Cornerstone of Christ

Our Cornerstone

Today’s Reading: Luke 20 Psalm 68

God’s living word is filled with truths of How we should live our lives…, When we should call on Him…, Where you can find hope…, Why a relationship with God is necessary…,and Who we should live for.  The answer to all these questions point directly to Christ Alone and the timing is now and always! So as we reflected on how to live this earthly life,we land on a verse that reminds us of our essential Cornerstone.

Luke 20:17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, ” Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?”

This verse is a reminder that all our lives are built on this cornerstone? That in our broken lives God is in perfect control. The cornerstone breaks us down to make it not about me or you, but about Him.  This brokenness is necessary to draw us to the realization that we need God. That building our life on the Cornerstone of Christ gives Him full authority.  Do I remember that all the time? This cornerstone mentioned throughout the bible in various places represents our crucial stone, the cornerstone that holds up our whole structure. (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 16:18, Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:19-21) I love this use of cornerstone in these verses.

Here in verse 18 we are reminded that;

Luke 20:18 “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

We are all broken. We have been broken to pieces. But God has provided us with this cornerstone that in our broken state we can submit to Him.  When we admit to our brokenness, repent, and give our lives to God, He makes us new.  We make it not about self-centeredness but giving it all to Him. The foundation is already at our feet.  Those who deny this cornerstone and don’t submit to God are described as “crushed”.

Dear Lord,

You are our cornerstone we put all our trust in.  We know we are broken and that in our weakness you are strong.  God we pray that in this earthly world we focus less on us and more on you.  We love you and give praise to you.  The victory is yours. Amen

 

In Psalm 68:4 David tells us to sing praise in His name, extol Him, rejoice before Him – His name is the Lord! Our Cornerstone!

Cornerstone – Hillsong

Resources:

The Jeremiah Study Bible

Tysdale Study Bible

Questions Jesus Asked

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to serve life or destroy it?”

In schools, work, or home we can talk about the importance of questions. The importance of communication. Questions can drive learning.  We understand that in our questions we can connect with a person and get to know that persons thoughts, feelings, and experiences based on an answer.  Paul and Elder (2000) state that ‘Thinking is not driven by answers but by questions. Had no questions been asked by those who laid the foundation for a field…the field would never have developed in the first place’. In order to keep a field of thought (or a concept/topic) alive teachers have to constantly ask questions of it, rather than simply allowing that field to close down. Teachers are then able to challenge existing or established answers through questioning to challenge students’ (people’s) thinking. Jesus asks great questions! He made people question their prior beliefs. Even better, Jesus modeled and shares even better answers!

I was once given a document back on 2015 from Dr. J.K. Jones (I believe) that shared 176 questions Jesus asked. I often look at this list and think of the stories behind each question. The lives transformed from a question asked. I’ve attached it to the bottom to reflect on.  Jesus our greatest teacher asks many questions that connect with us all the time. Luke chapter 6 has a few questions and a few answers that can help guide us not only today but for our earthly lifetime until we are called back home with Him.  So if we were to do a short Q & A from this today’s reading here’s how it may go.

Q: Should we do good or evil? Serve life or destroy it?

A: Jesus heals a persons hand on the Sabbath, He changed the minds of others who focused only on the law. (verse 3-5 & 9-10)

Q: Who does Jesus call to be disciples?

A: Jesus calls everyone. From all walks of life. All Twelve apostles had a story.  They each had different backgrounds and when Jesus called them,  they listened.  Ordinary people with an extra-ordinary calling. (verse 12-16, Isaiah 45:22)

Q:  Who should we love as we align ourselves with Jesus?

A: Jesus tells us to love everyone. Our neighbor, our enemies. (verse 27-28, 35 Matthew 5:43, Romans 12:10)

Q: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

A: Jesus says do not judge, do not condemn, and forgive. (verse 37, Matthew 7:1-5)

 

The best part about our reading today and talking about the importance of questions is the knowledge that in every answer, we can say Jesus!

Dear Lord, We thank you and praise you for your love and grace. We ask for continued love and guidance always and that in the questions that are asked of us daily, we can answer Jesus.  You fill us with joy and love and you ask us to show and share this love with others. Jesus help us to understand the answer to our questions is you. We love you! Amen

 

Questions Jesus Asked (with commentary)

My Dear Children…

I don’t get too many handwritten letters anymore but, when I do I think about the time, effort, love, and focus that was put into crafting a letter to speak to someone. When I first read 1 John 2 I sit back and imagine reading such a letter as John starts out, “My dear children…”

Today’s Reading 1 John 2 and Psalm 40

John was an older (experienced) and wise man when this letter was written.  Reflecting on the remarkable life of John I think of the opportunity he had to follow Jesus from his youth. He was our last living apostle and he wrote some beautiful letters to reassure our faith and to remind us to trust God’s word and watch out for false teachings.  This whole letter is full of so may amazing truths about our Father but I selected a few takeaways for today.  1) Know who is on our side 2) Remember how to live out our daily lives 3) Remember the importance of our spiritual growth.

