Category: 1st and 2nd Corinthians

Take aim–a call to worship!

Scripture reading for August 14th:  Psalm 94-97, 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.”  

As Paul closed his final letter to the Corinthians, after urging them to rejoice, he called them to take aim or to focus their life.  The goal was restoration of the fallen brother and a flow of God’s comfort, peace and love in the body of believers.  Father God, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit would be with them to help them hit the target! This calls for worship!

Psalm 96:6-7 “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the people, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts.” 

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your promised presence with Your people.  As we focus on You and Your will and Word, we are drawn to worship You, the Strong and Beautiful One.  Amen.

 

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God’s sufficient Grace!

Scripture reading for August 13th:  Psalm 90-93, 2nd Corinthians 12

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Paul experienced great revelations from the Lord.  The amazing things revealed were forbidden to be shared with others.  Paul felt that the Lord also allowed a ‘thorn’ to come into his flesh from Satan to afflict him.  The purpose of this ‘thorn’ was to keep Paul from becoming conceited.  Paul sought God for its removal on three separate occasions.  God told him that His grace was sufficient for him to endure.  God’s power is revealed through weak vessels made strong by His grace.

Psalm 91:1-2 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for calling me to abide in Your family and household.  May I always remember Your grace is sufficient for me and Your power is displayed through my weakness.  Amen.

 

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Sincere devotion to Christ

Scripture reading for August 10th:  Psalm 86-89, 2nd Corinthians 11

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 11:2-5 “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the One you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”  

False teachers were after the Corinthian believers.  They came disguised as “apostles of Christ”.  They preached ‘Jesus’, but it was not Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified and raised from the dead.  They had a ‘spirit’, but it was not the Holy Spirit of God.  They proclaimed a ‘gospel’, but it was not the pure Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul was concerned for their souls and wrote to warn them.   Oh that men and women would listen to truth and discern the cunning serpent!

Psalm 85:8-9 “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.  Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me discernment to know truth from error.  Open my ears to hear You speak and keep me from folly.  Amen.

 

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Mighty weapons for battle

Scripture reading for August 9th:  Psalm 83-85, 2nd Corinthians 10

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk according to 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 facing much opposition and had to walk through a spiritual battle.  The opposition was not flesh and blood, but wicked spiritual forces of evil putting out arguments and false doctrine to destroy faith of believers.  Paul knew he must rely on spiritual weapons to defeat spiritual strongholds.  He encouraged the Corinthians (and us) to take every though captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.  Through focus on Christ Jesus, taking captive our thoughts, and obedience to truth, we will destroy the enemy and dance in victory.

Psalm 85:12-13 “Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.  Righteousness will go before Him and make His footsteps a way.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the powerful weapons of truth, Your promises, Your Name and power.  Help me to walk in the victory already won through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

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Abundance through giving!

Scripture reading for August 8th:  Psalm 79-82, 2nd Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8 “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.”  

As Paul was encouraging the Corinthians to give an offering to help the needy in Jerusalem, he shared the spiritual law of sowing and reaping.  When you give, it is like sowing seed.  Seed that is sown has the potential of producing a harvest.  If God blesses the seed, it will increase and you will reap.  The more seed you sow, the greater the potential of great increase.  God loves to give increase and bless those who sow in faith into His kingdom.  They abound in grace and have sufficiency!

Psalm 79:13 “But we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we will recount Your praise.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your great generosity in blessing Your people’s giving.  Help me to keep a generous spirit and be a cheerful giver.  Thank You for the abundant harvest.  Amen.

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Reaching the next generation!

Scripture reading for August 7th:  Psalm 76-78, 2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: Psalm 78:4-7 “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.  He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments.”  

Sharing the Word of God and the history of God’s glorious deeds of salvation must be done to each generation.  It is like a relay race where the baton is passed to the next runner and again to the next until the race is completed.  It is easy to forget God.  Knowledge of God can quickly be dropped by failure to obey God and pass it on.  Each generation must take the baton and excel in passing it on.

2nd Corinthians 8:7 “But as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you–see that you excel in this act of grace also.”

Prayer:  Lord, I want the next generations to know the grace, love, and mighty deeds of our Lord Jesus.  Help me to excel in sharing with and reaching the next generation.  Amen.

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Godly grief and repentance.

Scripture reading for August 6th:  Psalm 72-75, 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:9-11 “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 have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”  

Paul was rejoicing because his difficult letter of correction had resulted in a godly grief over their sin and resulted in true repentance.  Sometimes, people can have worldly grief.  This is usually being sorry that they were found out.  This results in no change of heart or mind and eventually spiritual death and eternal separation from God.  Godly sorrow brings life and restoration.

Psalm 75:1-2  “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, for Your Name is near.  We recount Your wondrous deeds.  “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.””

Prayer:  Lord, correct me and convict me when I need it.  Bring godly sorrow that leads me always to repentance and life.  May I stand in Your grace when I face You as judge.  Amen.

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Let Me Proclaim the Power of God!

Scripture reading for August 3rd:  Psalm 69-71, 2nd Corinthians 6

Key Scriptures: Psalm 71:17-19 “O God, from my youth You have taught me, and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds.  So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come.  Your righteousness, O God, reaches the highest heavens.  You who have done great things, O God, who is like You?” 

The psalmist was asking His God to give him His presence and strength even in his advanced years.  He had known God from his youth and been taught of God, observing His wonderful acts.  But now in later years of his life, he asked for the power of God’s presence to proclaim God’s amazing might to the next generation.  This is my prayer this year for my own life and for those who love God.

2nd Corinthians 6:1-2 “Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”  Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your presence and grace with me by the Holy Spirit.  Continue to empower me to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who do not know and the next generation.  Amen.

 

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Ambassadors for Christ

Scripture reading for August 2nd:  Psalm 65-68, 2nd Corinthians 5

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 ministry 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.”  

When we repent and are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ, God makes us His ambassadors to the rest of the world that is still hostile to Him.  We received the gift of reconciliation and the forgiveness of our sins and share this “good news” with others.  We actually represent Christ, as His ambassador and call people to come into Christ and the kingdom of heaven.  What a glorious mission!

Psalm 67:1-2 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.” 

Prayer:  Thank You Lord for the privilege of being Your ambassador and for Your decree to share the good news with all nations and peoples.  Amen!

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Inner Renewal–Daily!

Scripture reading for August 1st: Psalm 62-64, 2nd Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart.  Though 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.”  

Paul was encouraged and shared how he kept his own spirit up.  If he focused on the external things that he saw, he could easily become discouraged.  His own body was growing older and wasting away.  He suffered afflictions and persecutions.  Not everyone that he preached Jesus Christ as Lord to treated him with respect.  But he looked at the unseen realities of the spiritual realm and was renewed inside each day!  These things were eternal while the visible world was transient!

Psalm 62:1-2 “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.  He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for encouraging me and renewing me inside with vision and understanding of the eternal realities of Your presence and glory.  I can say with David, You are my Rock!  Amen.

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