Some days it is hard to describe. And, if the Apostle Paul couldn’t do it some days, I guess it is OK if I can’t either.
But … I can be thankful. And so, I am!!!
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
All it takes is to watch the evening news to know we live in a massively corrupt culture. Our Father has given us tools to demolish that culture. To bring it right down. But I can’t fight it the same way the world does. My tools are different. Will I allow God to demolish it in my life?
May I live a life of obedience into maturity. May I receive the good news of God’s new goal for me. May I not miss it in my life today.
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10
Forgiveness is huge in God’s world. He is love. He forgives us. We must forgive others. Jesus emphasized this over and over. It is in the “model” prayer he gave us. To ignore it is to give our enemy an opening. We don’t want or need that.
And so, there must be no delay. We must forgive, over and over. We are forgiven. Let’s get on with it. Now.
The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways! 2 Corinthians 2:9-11
What happens when we trust our own resources to solve the problem? We solve the problem but we don’t see God. Money crisis? Whip out the credit card. Car problem, call AAA. Problem solved but no glory to God there.
Trouble can cause us to trust ourselves or to trust God. And under the right circumstances, to trust Him totally. Now that is a good idea since He is the one who raised Jesus from the dead. And we can trust Him. He will deliver us.
Some times when we think things are so bad it really isn’t. It is an opportunity to trust God. That is what he wants us to do.
We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Some days things don’t look good. All I have to do is listen to the news to know that. Bad news at every turn. That is the way of the world.
God has a goal that has nothing to do with that. We don’t lose heart when we are listening to Him. It doesn’t matter what is going on around us. Trouble brings His mighty and awesome outcomes. We see a reality, in Him, that others don’t know exists. We have our gaze fixed on Him. Today’s trouble is no comparison to His love which goes on like Him, forever. There is no end to it. Like the “energizer bunny” but only real.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TNIV Bible
As the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah had all the riches of our Father. Yet He chose to give it all away. He did it for us. He did it so we could share the riches of our Father as well.
It is His nature to be generous. He loves to give to us. Like any father, He delights in making things happen for us even if it means a sacrifice on His part. Now that is love.
You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich. 2 Corinthians 8:8-9
Recommendations. Endorsements. Credentials. References. The way of this world. Is this God’s way? Should we be focused on the ways of the past?
The Spirit of God and the fruit of changed lives is all we need. This is the present and endoresments, etc. are the past. What is happening now is what is important. What is God saying today? What is God doing today?
Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. The Messian himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.
2 Corinthians 3:1-3
May I live today in the power of God’s Spirit. May that be all I need.