I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls If I love you more, am I to be loved less?2 Corinthians 12:15(NASB)
When first introduced to the believers at Corinth we find a group of Christians that despite boasting their diverse spiritual gifts were devoid of love, and wallowed in a divergent range of ungodly actions and attitudes, including: quarrelling, envying, anger, bitterness, back-biting, carnal intrigues and gross spiritual immaturity.
Despite Paul's corrective teaching to this community of Christians, there were some who remained unyielding to his corrective training and apostolic authority.
The last we hear of these born-again believers was that some continued to revert back to the influence of the old sinful nature instead of submitting to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit in their heart.. so that they would be empowered to live godly lives - through their “new-life-in-Christ'.
Following a flurry of words that reminds them of his heavenly appointment as God's chosen apostle to the gentiles, and in spite of an array of arguments of why they should live godly in Christ Jesus and walk in humble obedience to God, Paul reluctantly boasts of the many sufferings he had endured for the sake of the gospel.. and the many sacrifices he had made of their account - in order to underline that his motive towards them was to secure their spiritual growth - and not for his own financial reward.
But following his justified correction and legitimate chastisement, we glimpse the heart of Paul the apostle - and his unquenchable love for these carnal, Corinthian Christians. I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls, was Paul's yearning outburst towards them.
Paul would gladly pour out his life in sacrificial service to this group of immature believers, if this would bring them to spiritual maturity and godly living. But they placed their love and respect in other quarters, despite Paul's genuine desire for their spiritual wellbeing.
Sadly many believers at Corinth were being enticed away by false teachers to another gospel - a gospel that sought the gift in preference to the Giver - causing these believers to elevate these unscrupulous false teachers and glory in their false doctrines in preference to the pure milk of the Word of truth - which Paul poured out from his own heart of love.
May we never stray from the glorious gospel of grace to another gospel and elevate the gifts we receive from the Lord in preference to a deepening relationship with Him. May we also be willing to be poured out as a drink offering to the Lord and become a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him - for love of those who need to hear the truth of the gloroius gospel of truth from our lips.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of the apostle Paul and his deep desire to share the truth of the glorious gospel of God with those whom You placed in his path. Thank You for his example of unquenchable love as he spent his life and was spent in the service of Christ. May I spend and be expended to Your praise and glory. May my love for others only be exceeded for my deepening love for You- this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.