Category: 1st and 2nd Corinthians

Life in Jesus!

Scripture reading for August 14th: 2nd Corinthians 13, Psalm 12, Proverbs 8

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 ended his letter with final instructions and a benediction or blessing.  He was a loving pastor who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to instruct God’s church in restoring a repentant brother and healing divisions in the church caused by false teachers and people following men.  Joy was prescribed and a focus on restoration and peacemaking.  Tenderness and affection was to flow from all saints to all fellow believers.  This was enabled by the grace of our Lord and God’s love and gift of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Faith confession:  I thank You God for the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the precious Holy Spirit enabling me to live life in joy and maintaining the unity of the Trinity in the Church.

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds Me, finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find Me injures himself; and all who hate Me love death.”  

Tags : , , , , , ,

Grace sufficient to the trial!

Scripture reading for August 13th:  2nd Corinthians 12, Psalm 11, Proverbs 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 12:7-9 “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 in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  

Paul did not live a life a privilege as an apostle of Christ.  He faced many trials and in this case, a thorn in his flesh which was from Satan.  He shared how he pleaded with the Lord to remove it, but His answer was different than what Paul desired.  The Lord promised grace sufficient for the test.  God’s power is made perfect in our weakness and dependency on Him.

Faith Confession:  Lord, I am weak and need Your grace each day to sustain me in the trials of life on earth.  Thank You for grace sufficient to each pressing need and satanic trial.

Psalm 11:4-5 “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.  The Lord tests the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”   

 

Tags : , , , ,

Christians: Beware!

Scripture reading for August 12th:  2nd Corinthians 11, Psalm 10, Proverbs 6

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 “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.”  

Paul exposed the false teachers that had come into the midst of the Corinthian church.  These men were in disguise, masquerading as true ‘apostles of Christ’ and claiming to be servants of righteousness.  They were leading the church astray with their lies and false doctrines and taking money from the church that should have been used to further the work of Christ in saving souls.  Satan is a master of disguise, he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy–Christians beware!

Faith Confession:  From God’s Word, I know that Satan is a master of disguise and God is Truth.  Lord, open my eyes each day to Truth and guard me from deception, even from those claiming to be ‘apostles of Christ.’

Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”  

Tags : , , , , ,

God is my Stronghold!

Scripture reading for August 9th:  2nd Corinthians 10, Psalm 9, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war in 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 knew the pressures of the world that he and the Corinthian believers lived in.  The flesh and culture appealing to the outer man brought conflict in the thought life of the inner man requiring powerful weapons to combat them.  Paul advised and practiced bringing his thought life and consequently his fleshly man into subjection by focusing on obeying Christ and His powerful Word.  By the power of the Word and Spirit, each person could be victorious over the strongholds of worldly thinking.

Faith Confession:  The weapons of my warfare are powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds.  I bring every thought into obedience to Christ and His unfailing Word with the help of the Holy Spirit.  God is my Stronghold!

Psalm 9:9-10 “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  And those who know Your Name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

 

 

Tags : , , , , ,

All Thanks be to God!

Scripture reading for August 8th: 2nd Corinthians 9, Psalm 8, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:11-15  “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.  Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!”

Paul explained how the cheerful and generous giving of the Corinthians brought a harvest of thanksgiving to God.  People receiving the gift and ministry it supported thanked God for the givers and the gifts.  The Apostles and ministers thanked God for the harvest made possible by the giving.  All the saints thank God for His inexpressible “Gift”, Jesus Christ, Son of God!

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for those who gave support and prayers for me to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Thank You for Your amazing Church and Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord!

Proverbs 4:10-12 “Hear, My son, and accept My Words, that the years of your life may be many.  I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.  When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Rich generosity!

Scripture reading for August 7th: 2nd Corinthians 8, Psalm 7, Proverbs 3

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 shared with the Corinthians how he had encouraged the Macedonians to prepare an offering to be ready when he came again.  He noted that they responded with great generosity in spite of severe trials and afflictions.  Their giving was according to and beyond their means to give.  They even begged Paul for the favor of giving this offering.  They gave themselves as they gave their money and blessed God and His people.

Faith Confession:  What a privilege it is to give to God and to His work and to praise Him with generosity!  Lord help me to grow in the grace of joyful and generous giving, knowing how it blesses You and God’s people.

Psalm 7:17  “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord, the Most High.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Godly sorrow leads to repentance!

Scripture reading for August 6th: 2nd Corinthians 7, Psalm 6, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 2:9-11 “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 proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Paul had sent a letter to the Corinthian church urging repentance from a sin that the church had committed.  The letter was hard for him to write as he was concerned with how they would respond.  But Paul wrote it anyway because they needed to respond.   But Paul got a report of the church responding with godly sorrow and true repentance that lead to life and peace.  He rejoiced in their decision and God’s grace proven by true actions resulting in changed behavior.

Faith Confession: I am thankful for life-giving rebukes by those who care for my soul.  Lord help me to always respond with godly sorrow and actions of those who truly repent.

Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”  

Tags : , , , , ,

A Holy Temple!

Scripture reading for August 5th:  2nd Corinthians 6, Psalm 5, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 6:14-16 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?  Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  What accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?  What agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; as God has said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

The new ‘temple’ in the new covenant is the individual believer and then the corporate gathering, the church.  Paul explained their need for separation to God and from the world and its unrighteousness.  He did this by asking questions to be answered by the church members. Thinking critically is a big part of repentance.   Since God lives within us now and walks with us through this life, we who trust Christ are able separate ourselves from the things and people of this world and give ourselves fully to God.

Faith Confession:  I am the temple of the Living God, who lives and dwells within me.  I freely give my body, soul, and spirit to God for His exclusive dwelling place.  Help me to separate from worldly influences that hinder God’s use of my life.

Psalm 5:7-8 “But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house.  I will bow down toward Your holy temple in the fear of You.  Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me.”  

Tags : , , , , ,

Imploring people to be reconciled to God

Scripture reading for August 4th:  2nd Corinthians 5, Psalm 4, Proverbs 31

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 5:17-20  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”  

Paul explained what happens when anyone believes in Jesus Christ.  That person becomes a new creation through God’s work inside of them.  In Christ, God made it possible for all men to have their sins forgiven and be made right with Him.  Paul and all believers are given this message of reconciliation through Christ to share with others as an ambassador, even imploring them to accept Christ’s open offer of forgiveness.

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for making me a new creation in Christ and for calling me to be Your ambassador to call others to reconciliation on Your behalf.  (Action Step:  look for an opportunity to implore someone to be reconciled to Christ today.)

Proverbs 31:8-9  “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  

Tags : , , , ,

Keeping our eyes on the prize!

Scripture reading for August 1st: 2nd Corinthians 4, Psalm 3, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 4:16-18  “So we do not lose heart.  Through our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  

It would be easy to get discouraged by the events and evil going on in the world.  Even the aging process is a battle as our bodies deteriorate and waste away and age, disease and gravity take their toll.  But God has given His people the Holy Spirit to renew our inner man and spiritual eyes to see vision through His Word of the amazing unseen things that God has prepared for those who love Him.  To overcome the discouragement,  Paul encourages us to keep our inner eyes focused on that unseen reality, not the transient present.

Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit who gives my inner man vision of You and Your plans for me and this world.  Strengthen me today in my inner man to keep my focus on Your unseen realities and share that with others.

Psalm 3: 1-3 “O Lord, how many are my foes!  Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.  But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”

 

Tags : , , , , ,