Tag Archive | II Corinthians

Ephesians 2:3 ” All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.”

All of us do it…we daydream.  Pleasant fantasies that transport us from the drab and boring into over the top imaginings.  But if we indulge in these musings more and more, they will soon take over our life…for the real world can never compete with fantasy.  And it’s here in this verse we’re warned about willful pleasure-seeking thoughts.  As humans living in a sinful world –  ungodly thoughts are going to drop into our minds…thoughts that can even shock and embarrass us.  Like, “Where did THAT come from?!!)   But it’s at that moment we have to take captive that thought and make it obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)  For if we give in and allow these thoughts to have their way in our mind…our vivid daydreams will lead us farther and farther from God into disobedience.

II Corinthians 4:4 ” The 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.”

The god of this age, Satan, has fogged over the minds of unbelievers…dulling their perception of God and causing them to be indifferent and apathetic.  In I Corinthians 1:18,  Paul  says that the message of the Cross sounds like foolishness to the unbeliever…something so ridiculous and stupid as not to be believed.  It’s only when the light of the Gospel breaks through this fog, dawning upon the minds of unbelievers that they can see clearly the uncertain path before them.  The Gospel message is called the Good News for a reason…it’s not only  proclaiming the Kingdom of God and salvation through Christ, but it’s the truth piercing through the fog, illuminating our wretchedness,  but also offering  forgiveness, peace, and hope.

II Corinthians 3:18 ” And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.”

Jesus spoke of this glory in John 17:22, when He said, “I have given them the glory that You gave Me that they may be one as we are one.”  When we become Christians, we undergo a spiritual transformation…a invisible process, a metamorphosis if you will, where our very character is changed.  And by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit  we become a mirror, reflecting Jesus to others.  But you’ll also notice that this Scripture says we are “being” transformed with “ever-increasing” glory…which means His work in us will never be completely done until that day we meet Him face to face.

II Corinthians 12:15 ” So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?”

Natural human love expects something in return.  To sacrifice for you, you must first be really special to me, and then I also expect to be reciprocated for what I did.  But in this Scripture, Paul was willing to give it all…that I may be able to get you to God.  The real test here isn’t one’s willingness to teach or preach, but one’s willingness to serve.  Service to others takes our time, energy, and emotional strength.  It encroaches on our personal space…robs us of “me” time, and turns our carefully crafted schedules upside-down.  Expending yourself for the Gospel… helping, and supporting others is a thankless job by human estimation…but it’s counted as everything in the eternity of God.

I Corinthians 1:29 “…so that no one may boast before Him.”

One of the pit-falls of any ministry is that we start glorifying ourselves, not God.  Pride starts to push itself in…and soon our ego is searching for the limelight and honor.  II Corinthians 4:1 states, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.”   It’s only because of God’s infinite compassion on us that we have any kind of ministry at all.  And it’s only because of the indwelling Holy Spirit empowering us that we can act as ambassadors, representing our Lord.  When a ministry glorifies God…and not our egos,  good things happen.

II Corinthians 9:7 ” Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

As Believers we are called to be a generous people…and this was displayed vividly this morning in Church.  Our Pastor announced that as we left each family would be receiving a plain white envelope with cash inside ranging from $20- $100.  We were to consider this a starting point to bless others during this holiday season.  The Lord has called all of us  to be missional…reaching outside the Church walls to help others.  For we are to be His ambassadors… shining His light, expanding His Kingdom, and seeking to leave an eternal impact on our community and world. (A direct quote from the note enclosed in the envelope.)  As I hold this bill in my hand,  I know the Lord will not only direct us as to how much we are to add to it, but who we should bless with it.

II Chronicles 31:5 ” As soon as the order went out, the Isralites generously gave the fristfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.”

The other day I helped at the local Food Pantry organizing all the donated food that’s coming in this time of the year from the  many food drives going on… there was a mountain of food to find a place for.  It struck me how  willingly and joyfully  the people of this area are in donating to this great cause…and because of their generous nature, many will have food on their tables this holiday season.  We can’t be tight-fisted, just giving the bare minimum  of what we have to others…for it’s really not ours in the first place…the Lord has blessed us with it.  Instead, we need to be happy and glad to give, for it tells us in II Corinthians 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver.”  This Scripture shows us that they gave generously of all they had, not holding back but giving with a open hand and a big heart.  I pray we may become that type of people.