John Koedyker

READ : 2 Corinthians 3:4-11

Not that we are competent in ourselves . . . but our competence comes from God. (v. 5 NIV)

In order for a church to function, there is always the need of volunteers to serve. But it can be difficult to recruit Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, or persons to serve as elders and deacons. Sometimes people just don’t want to work. But often they refuse out of a sense of unworthiness. People say, “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m not qualified,” pointing to reasons such as inadequate Bible knowledge. A pastor friend would respond to such objections by saying, “That’s right. You aren’t equipped. But if Christ calls you to serve, he will equip you.”

Paul’s authenticity as an apostle had been called into question. Perhaps fearing that his defense to the Corinthians may have sounded a bit too much like self-praise, he is quick to point out in these verses that he is not competent in himself. His competence comes from God.

Paul knew that on his own, his impact on others for Christ would be extremely weak and feeble. He relies on two things: his call from Christ and his empowerment through the Holy Spirit. Without that, he would be nothing.

Martin Luther put it this way in his great hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: “If we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.”


Lord, on my own I can do nothing. Please equip me and use me. Amen.