Category: 1st and 2nd Corinthians

The God of peace and love!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jeremiah 14-16, Psalm 76, 2nd Corinthians 13

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “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. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Paul’s closing benediction calls the church at Corinth to joy and peace in the Holy Trinity. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit bring love, peace and joy to all the saints. They are restoring all believers and bringing comfort, agreement and peace. As believers through the grace of Jesus Christ allow and invite God the Father to live in their midst, His love and peace brings true fellowship through the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit living in each one. This is the pattern for God’s people everywhere–and especially in our lives today!

Psalm 76:1-2 “In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. His abode has been established in Salem (Peace), His dwelling place in Zion.”

Faith confession and prayer: Heavenly Father, establish Your abode in my midst and the midst of Your Church. May Your grace and peace and love flow from Your people in unity and fellowship as they are fed by Your delightful Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 “Your Words were found and I ate them, and Your Words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of hosts.”

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Conceit can bring deception!

Scripture reading for October 1st: Jeremiah 11-13, 2nd Corinthians 12

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10 “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”

Paul carefully explained how God had given him great revelations, even catching him up to the third heaven. He heard things that he could not reveal or explain. God allowed a thorn in Paul’s flesh from Satan, to keep him from conceit. Conceit is pride that puffs up a person and allows deception. Paul sought God for deliverance, but God assured him that His power would be made perfect in weakness and His grace would be sufficient to keep him. Paul’s boast now was in his weakness so Christ’s power would flow through him.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace that can keep me from pride and deception. Help me to boast only in You and my many weaknesses that Your power may work through me to accomplish Your will.

Jeremiah 13:15-17 “Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light He turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”

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Satan in disguise!

Scripture reading for September 30th: Jeremiah 8-10, 2nd Corinthians 11

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 11:12-15 “And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

The spiritual warfare Paul warned the Corinthians about came in the form of counterfeit apostles, teachers and “Christian” workers. Satan loves to disguise himself as an ‘angel of light’ when he is really a dark fallen angel. Satan uses people he has taken captive to be his ‘deceitful workmen’ right in Christ’s church. To identify the counterfeit “Christians”, we must know the genuine Jesus and those who genuinely represent Him and His Word. If we fall for the counterfeit, we will suffer now and in eternity. The Holy Spirit will give us discernment if we are teachable.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Truth and the Spirit of Truth Who brings me discernment. Correct me and help me daily to stay true to You and listen only to Your Word taught by Your gifted people.

Jeremiah 10:23-24 “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in Your anger lest You bring me to nothing.”

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Spiritual warfare!

Scripture reading for September 29th: Jeremiah 5-7, Psalm 75, 2nd Corinthians 10

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 10:3-7 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

Paul was concerned about false teachers and their deceptive ideas and philosophies defiling God’s people. They were making fun of his own humble stature and demeanor when he was present with them and now his bold approach to correction in his letters. Paul set them straight, that they were all in a spiritual battle. This battle was not against flesh and blood, but against wicked spiritual forces who used argument, proud ideas, and opinions contradicting Christ Jesus. We must control our thinking and use the divine weapons of prayer, worship, confession of truth and faithfulness to God’s Word to destroy the strongholds of evil attacking us.

Psalm 75:2-3 “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I Who keep steady its pillars.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the divine weapons You provide Your Church for pulling down strongholds. Help me today to bring every though captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 7:23 “But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'”

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How’s your harvest?

Scripture reading for September 28th: Jeremiah 1-4, Psalm 130, 2nd Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:6-9 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to give cheerfully and with purpose. He did not want to shame them or coerce them to give or to manipulate their hearts with human emotions. He did tell them spiritual truth: the law of sowing and reaping determines the harvest. For a sparing harvest, sow sparingly, but for a bountiful harvest, sow bountifully. God gives the increase and will make all grace abound to you in many areas of need in your life. The abounding harvest is more than money, but brings full sufficiency in all things at all times! Amen!

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; . . .”

Faith confession and prayer: God’s promises are true and bring encouragement and hope. I want an abundant harvest so I will sow generously and cheerfully trusting in Your Word of promised grace!

Jeremiah 1:11-12 “The Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.””

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Delighting God!

Scripture reading for September 25th: Zephaniah, Psalm 74, 2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 8:1-5 “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints–and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”

Paul commended the Macedonian churches for their gracious giving. These churches were in severe persecution and were suffering physically and economically. But Paul was impressed with their joyful hearts and gracious giving, even beyond their means. They did not need to be persuaded, but begged to be part of the relief of other brothers and sisters. Their giving was marked by giving of themselves to the Lord first and then their offerings.

Psalm 74:12 “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my King, working salvation. Keep my heart in step with Yours, full of mercy and generosity. I give myself to You to dwell in my midst and open my hands to give as You direct.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One Who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

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Blessed godly grief!

Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.

Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”

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We are the Temple!

Scripture reading for September 23rd: 2nd Chronicles 34-35, 2nd Corinthians 6

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 6:16-18 “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Under the New Covenant, there is a new temple. The new temple isn’t a building of brick or stone, but it is made up of living stones that are filled with the presence of God. God promised to make His dwelling place among men. He calls men and women to come out from entanglement with the world and it’s human-centered philosophies. No more idols are to defile His temple. God welcomes us as sons and daughters, a living temple where He dwells with us!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, there is no agreement between Your temple and idols! Deliver me from Your wrath. Fill Your temple (my body) with Your Holy Spirit and dwell in me. I joyfully accept adoption as Your son.

2nd Chronicles 34:25 “Because they have forsaken Me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.”

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Confidence before Christ!

Scripture reading for September 22nd: 2nd Kings 22-23, Psalm 73, 2nd Corinthians 5

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:6-10 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

When we walk by faith in Jesus Christ we can be constantly filled with courage and confidence. It does not matter what is happening to us at the moment, whether we are facing death or suffering in this life. We are confident that it will be better to be with the Lord in our eternal home. We can also have confidence to stand before Christ Jesus at His judgment seat and know we will be rewarded for our faith and obedience. Our confessed sins will be forgiven and forgotten. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 73:23-24 “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my courage and confidence in this life and for eternity. I am confident to stand before You because of what Jesus Christ did for me. Guide me each day to do Your will!

2nd Kings 23:25 “Before him there was no king like him (King Josiah), who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.”

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Faith unveils the glory!

Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!

Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

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