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1 Corinthians 4:8-18 (The Message)

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8 You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. Without bringing either Apollos or me into it, you're sitting on top of the world - at least God's world - and we're right there, sitting alongside you! 9 It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We're something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. 10 We're the Messiah's misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we're mostly kicked around. 11 Much of the time we don't have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, 12 and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, "God bless you." 13 When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We're treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture's kitchen. And it's not getting any better. 14 I'm not writing all this as a neighborhood scold just to make you feel rotten. I'm writing as a father to you, my children. I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled. 15 There are a lot of people around who can't wait to tell you what you've done wrong, but there aren't many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God's Message to you that I became your father. 16 I'm not, you know, asking you to do anything I'm not already doing myself. 17 This is why I sent Timothy to you earlier. He is also my dear son, and true to the Master. He will refresh your memory on the instructions I regularly give all the churches on the way of Christ. 18 I know there are some among you who are so full of themselves they never listen to anyone, let alone me. They don't think I'll ever show up in person.
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