  1. Know who is on our side.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.    1 John 2:1-2

We can be reassured that though we are broken and sinners, we can find hope that our advocate Jesus has already paid the ultimate price and will stand with us at time of judgment. Hebrews 7:25 says “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

2.  Live out the life God calls us to.

We are then reminded to know and keep His commands.  1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.”  and 1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” What joy we encounter when our day is filled with serving Him and submitting to His will.  I pray to have more of these days living in a servant, kind, forgiving, selfless, gracious, and loving way like Jesus did. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  1 John 2:10

3. Importance of Spiritual Growth

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on the account of His name.

I am writing to you, fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men (women), because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, Fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men (women), because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:12-14

To all believers of all ages.  continue to walk and search for Him each day.  Stay in His word and take each step with it guarding you in your heart and mind.   Men, women, young and old all have different spiritual walks.  Don’t let this journey get static. Grow, develop, and share His wisdom to not only build you up but to share this glory with others.  Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22  or Ephesians 6:10-18.  

 

17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 

“I desire to do your will, My God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8

 

Remain in Him and He has promised us eternal life.

 

Elevation Worship – Your Promises

References: Tyndale & David Jeremiah Study Bibles

Among Us

Today’s Reading; James 4 and Psalm 26

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1)

Among you” is translated by some scholars as “in you“. When I reflect on the many battles in my life this would be a consistent one. I understand that some of the many struggles we can face are not always visually seen by others. These struggles are faced “in you” and can internally impact your mind and heart.  These struggles can take away the joy you can fill into others. Our earthly desires, worries, and fears are tucked back in our mind and the wrestling match of external, desires are grappling with our internal thoughts and heart. Leaving us questioning within our heads and walking through this earthly life half-minded.

James pastoral counsel can lead us back to place of love, grace, and peace.  Personally, as I start back to the school year with much excitement. In my mind, my earthly demands, desires, and fixed mindset moments can make room for questioning thoughts and actions. My thoughts can be like a thief that robs me of being truly “in the moment” by wondering what is to come. It can be hard to be at peace with anyone else when you are not at peace with yourself. That’s what makes being in the word so valuable.   I’m reminded, we need to turn to our Father who provides all the peace we need. That God is with us all the time and I need to stop trying to do things my way.  Jesus said,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

As we continue to read through James we are reminded to simply ask. Call on Him at any and all times. In addition, when we pray we are to pray with the right motives.  James 4:3 We pray with faith and according to God’s will not ours.  This will detangle the internal mess that can leave you walking through our day with this internal struggle.  Here are a couple complimenting verses that God’s living word provides for us to pray through.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1John 5:14).

But when we ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).

It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on day by day, minute by minute. My prayer is that we not let our external worldly desires distract our internal mind and heart knowing that God has an eternal place waiting for us.  Be encouraged and don’t rob yourself of who we belong to. Steal back the moments God desires us to enjoy. James reminds us that the time is now to let go of these worries and fears.

“Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”    (James 4:14).

Today as I read one of daily devotionals Jesus Calling had this perfect reminder.

Trust Me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm- your Peace in My Presence- need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start feeling stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace.

Seek God’s Face, and He will share His mind with you, open your eyes to see things from His perspective. The peace I give is sufficient for you.  

Dear God,

Thank you for all our writers and readers. We celebrate and praise your living word and understand how your words breathe through us. Please continue to encourage us to look to you at all times and not fall into the half-minded living of the world. You call us son and daughter, salt and light.  Help us to trust your word always and share this good news with everyone. God we ask you to help us break the chains of  inner struggles and help us to know we can walk in victory with you always. Amen

Resources

Jesus Calling August 26th ~ Sarah Young

David Jeremiah Study Bible

The Village Church App August 2017 ~ Marked by Matt Chandler

Logos Bible ~ James 4

 

 

Protection and Rest

Today’s Readings Hebrews 4 and Psalm 12

I write this summary not feeling happy like I usually do. I hope that its ok… I’d rather be real and give you the truth. I do write this feeling comforted, and a little more at peace than usual. I started reflecting on Psalm 12 first. I was feeling the first few verses so much over the past few weeks, maybe even months.

