Nethanel the son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab the son of Helon; 10 from the sons of Joseph, from Ephraim, Elishama the son of Ammihud, and from Manasseh, Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur; 11 from Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gideoni; 12 from Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; 13 from Asher, Pagiel the son of Ochran; 14 from Gad, Eliasaph the son of Deuel; 15 from Naphtali, Ahira the son of Enan.”16 These were the ones chosen from the congregation, the chiefs of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the clans of Israel.

17 Moses and Aaron took these men who had been named, 18 and on the first day of the second month, they assembled the whole congregation together, who registered themselves by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names from twenty years old and upward, head by head, 19 as the Lord commanded Moses. So he listed them in the wilderness of Sinai.

20 The people of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, head by head, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go to war: 21 those listed of the tribe of Reuben were 46,500.

22 Of the people of Simeon, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, those of them who were listed, according to the number of names, head by head, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go to war: 23 those listed of the tribe of Simeon were 59,300.

24 Of the people of Gad, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go to war: 25 those listed of the tribe of Gad were 45,650.

26 Of the people of Judah, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 27 those listed of the tribe of Judah were 74,600.

28 Of the people of Issachar, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 29 those listed of the tribe of Issachar were 54,400.

30 Of the people of Zebulun, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 31 those listed of the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400.

32 Of the people of Joseph, namely, of the people of Ephraim, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 33 those listed of the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500.

34 Of the people of Manasseh, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 35 those listed of the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200.

36 Of the people of Benjamin, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 37 those listed of the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400.

38 Of the people of Dan, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 39 those listed of the tribe of Dan were 62,700.

40 Of the people of Asher, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 41 those listed of the tribe of Asher were 41,500.

42 Of the people of Naphtali, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war: 43 those listed of the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400.

44 These are those who were listed, whom Moses and Aaron listed with the help of the chiefs of Israel, twelve men, each representing his fathers’ house. 45 So all those listed of the people of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war in Israel— 46 all those listed were 603,550.

47 But the Levites were not listed along with them by their ancestral tribe. 48 For the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 49 “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not list, and you shall not take a census of them among the people of Israel. 50 But appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings, and over all that belongs to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it and shall camp around the tabernacle. 51 When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death. 52 The people of Israel shall pitch their tents by their companies, each man in his own camp and each man by his own standard. 53 But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel. And the Levites shall keep guard over the tabernacle of the testimony.” 54 Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses.

Aug 20 2017 Worship Recap :: In The Wilderness

::  Download the 8.20.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 8.20.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 8.20.2017 Sermon

image :: The Jews in the Desert, Tintoretto (1593, Italian)

Preparation for Worship on August 20 2017 :: In The Wilderness

“Lord, lead me through the wilderness,
I am a poor pilgrim
I don’t have strength or life in me,
I am lying in the grave.
Omnipotent is the One who brings me to the shore.” (William Williams, 1745)

“The story of the book of Numbers is written to a people whose lives are lived between the accomplishing of their redemption and its consummation, between the exodus and the Promised Land. The Lord has done what He promised Abraham in bringing his descendants out of their bondage – but He has not yet brought them into the Promised Land. They live in between the times, and their present experience is not one of the fullness of salvation but rather of the wilderness along the way.” (Iain Duguid)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for August 20 include ::

:: Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer (William Williams, 1762) CHART :: Be Thou My Vision (8th Century Irish Hymn) CHART :: On Jordan’s Stormy Banks (Samuel Stennett, 1787) CHART :: How Great Is Our God  (Tomlin, Reeves & Cash, 2004) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART

Call to Worship :: Psalm 105:1-2, 7, 11-13

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
He is the Lord our God… saying
“To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”
They were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people.

Confession of Sin :: Jeremiah 2:11-13 & Psalm 79:5,8-9

Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But My people have changed their glory
for that which does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
for My people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken Me,
the Fountain of Living Waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
How long, O Lord? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
Do not remember against us our former iniquities;
let Your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,

Words of Encouragement :: Colossians 1:12-13

Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

New Testament Reading :: I Corinthians 10:11-13

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Sermon :: Numbers 1:1-4

1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company. And there shall be with you a man from each tribe, each man being the head of the house of his fathers.”

Aug 13 2017 Worship Recap :: Grace, Love and Fellowship

::  Download the 8.13.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 8.13.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 8.13.2017 Sermon Audio

image :: The Meals, Andre Masson (1923)

Preparation for Worship on August 13 2017 :: Grace, Love & Fellowship

“Christianity entered history as a new world order, a new social dimension. From the very beginning Christianity was not primarily a doctrine, but a community. There was not only a Message to be proclaimed, there was a New Community, distinct and peculiar, in the process of growth and formation, to which members were called. Indeed, ‘fellowship’ (koinonia) was the basic category of Christian existence.” (Georges Florovsky)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for August 13 include ::

:: Heal Us, Emmanuel (William Cowper, 1799) CHART :: May the Mind of Christ My Savior (Kate B. Wilkinson, 1925) CHART :: In Christ Alone (Getty & Townend, 2002CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART ::  Kindness  (Giglio, Reeves, Tomlin, 2000) CHART  //  AUDIO

:: Rejoice The Lord Is King (Charles Wesley, 1744) CHART

Call to Worship :: Psalm 65:1-4

Praise awaits You, our God, in Zion;
to You our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
to You all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
You forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those You choose
and bring near to live in Your courts!
We are filled with the good things of Your house,
of Your holy temple.

