Posts from June 2019

Posts from June 2019

2 Corinthians 10 | Good Things in Small Packages

“If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.” (2 Cor. 10:7b) This begins the third and final section of the letter. Paul has already defended his apostolic authority in light of all the charges from his critics (1.12-7.16), he has called upon the Corinthians to help support the poor believers in Jerusalem (8.1-9.15), and now once again, he picks back up the teaching on his absolute authority to…

2 Corinthians 9 | Live to Give

I have a saying that I use with my family whenever they thank me for doing something for them. I say, “I Live to Give”. Although I have expressed this sentiment sarcastically at times, I really do try to live out this motto as much as I can by the grace of God. As a parent you often wonder if what you’re doing makes any kind of impact on your children. Are they getting it? They see the best and…

2 Corinthians 8 | Generosity: A Fruit of Spiritual Maturity

The work of Jesus while on the earth can be summarized like this. He revealed the Father to us by what He explained, and He showed us the Father by how He lived. This is so we could become more like our Father. Paul captured an aspect of this as he extolled the churches of Macedonia. A need arose elsewhere in the church body where the saints suffered financial hardship. Paul made mention of the situation to the various churches…

2 Corinthians 7 | Good Grief!

Good grief! What comes to mind when we hear this statement?  I think of the Peanuts cartoon and Charlie Brown. I see Lucy sitting there holding the football enticing Chuck to come running at full speed to kick it clear to the moon. At the last-minute, Lucy pulls it away causing Charlie Brown to sail through the air and land painfully on his back and he says: “Good grief!”  So, what is the meaning of Good Grief? Some dictionary’s top…

2 Corinthians 6 | Working Together with Him

I have both worked together for the Lord, as well as worked together with him. I definitely like working together with him better. The two are worlds apart. When you work for someone, you may not know specifically what he or she wants. You just do your best to try to please that one by working hard at various tasks that you hope will be acceptable. But when you work with someone, they are in the lead and you are…

2 Corinthians 5 | Looking for Relief?

There is a classic story told by the late comedian Jerry Clower about an evening raccoon hunt in Mississippi. In the story, Jerry and his friends were coon hunting one evening and their hound dogs treed what they all thought was a raccoon. One of the men named John climbed into the tree with a long-pointed stick with the intent of knocking the coon out of the tree so it could be dispatched of by the hunters below. To his…

2 Corinthians 4 | Our Wounds Are Part of Our Wholeness

I am always amazed and amused when I read the way Paul describes the traumatic events that happened in his life in 2 Corinthians chapter four. Later in the letter, he recounts his beatings, dangers, shipwrecks, his being many times on the razor-edge of death, the betrayal, sleepless nights, hunger, and cold exposure that accompanied his service to Jesus. Any one of these experiences might send the best of us into a downward spiral of post-traumatic stress. But Paul calls…

2 Corinthians 3 | Which God Do You Behold?

Recently I received a letter from a prisoner in Washington State who had had been given a copy of my worship book: “Because He’s Worthy”.  He wrote me a fourteen-page, handwritten letter recounting his life story—a story full of horribly devastating events that most of us will never experience.  He spoke beautifully and articulately about how Christ has changed his heart and how he, even from a prison cell, is now experiencing the joy-filled life of Christ. He wrote a…

2 Corinthians 2 | Forgiveness Is God’s Plan

Today, as I write about Paul’s divine thoughts in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, two verses stand out to me. They are: verse 7, “so you should rather turn to forgive him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” and verse 8, “So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” Here Paul is desperately trying to offer Godly advice to not only bring brothers together but to strengthen the church as well. In my 40 plus years of…

2 Corinthians 1 | Help for When You Hurt

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1.3-5 Someone once said the main task of the preacher is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”. At times, it seems Christians require both. Following…