Psalm 12: 1-2, “Help Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts”

I’ve felt lied to and misguided, treated dishonestly, and taken advantage of. I don’t say any of this for sympathy, actually, I just wish I had read this so much sooner. If I would have, I would have read that I will be taken care of eventually. I have the ability to ask our father for help. I wasn’t doing that. I was letting all of this bother me. I wish I had read verses 5 and 6!

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise”, says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them” And, the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

I feel silly when I put God in a box, and forget that he is really the one who can make things better for me. I shouldn’t be surprised at the dishonesty and poor treatment from humans. I should know that we are all a bunch of dishonest, mean people. Myself included! I’m just bummed out because it is happening to me. That doesn’t make it feel any better, but it at least gives me some perspective.
And, that’s when it hit me. These 2 readings are intertwined! I wasn’t letting God be my rest either! Hebrews is about the Sabbath rules and laws. Psalms is completely about rest. God wants us to rest! he doesn’t want us to be lazy, but I really took this as saying, “Trust in me! stop fretting, read about how I want you to rest!” It just put me at peace. I know, it may not even come now, tomorrow, or next week. But, God’s got my back in this! I don’t need to worry about all the negative talk, the unfair treatment. Any of it!

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as Good did from His.
So, I guess, my whole point is, no matter who, or what is getting you down. Take a Sabbath, Let our God protect you. Let God give you rest! Amen

Today’s post is written by my friend and brother in Christ Kris Walker. Continued prayers for us all to Trust God, stay in His word, and pray! God holds it all in His hand.

Legacy Living

Who are some of your family or friends that have left a legacy with you?  Who are you leaving one with now?

We have had many beautiful, inspiring, God-centered posts on legacies. As I look back at some of these timely pieces I wanted to highlight a few allowing us to reflect and use for future encouragement.  Here they are:  Nothing New Under the Sun But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ,  Penalty Power and Promise, Ordinary People, Chasing the Wind, Foundation in Christ, Heart Right with God, Influence,  and My Father, a Glimpse into Our Heavenly Father.

These heart-touching, faith inspired posts encourage, fill you with joy, and give you a reminder of the opportunity we have everyday to leave a legacy. Paul leaves a legacy of a person who was transformed by God’s grace. Paul models actions instructed by God, he shares His words of wisdom, love, and faith instructing Timothy and us through God’s word.

While reading today’s reading of  2 Timothy 1 I think about the legacy being made by Paul and Timothy. I also reflect on the legacy left by Timothy’s family that filled into him. 2 Timothy 1:3-5.  Where some of us may have testimonies of coming to faith based on extraordinary circumstances like Paul. Others may have been filled into at a young age in believing homes like Timothy. Either way it is all good.  God is good!

3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

These verses bring me to a personal examination, What kind of faith am I leaving for our succeeding generations I’m around daily? What do my actions, words, and character show?  Keep the Faith! Our consistent, sincere, Jesus modeled focused faith leaves imprints on others.  These reminders and influences can be read in all the posts listed above.  Despite our imperfections, live out the faith we believe in God.

8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

So some reminders as we listen to Paul’s final letter. Abide in our faith at all times.  Like BJ said on Sunday, put on Gods armor so when good and bad circumstances happen we know how to respond. Ephesians 6:10-18 Remember the promised faith that is centered on God. James 3:17 He holds our yesterday, today, and tomorrow in His hands. Now, I know there’s no guarantees in parenting, we can model, love on, and try to do all the things we can to influence our children.  It may not work.  But, I know there is a guarantee in God.  Titus 1:2 He has a perfectly designed plan through it all.  Keep the faith! Lead, Learn, and Live out a legacy of Love for all those around you.  Your legacy is a life that is telling itself in the living.

 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

Keep and share the promise of life in Jesus Christ today.

Pray through Psalm 121 as you enter into your day.

Living and Loving Each Day

Today’s Reading:  1 Thessalonians 4

I think its amazing how many watches or other devices can count each step you take during the day and give you feedback.  They can even provide you with goals and/or acknowledge your accomplishments.  What if these watches could give you feedback on how you were living your life for Christ?  Wow! If you were given reflections of each step, what did these steps look like? What about when I rise? What are some of the first things I do?  Do I put on God’s Armor? Ephesians 6:10-18 Do I praise God or thank Him for His grace? Ephesians 1:6   Do I submit the day to Him? James 4:7 As I take each step how is my day filled? What are my actions, words, thoughts? How do you end your day? Do I have a thankful, grateful heart?  1 Thessalonians 5:18 Now just think, that is one day. Add a week, a month, a year.  How has God changed your life?  Paul convicts, challenges, and encourages me to make my walk with God progressive and more Christ centered each day.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.

