Posts from June 2019

Posts from June 2019

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…

1 Corinthians 16 | Gathering on the Lord’s Day

“Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 In this concluding chapter of First Corinthians, Paul continues to answer the Corinthians’ questions by addressing their inquiry regarding the offering for the…

1 Corinthians 15 | And Now The Rest of the Story

As I grew up, one of my favorite radio commentators was Paul Harvey. I can remember coming home from school and entering the house, my mom had the radio station on and we would sit down and listen to his news broadcast. My favorite was when he would do “the rest of the story”! Here he would start off by giving the story (typically of a famous person) and would leave out key elements such as names. When the program…

1 Corinthians 14 | You Said What?

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”  1Corinthians 14:1-4  In a small village…

1 Corinthians 13 | What’s So Great About Love?

It is the one thing a human soul needs most. It is perhaps the most overused and least understood word in our language. I am speaking, of course, of love. In our culture, we speak of it all the time but we throw the word and the concept around very cheaply. I love hamburgers. I love the mountains. I love my wife. I love God (hopefully not in equal measure). It is an ever-present theme of songs, poems, books and…

1 Corinthians 12 | The Active Work of the Holy Spirit

Today’s Bible reading is 1 Cor. 12. It’s all about the active work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, eternally existent and active in the earth, especially in the lives of believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, he comforts, guides, teaches, sanctifies, empowers, gifts, and ministers through believers. He is active in creation, redemption, and carrying out the purposes of God on the earth.…
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