Confession of Sin

Almighty and merciful Father, You have called us to be Your desired followers and have made us one family. Yet we have not lived as one.  We have not loved You and one another as You command.  Selfish ambition has gripped us, and we have failed to look out for others’ interests above our own.  We have not treated one another as those in whom Christ dwells.  Conceit has gripped us, and we have failed to associate with and care for those who are different from ourselves.  Pride has gripped us, and we sought to control You, the Lord.  Forgive us for our sins against You.  Go on to subdue everything in us that is contrary to Your purposes.  By the power of your Spirit make us a community that is eager to do Your will and walk in Your ways.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Words of Encouragement :: Ephesians 2:12-13

Remember that you were once separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Old Testament Reading :: Deuteronomy 7:6-10

You are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.  The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.  But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

Sermon :: II Corinthians 13:11-14

11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Aug 6 2017 Worship Recap :: Examine Yourselves

::  Download the 8.6.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 8.6.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 8.6.2017 Sermon Audio 

image :: The Mirror, William Merritt Chase (c.1883, American)

Preparation for Worship on August 6 2017 :: Examine Yourselves

“I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as He shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, Thou hast done;
I fear no more.”

 John Donne, from “A Hymn to God the Father”

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for August 6 include ::

:: And Can It Be (Charles Wesley, 1738) CHART :: God, Be Merciful to Me (Psalm 51; 1912 Scottish Psalter) CHART :: I Need Thee Every Hour (Annie Hawks, 1872) CHART :: Give Me Jesus (African-American Spiritual) CHART :: Be Still My Soul (Kathrina von Schlegel, 1855) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART

Call to Worship :: Revelation 15:3-4; 1:5-7

Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the ages.  Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him.

Confession of Sin :: Psalm 139:1-2,7,23-24

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Words of Encouragement :: Heidelberg Catechism 1 (1563)

Christian, what is your only comfort in life and in death?  That I am not my own, but belong –  body and soul, in life and in death –  to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to Him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me whole-heartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

Old Testament Reading :: Lamentations 3:22-27,40-41

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth…
Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven.

Sermon :: II Corinthians 13:5-10

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

July 30 2017 Worship Recap :: The Weakness of Christ

::  Download the 7.30.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 7.30.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 7.30.2017 Sermon Audio

image :: Farm Garden with Crucifix, Gustav Klimt (1912, Austrian)

Preparation for Worship on July 30 2017 :: The Weakness of Christ

“Through the Cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonor, life from death. The power of His death once confronted our death. In the words of Hosea the prophet: “Death, I shall be your death; grave, I shall swallow you up”.  By dying He submitted to the laws of the underworld; by rising again He destroyed them.” (Leo the Great , 5th century)

“When really weak in ourselves, and conscious of that weakness, we are in the state suited to the manifestation of the power of God.” (Charles Hodge)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for July 30 include ::

:: Come, Ye Sinners (Joseph Hart, 1759) CHART :: Gloria Patri (2nd Century Hymn) CHART :: Grace Greater Than Our Sin (Julia H, Johnston, 1910) CHART :: Draw My Soul To Thee (J. Adams, 1838) CHART :: O Sacred Head Now Wounded (Bernard of Clairvaux, 11th century) CHART :: Crown Him With Many Crowns (Matthew Bridges, 1851) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART

Call to Worship :: Philippians 3:20-21

Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.

Confession of Sin :: from The Book of Common Prayer

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone what we ought to have done, and we have done what we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us. Yet, good Lord, have mercy on us: restore those who repent, according to Your promises declared to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. And grant, merciful Father, for His sake, That we may live godly, righteous, and obedient lives, to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Words of Encouragement :: Luke 24:44,46-47

Jesus said…“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Old Testament Reading :: Psalm 138. Of David

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Sermon :: II Corinthians 13:1-4

1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them— since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

July 23 2017 Worship Recap :: In the Sight of God

::  Download the 7.23.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 7.23.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 7.23.2017 Sermon Audio 

image :: Closed Eyes, Odilon Redon (c.1894, French)

Preparation for Worship on July 23 2017 :: In the Sight of God

“The conscience, spurred by the devil, the flesh, and the fallen world, says, ‘God is your enemy. Give up in despair.’ God, in His own Fatherly love and through His Son’s grace and through His Word and through the witness of His Spirit and His people, says, ‘I have no wrath. You are accepted in the Beloved. I am not angry with you. We are reconciled!’” (Martin Luther)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for July 23 include ::

:: Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (Robert Robinson, 1758) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: Psalm 126 (Bifrost Arts, 2013) CHART :: The Church’s One Foundation (Samuel Stone, 1866) CHART :: All Ye Refugees (Scott, Haddock & Paris, 2015CHART :: Before There Was Time (Caedmon’s Call, 2001) CHART

Call to Worship :: Hebrews 10:19-23

Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God: Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Confession of Sin

Most merciful Father, we have sinned against and are guilty before You. Forgive us the sins of our tongues: For deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and tempers out of control. Forgive us for the sins of our eyes: For impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than You have given us. Forgive us the sins of our hearts: For hard-heartedness toward You and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all for rebelling against Your Lordship and doubting Your love. Now, Holy Father, kill our envy, remove our pride, melt our hearts. Give us grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, to labor for You and not for ourselves, to be transformed into Your likeness, to live wholly for Your glory. Take away our mourning and give us music; remove our sackcloth and give us Your beauty. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Words of Encouragement :: Micah 7:18-19

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Old Testament Reading :: Isaiah 29:13-14

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

Sermon :: II Corinthians 12:11-21

11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.