Category Archives: 2 Corinthians

 Jeremiah 5-7; Psalm 75; 2 Corinthians 10

Today is my 37th wedding anniversary. It would be great to get 1Corinthians 13 as the reading. Anything but Jeremiah as he was told he could not marry. Psalm 51 would be more appropriate for the amount of times I have had to say sorry. So I walk into this day with what we have and see if I can relate. 🙂

Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them, but they felt no pain.
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline.
They made their faces harder than rock,
and they refused to return. – Jeremiah 5:3 HCSB

This is no surprise – God is looking for truth – and faithful people. When I am called to love, I am called to love by my actions and in truth. The eyes of the Lord, of His love, favour, good will and delight are on those whose hearts lean towards His cause and interest, and are faithful to His word, and who are lovers of truth – of Jesus Himself who is truth itself – and of His Gospel, the word of truth.

Then there is the definitiveness of His love.

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” – Psalm 75:10 HCSB

I cannot explain how He separates the truth from the lie – I will know one day I will see things as God sees them.

“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment; hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.” – Dr. J. C. Ryle

So what do I do between now and then? I have to love Paul’s response.

Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. – 2 Corinthians 10:1 HCSB

What does the gentleness and graciousness of Jesus look like? I think He loved righteousness, hated sin. He is just as He is loving – the cross modelled that – He died for the just and for the unjust.

This meekness and gentleness is the weapon by which Christ conquers us. It is the power of His love that subdues human hearts. He will bear with men until His very patience and gentleness shall make them ashamed of their sin. What argument can be more powerful than this? – W. Braden

Father, as You look for those to stand in the gap and be faithful, may I be found ready. I wanted to be the one You call righteous and I know I am through the blood of Jesus. May Your Spirit keep transforming me into the very likeness of Jesus. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 26; Psalm 74

I have had my moments where I was enjoying victory, being giddy, having fun, and then all of sudden, something more pressing came to confront me and rob me of that joy. It is amazing how quickly joy can be shut down.

And so the joy of victory was turned into sadness for all of David’s troops that day, because they heard that the king was mourning for his son.2 Samuel 19:2 GNT

LIfe can be strange that way – it makes for a rather unsteady life – I want, I don’t want; I pray and I don’t want the answer, or at least, not so – but thus, a crooked answer to a straight request. These are the times that I conquer such a life by the Spirit of God – it is when I pray and have it out with heaven. Then these words hit me too…

But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 GNT

My prayer continues in pleading with God for deliverance and I strive to keep them God-centred. I realize how much time I am spending on praying for myself and try to intervene on behalf of others so that His name may be honoured in their lives too.

But remember, O Lord, that your enemies laugh at you,
    that they are godless and despise you.
Don’t abandon your helpless people to their cruel enemies;
    don’t forget your persecuted people!

Remember the covenant you made with us.
    There is violence in every dark corner of the land.
Don’t let the oppressed be put to shame;
    let those poor and needy people praise you.

Rouse yourself, God, and defend your cause!
    Remember that godless people laugh at you all day long.
Don’t forget the angry shouts of your enemies,
    the continuous noise made by your foes. Psalm 74:18-23 GNT

The Psalmist teaches me to pray for the sake of God’s name and reputation, for the sake of His praise and for the sake of His covenant faithfulness.

Father, I pray that Your Kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Your name is I AM and I bow my knee before You and cry holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. You have proven Yourself in my life over and over again. Though I may find myself mourning, I know, deep in my heart and soul, that joy will come again in the morning. For that I bless You and love You always.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Sam. 18; 2 Cor. 11; Ezek. 25; Ps. 73

“I repeat, let no one think me foolish.  But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.  What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.  Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.  For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!  For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.  Are they servants of Christ?  I am a better one-I am talking like a madman-with far greater labors, far greater imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.  In toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”  2 Corinthians 11:16-31 ESV Continue reading

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2 Samuel 10; 2 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 17; Psalm 60,61

How often do I survey the happenings around me and miss God’s handiwork?

And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 17:24 – ESV

Currently, I’m reading the book Bruchko with my kids and chapter 19 highlighted how as the Motilone people embraced Jesus, they cried out to Him with real faith that He would respond miraculously. And, when He did, the miracles did not surprise them, because they expected them.

I find myself often praying with little expectation. Worse than that, when something does “work out” the way I had prayed for, I give mental credit to medicine, hard work, time, people, or coincidence. This chapter in Bruchko, piled on top of all these passages from Scripture are convicting me of my high view of people and my minimizing view of God.

But with Jesus, there can be real change. Not just spiritual change. Not just change by and by. Real change, now, with visible power. He is the source of all change. He is the God of everyday miracles.

Bruchko by Bruce Olson p. 162.

The everyday miracles, the huge, life-changing miracles. All of them, return to Him. He earns our praise all day long with His work in our lives and those around us. I need to remember to return my thanks to Him and acknowledge all that He is doing on a daily basis.

Even in 2 Samuel we see how God orchestrated events to bless Israel, to shape military alliances, and to punish nations that rejected Him.

And when all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Syrians were afraid to save the Ammonites anymore.

2 Samuel 10:19 ESV

God’s plans prevail in the military exploits of ancient kingdoms and in my daily life as a housewife in modern day America.

  • Did I wake up this morning – alive and breathing?
  • Do I have friends and family?
  • Do I have food – physical and spiritual?
  • Did I experience comfort today?
  • Have the friends on my prayer list been protected through the ordeal they face?
  • Has another friend made it safely home from a recent hospital stay?
  • Did I have healing words of encouragement for a desperate text that came my way last week?

Yes, yes, and yes again.

God has been there. Working, responding, often providing before I even knew to ask. It has been all Him. I can take no credit, and have no right to rationalize His supernatural involvement in this world by diminishing the results with “logical” explanations.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God . . . Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, . . . And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:4-5, 12, 18 ESV

The result of properly attributing God’s power and presence is increased boldness, hope, and transformation. He hears our prayers and walks closely to those that hope in Him.

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV

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Exodus 22; John 1; Job 40; 2 Corinthians 10

I talk a lot these days on how many of the prayer examples I find in the Bible do not stress “asking” or the time allotted to asking as much as I give it. I have been taught to ask and it definitely has a priority in my prayer life.

It was good for me to read how the prayer of justice is important to God and asking Him for help when the need is great is so important.

Do not mistreat any widow or orphan. If you do, I, the Lord, will answer them when they cry out to me for help, and I will become angry and kill you in war. Your wives will become widows, and your children will be fatherless. – Exodus 22:22-24 GNT

I think that I fail to come to terms with this fact – as someone who has become a follower of Jesus, as someone who has invited Jesus into their life and have put their trust in Him – I am a child of God and can ask such things from my Father.

Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children. – John 1:12 GNT

What comes with that relationship is correction and I can accept that. Loved how Job handled this in His relationship with God.

Job, you challenged Almighty God;
    will you give up now, or will you answer?

Now stand up straight
    and answer my questions. – Job 40:1-2,7 GNT

Next steps for me? If humility matters in my relationship with God, and I believe it does, I have to exercise my mind and bring it to a place where I find myself being more obedient to God’s Word.

The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 GNT

If my thinking, praying and general thoughts about God are not leading me closer to Him, then there is a problem.

Father, You have offered to empower me and to walk with me today. I choose to submit humbly to You. Help me live a life that is worthy of the calling of being Your child, today, and every day. AMEN.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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