2 Corinthians 10:7-18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

7 Look at what is obvious. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should remind himself of this: just as he belongs to Christ, so do we. 8 For if I boast some more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I am not ashamed. 9 I don’t want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters. 1011 Such a person should consider this: what we are in the words of our letters when absent, we will be in actions when present. For it is said, “His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak, and his public speaking is despicable.”

12 For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but according to the measure of the area [of ministry] that God has assigned to us, [which] reaches even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we had not reached you, since we have come to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We are not bragging beyond measure about other people’s labors. But we have the hope that as your faith increases, our area [of ministry] will be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel to the regions beyond you, not boasting about what has already been done in someone else’s area [of ministry]. 17 So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. 18 For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.

For Paul, his area of ministry included the Corinthians for he was the one who was led to Corinth and first brought them the Gospel.  He met Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth who were two of his first converts.  He then shared the gospel with the Jews in Corinth who would not believe and so he went to the Gentiles.  His discouragement in Corinth was eased when God told him that there were many who would believe in Corinth.  Paul stayed in Corinth for some time before leaving for Ephesus.  He was chiefly responsible for those who were Christians there, they had been his area of ministry, or his field.  Because Paul was in Corinth, that became his field.  God had led him there, and so Paul could be assured that this was God’s place for him.

His assignment was not based on the presumption of an area by Paul, but by the assignment of God.  How did he know that Corinth was assigned by God?  Because that is where he was.

He says that if he would not have reached the Corinthians they would not have been in his field, but since he did reach them, they were in his field.

Where are you?  There is your field, your area of ministry.  Look at those around you, God has placed you there for them.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking everything that happens is for you, it may be that indeed you are here to give to others, for their benefit.  God places you in that job, in that home, in that school, in that class so that you may be a blessing to others.  We face the same danger today that Israelites have faced since the call of Abraham.  We can become so obsessed with looking for the ways that God will bless us that we forget to become a blessing to others.  Look around, the fields are white unto harvest. Matt. 9:37-38

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