God provides us with all the instructions we need.  His living word gives us an example of how to live. Think of how Paul instructs timothy in 1 Timothy 4  Now as I sit in Brooklyn with our own Spread Truth Ministries or at home in Bloomington-Normal  it can be easy to allow my earthly desires and cultural influences to flood our minds.  But here or at home I know we need to always read, apply, and pray to do my best to follow and listen. Jeremiah 33:3

Now as we walk through our lives no matter where we are at, I pray that we just live and show the simple act of love. Love on all people daily. Follow God’s instructions to lead.

1 Thessalonians 4:2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

What we do and don’t do every step matters.  I pray that as we walk this journey together each step is closer to God.  It’s not always the number of steps, but what you do in those steps.  Let’s walk together closer to God each day!

Intro to Philippians

Happy Fourth of July!

Taking the 50,000 foot approach to starting our devotional and reflections on Philippians is as Paul would say, “pure joy!” This letter is one of Paul’s prison epistles . It was a positive letter by Paul written to thank the Christians living in Philippi for their gift they had sent him for his missionary work.  It was also to strengthen fellow believers by showing them (us) that true joy comes from Jesus Christ alone. Amen!

As we look back in Acts 16 we read how Paul had a divine dream that told him to go to Macedonia to spread the good news.  (Acts 16:8-10)  God always has amazing perfect plans for all of our lives. This dream was perfectly planned. In Psalm 37:23, the psalmist writes, “the Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him“. God not only orders our steps but also orders our stops, especially in this case.  This vision lead to Philippi where they would be the first European City to receive the Gospel of Christ from Paul.

As I reviewed the various reflections on Philippians and read the intro’s in my study bibles I continue to land on the theme about the contrast between happiness and joy.  Knowing people want to feel happy and look for this in different material things, experiences, people, statuses, or even places like Happy Gilmore.  Yet all of this is just worldly happiness, that can often be related to our temporary current circumstances. What is your current circumstance? What is mine? The weather has been great, the pool is the perfect temp, camps have gone well, the pictures or final details are being finalized for all summer trips?  But what happens when the temperature changes, that 4th of July party ends, the children need to get back on a schedule…?  Or on a more serious side, a job has been lost, you lose a loved one, a bill comes in that leaves you strapped, your child faces addiction? Our happiness that is based on happenings can wither as each new trial prevails.  Going through Philippians will help remind us that in contrast to this earthly happiness or sadness true joy depends on our relationship with God. According to the Tyndale Study Bible it says,  “In contrast to happiness stands joy. Running deeper and stronger, joy is the quiet, confidence assurance of God’s love and work in our lives, that He will be there for us no matter what! Happiness depends on happenings, Joy depends on Christ!”

So rejoice and enjoy these four chapters and look for the themes that include; finding joy in suffering, serving, believing, and giving.  I know my wife Jennifer will enjoy me referencing once again “Consider it all joy… verse from James 1:2-3 that I use often in our household of two young boys that love to follow a fallen, broken, bigger boy in myself.  I pray for Jennifer and I, our boys, and all of you to not seek the happiness of the world, but know the true joy in our relationship with the Lord!

Dear God ,

We are blessed by these letters of encouragement by Paul. Please fill our hearts when we have the feeling of being overwhelmed or in despair. Help us to pray for others that need to know your promises. Help us to stay positive and trust in you no matter our circumstances. Lord, help us to follow Paul’s example and know you more so we will rejoice in you always. Amen

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Justified by Faith ~ Freedom in Christ

Welcome to Galatia. Where life by many is lived by the law. Where your merit and what you do, means more than anything. This idea of, what do you do?; in contrast to, Who do you follow? Or the question of, what law or rules are you following? instead of,  Who do you have a relationship with?

The book of Galatians has been called the charter of Christian Freedom according to a couple study bibles.  Who better to write this letter than apostle Paul (formerly Saul). The story of Paul’s miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus is necessary story to the people in Galatia, it is necessary to us, it is necessary to me. Here’s a reminder. (Acts 26:5-23) As I reflect on this story, I think that when the Lord gives you an opportunity today write down or share your “Damascus Road” experience with someone who needs Christ will I? Will you

Paul wrote this letter to defend his apostleship and to defend the authority of the Gospel. To help the Galatians turn from legalism to faith in Jesus. This issue can still be present today where we try to earn God’s favor through doing so many things, following rituals, or obeying a set of rules.  I found a great reminder for myself in Our Daily Bread: Rhythms of Grace. It reminded me to take a second to pause and take inventory of your life: “If you find that Christianity exhausts you, draining you of your energy, then you are practicing religion rather than enjoying your relationship with Jesus. Your walk with the Lord will not make you weary; it will invigorate you, restore your strength, and energize your life” ( Matthew 11:28-29)

