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11/9 2 Corinthians 12-13

Paul finishes up the book of 2 Corinthians talking about a vision he had and the result of having that vision.

7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

No one from what I can tell knows what the thorn in Paul’s flesh really was.  I suppose that it is really not the point of it in the first place.  I think more the point was to remind Paul and us that we are in reality and compared to God really weak.  That God’s grace is all we really need.  If we could do it on our own, we wouldn’t need God.  I like Paul’s point of delighting in weaknesses and suffering because when we are weak we are really strong.  We have the grace and power of God working in us when we trust fully in Him.  Have you enjoyed being weak lately?

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

11/6 2 Corinthians 7-9

Paul writes about the Macedonian churches in chapter 8.  He talks about how surprised he was at their rich generosity.  Even during trials and extreme poverty they gave beyond their means.  I guess you could really say that they were Rich Towards God.

1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

It was interesting that Paul states “they gave themselves first to the Lord”.  They first surrendered their heart to God so that their giving was not forced, manipulated or from being guilted into it.  They gave because they wanted to.  They wanted to because they had surrendered themselves to God.  Paul encourages us to excel in our giving.

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

11/5 2 Corinthians 4-6

Paul starts off chapter 4 with a section titled in the NIV as “Treasures in Jars of Clay”.  In verse 4 he explains to us what really is going on.  Satan or the god of this age, is keeping non-believers from seeing who Jesus really is.  This is no different today.  People say there has to be more than one way to heaven.  They stumble over Jesus.  They are unwilling to believe that someone would make such a sacrifice for them.  They like being in control of their own life and Satan knows that and uses it.

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we allow the light to shine from us, because we have gained the knowledge of God’s glory and we have this in our hearts to share will all.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

Paul uses the clay jar to signify that it comes from God’s power and not from us mortal humans.  While we are attacked on all sides, beaten up from time to time and suffer from time to time, we remember that Jesus also suffered.  We always remember just as Jesus was resurrected so were we through Baptism.  At least those of us who have accepted him.  With this insight about Satan and the power of God working in us, how can we not achieve anything God sets our mind to?

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

11/4 2 Corinthians 1-3

Starting a new book today, 2nd Corinthians.  In chapter 1 Paul talks about the God of all comfort.  While we all suffer at one time or another, God is there to comfort us. From the comfort we receive from God, we are then able to go out and comfort others.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Sometimes all we can give are comforting words or a short note of encouragement and of course we can always pray for the individual and the situation they are in.  At the time of this writing there are 1,164 notes of encouragement and comfort for Kory Wiita here.  Maybe you would like to also sent Kory and the family a few words of comfort and encouragement.  Please remember to pray for Kory.

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment