Monthly Archives: November 2009

2 Corinthians 9-13

Scripture

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)

Observation

A few years ago, I was consumed with anxious thoughts. Fear controlled me. If my husband went out to run errands, I was sure he’d be in a car accident. If a character in a movie had an illness, I worried that I had it, too. Anxiety, paranoia, fear…my thoughts were out of control.

Thankfully, with God’s faithfulness and the power of His living and active Word, I am learning to do just as Paul prescribed: to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” With the help of His Spirit within me, I can train my brain to only listen to truth.

Application

During a recent bout of anxiety, my husband stopped me in the middle of my long list of worries. “Amy,” he said calmly, “where are you getting this in Scripture?” In other words, he was saying, “The things you’re worrying about aren’t in line with God’s truth. They are lies, directly from the enemy.”

My husband was right. My thoughts weren’t obeying the Christ who died so that I can walk in freedom–including freedom from the enemy’s lies. Training my mind to obey Christ requires daily–sometimes hourly!–diligence. I must be aware of what I’m telling myself, and I must consider whether or not that thought agrees with God’s Word. And when I discover that what I’m thinking is actually a lie from the devil, then I must–with God’s help–change my mind.

Prayer

God, be the Lord of my mind. When my thoughts are far from Yours, stop me. Give me discernment between Satan’s lies and Your truth, and give me the courage to make all of my thoughts obey You. I love You, God, and I want to have the mind of Christ. Amen.

amystorms

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2 Corinthians 5-8

Scripture

“And 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.” 2 Corinthians 8:5 NIV

Observation

Paul speaks of generosity in Macedonia. How in their extreme poverty, they were richly generous. In fact, he writes they went beyond their ability and pleaded for the privilege of sharing.

Application

God’s economy is far different from the world’s. I’m so very grateful to have experienced rich generosity–from people who’ve gone the extra step in helping, from people eager to share. Their generosity has left a lasting impression on me and spurs me on. But when I read this passage, I see the source of their giving: the Lord. How can I not offer up the same excellence?

Prayer

Father, thank you for turning my thinking around. In a time when I’m tempted to hold on to my possessions even tighter, you tell me of the Macedonians’ generosity in times of severe trial. They gave of themselves first to you and then to your will. In that light, how should my giving be any different? Help me to see you in my giving. Amen.

66Books365

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2 Corinthians 1-4

Scripture

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.   And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.  Not it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come”  2 Corinthians 1:20 – 22. NIV

Observation

All Gods promises are yes and fufilled in Christ.  When we accept Christ we are saying Amen to those promises, in other words we agree with God.  After we accept Christ, it is God who makes us stand firm, places an annointing on us, set a seal of ownership on us and gives us his Spirit as a gurantee. 

 Application

These verses are so rich and powerful.  In Christ we have so much, its hard to imagine or fathom.  God is so good, He has provided everything necessary for us to live in this life and the next.  I love the part in these verses about God setting his seal on Christ followers.  We are his and nothing can separate us from his love. 

Prayer

Lord God thank you for sealing and annoiting us with your Spirit.  Thank you for your Sons ultimate and complete gift.  I can’t add anything to what he has done, its complete.

Amen

Jon

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1 Corinthians 14-16

Scripture

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith . . . But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:12-14, 20a)

Observation

The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be underestimated.  It is the foundation of our faith.  As individuals we may be able to deduce through evidence or reason that creation demands the existence of a “first cause,” just as a finely tuned watch implies the existence of a clockmaker.  But reason and deduction do not identify the first cause as a personal God who desires a relationship with us.  The only way for finite humans to learn about that personal God was for Him to step into human history and reveal himself to us.

If indeed Jesus did just that, stepped into our history and revealed himself to us, then we need something outside of Him to validate that claim.  The resurrection is that validation.  Many eyewitnesses saw him die, saw him buried in a sealed tomb, and then saw him alive again 3 days later.  Those eyewitness are credible – they had everything to lose and nothing to gain by telling others what they had seen.  They were consistent – the accounts of the various eyewitnesses were consistent with each other, and they were recorded and transmitted through the centuries.  Those accounts became the New Testament and are central to the historical record of Christ.

Application

We can be confident in the historical fact of the resurrection, and from that, in the deity of Jesus Christ.  And since Jesus Christ is in fact God, we must make a choice:  accept Him or reject Him.  There really is no middle ground with Jesus.  Either he claimed to be God and was not, and thus deserved to die a blasphemer’s death, or he claimed to God and is, and thus deserves our worship.  Pretending that He was just a good man, a prophet, or a great moral teacher passes over His strongest claim:  “I and my Father are one and the same” (John 10:30).

Prayer

Dear Jesus, I fall down and worship you, for you are indeed God.  Thank you for revealing yourself to us and reconciling the world through your death.  In rising from the dead, you conquered death and hell and made possible the ultimate resurrection for those that believe.  I look forward to that day in anticipation and I long to see you face to face.  Help me to live today with eternity in view, for your glory and my good.

(wordisalive)

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1 Corinthians 10 – 13

Scripture: Love never ends… “ (1 Cor. 13:8)

Observation: Nothing last forever, except….

Application: The average marriage in the U.S. lasts just over seven years. On average a new set of tires on your car will last about four years. Light bulbs? 2 years. Fresh milk in the fridge? Two weeks.

Brett Dennen wrote a song about Alzheimer’s titled Nothing Lasts Forever.

Nothing lasts forever,

not even the mountains

Someday they will be swept away and swallowed by the sea,

we all shall be blessedly released

Nothing last forever,

not even the sun

According to all we see, the visible evidence is clear, it does appear that nothing lasts forever.

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is something we can experience here and now that does in fact last forever. This ‘something’ will never end, never cease, and that is why this ‘crazy little thing called love’ is greater even than hope and faith. (1 Cor. 13:13)

What hope will we need in heaven, when all our hopes have been fulfilled? What faith? When the object of our faith will dwell among us? But love? Love will permeate everything: every thought, word, action, every relationship and every motivation – forever. Love will be the common thread that weaves through every aspect of our forever existence.

When I stand before the judgment seat of Christ, with list of accomplishments in hand, I’ll work down the list from the greatest to the least. I’m expecting a teachable moment when Christ reverses the order of my list pointing out the small things done in love. Those things that had and continue to have eternal value.

Nothing else lasts forever – except love.

Prayer: Lord help me to see the world, people, life through your eyes of love. Increase my capacity not for bold Kingdom building stuff, but for simple acts of love. Amen

Paul

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1 Corinthians 5-9

SCRIPTURE

Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. 1Corinthians 7:20

And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise you children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. I Corinthians 7:13-14

OBSERVATION

Three different times the Scriptures admonish us to remain where we are when we are called. Many of the situations such as slavery are ones that normally people would run away from. God’s interest is not in our agenda. His plan is that all people come to a knowledge of salvation.

APPLICATION

Ten years into our marriage I became reconciled to God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Our daughter decided to believe in Jesus after talking it over with her dad while I was away at a retreat.

This past October my husband and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary. This man God has given me is a rare gift and the nicest person I have ever known. If you ask him if he believes Jesus was the Messiah he will tell you yes. If you ask him if Jesus is God he will say no.

On January 19, 2010 I will have been saved for twenty years. I have been living the promise of 1 Corinthians 7:13-14 for two thirds of my married life peacefully. I am truly blessed.

PRAYER

Father, I wait in joyful expectation of all men to be saved. I thank you for how you have blessed my life. I trust that all things will work together for good according to your purpose. Forgive me and help me overcome my times of unbelief. Praise you for your way and your truth. Thank you for ever lasting life through Jesus Christ.

yicareggie

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1 Corinthians 1-4

Scripture

“But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:11 NIV

Observation

Paul speaks to the people of Corinth.

Application

My foundation was a shaky one. A little murky, and the spots I didn’t understand, well, I just winged it and made it up as I went along–to whatever made sense to me. But it’s that type of thinking and constructing which has not served me well at all. So now, I’ve had to go back and do some demolition. Having kids (and a great group of friends) has caused me take a hard look at my beliefs and what I base them on. It’s been transformational to build from the foundation of Christ.

Prayer

Father, you’ve equipped me with all I need. Your resources are available to me daily. Still, I sometimes reach for my own tools and solutions–and struggle in the process. But the things I’ve built don’t weather the storms in life when I base them on anything beyond your Word. I am so very grateful to have access to you in Word and prayer. Thank you. Amen.

Courtney

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