Paul gives a realistic picture of the challenges of transitioning from a religion based on rules to one based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. From a life based on entitlement, to one given through grace; to a life not lived out through our flesh, but through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So are we working for Him, or walking with Him? While you read through Galatians be reminded that we are justified by faith not just the law. ( Galatians 2:20 Galatians 3:10-11) That our list of do’s and don’ts doesn’t confine us, it is our relationship with the Lord. We have freedom in our faith in Christ alone.  He is all we need now and for eternity. (1 John 2:1-2)

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for your grace. I accept that I am just like everyone else and can’t do any of this life on my own.  We are imperfect in so many ways and prone to sin. There is nothing we can do that makes me better than anyone else.  You love us so much you gave yourself up on the cross for me. That’s a grace so amazing that I can’t wrap my head around it, I can only accept this free gift and know that I’m saved.  I pray for guidance and willingness to submit the rest of my life to you.  That as we walk together I grow my faith and serve you with continued joy.  As we read through Galatians keep your words through Paul in our hearts.

Amen

 

Lost Letters

Have you ever talked with someone about things in their life that were hurting them? It could have been alcohol, drugs, abuse, lying, meanness… the list can go on.  Maybe you have taken it even a step further and intentionally took time to mentor, coach, or were directive and intentional about sharing steps to help lead that person to a place that would change their life for the positive. Prayerfully eternal changes.  Really, a life closer to God.

If you have children I know this is part of our daily parenting.  Besides our own children who we will leave our biggest impact on, who are you filling into? Who are you guiding, planting seeds of hope, and eternal future?  Personally,  I know I can and need to be more intentional in my conversations and recognize the need from others. To be more courageous in sharing God’s love. I plan to use some of the tips shared yesterday from Jillian in The Last Word is Love.

Next question, has there been a time where you were mentoring and it seemed like it had worked? Like it was all good.  Coaching success!  Then unfortunately, you find out they are back to their old ways.  The bad habit had crept back in and the pressures of our worldly desires or influences took hold and brought them back to where they were, maybe worse.  Then to top it off, the person you were pouring into was making negative comments about you and your motives.  I personally can relate, I’ve been on both sides of this fence.  Most of my younger years the wrong side of the fence. This is where Paul was when he started to write 2 Corinthians. Paul was feeling saddened, frustrated, displeased at the church he had founded just four years earlier. He thought they had listened and his previous letter giving specific instructions to moral issues. In this letter Paul shows courage to speak up to those who were slandering him and his ministry, Paul defends our God against those who were twisting the truth.

In referring to a couple study bibles on the themes for 2 Corinthians here are reflecting points as we read and reflect.

  • Suffering/Trials – Paul had experienced it all.  Suffering, persecution, he paid a price for service to Christ and the gospel. 2 Cor. 6:3-13,  2 Cor. 11:16 -33. Reminder – God is faithful. He will provide the strength we need for any trial.
  • Giving – 2 Cor. 8 and 9 Paul lays out detailed ways of giving. Reminder for us is our giving and generosity of whatever helps those in need and allows them to thank God.
  • Sound Doctrine/Apologetic’s – Paul shares how to represent Christ. The boldness to share the gospel and boast in the grace that we have all received.  Paul does all this with Love.  2 Cor. 12:7-10

As we read through 2 Corinthians notice how Paul affirms, defends, and stands up to false teachers. Corinth was full of people who wanted to do everything their own way.  Making others look bad by talking about them.  Paul reminds them, he reminds us, that they are a new creation, ambassadors for Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17-20.  That in all the stress, anxieties that they go through, that we go through, it is encouraging to know that God has a divine plan for us to be part of His eternal kingdom.  So our mission while in this temporal world is to point others that way and to please Him.  2 Cor. 5:9

I recently read that Paul had written 2 other letters to the Corinthians and now they are physically lost.  Let’s not lose these and their instructions for us.

 

Dear Father,

As we read your word today we pray for the courage of Paul to always want to please you.  To be ambassadors for you and to let others know about the grace you have given us and them. That these worldly desires that the Corinthians face and we face today are temporal, and that the indescribable gift of a “new creation” covered by Your love is available to everyone.  We pray for obedience in all we do and a heart that will boast of Your love and goodness always.  We pray to listen and follow Your will until the day you come to take us home to you. Amen

 

References:

Tyndale Life Applications Study Bible

The Jeremiah Study Bible