Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7

2 Corinthians 9:1-15

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


Friday, September 6, 2013

September 6
Receiving Line

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
How good are you at receiving new people into your workplace or even into your church?
We usually welcome help, or new faces into our churches.... but then....
what if they start to receive recognition in some area that we are used to having great influence? How do we feel about them then?
We get very territorial at times, don't we?
We can get pretty fussy if we lose our position to some "new person".
And then....
What would the Lord have us do?
...perhaps this....
prayerfully search out any and every criticism that we have directed toward the way some gift of ministry is used or acknowledged...
Considering it joy ... to take the back seat ..or the last place in the "receiving line"....
When the Lord sends someone into your midst, welcome them with the love of Jesus Christ! Learn to appreciate, and yes, even to enjoy, the new person!
Consider how Jesus Christ wants to use YOU in that person's life.
And then, also  how the Lord may bless you also ....
It makes the "receiving line" much more exciting to anticipate and delight in those who may be standing next to you!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.
vs 2: Whether in the midst of your joy, or in the midst of your trials and hardships, are you still able to give generously?

vs 4-5: Do you see that it is a privilege to serve the Lord and His saints?

vs 9: In living your new life in matter how long it has been since you first surrendered to Him, have you been able to sacrifice your "self" ... so that others will be able to be rich in the Lord?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4
Godly Sorrow~

2 Corinthians 7:8-16

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.
In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. 16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.
Have you ever experienced godly sorrow? Do you realize that it brings LIFE to you?
Being sorry ....truly sorry deep in your soul for your sin, can be your turning point! your new beginning! 
If you repent, that moment is when the Lord steps in and washes you clean with that cleansing agent that only He possesses! 



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3
No Yokes

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”[b]
17 Therefore,
“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”[c]
18 And,
“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”[d]
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
When the Lord tells us to not be yoked together with unbelievers He is offering protection to us through this Word,.
As you evaluate your relationships in this light, do you see any compromises that you have made because of being too closely involved with those who are not walking with Jesus?
We cant remain separate from all unbelievers, of course. An essential part of our work for the Kingdom is witnessing and bringing the gospel to them in love.
But we must guard against close relationships, such as dating or marriage, being business partners, best friends, etc. with those who are not on the same page spiritually.

questions to ponder:
vs 7:1, Do you reverence God, holding him high above all others, so that you can walk in holiness before Him?

vs 4,  How do you respond to trouble in your own life? Are you able to remain joyful in the Lord no matter what come your way? How do you define "joy" in your life?

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2
Sell Out

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Paul’s Hardships

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.

Definition of  sell out
1. To put all of one's goods or possessions up for sale.
What will it take for you to "sell out" to Jesus Christ?
What on earth is worth holding onto;
whether speaking of material goods
or of the less visible things that reside in your heart and mind where no one can "see"...
what is worth holding onto rather than giving your all~ every part of your life and your self~ to the Lord?
If you are holding back from God, you are cheating yourself out of the tremendous blessing that He alone can give you!
Release your grip on those things that keep you from being completely sold out to Jesus Christ!
This will become your testimony! You will be able to proclaim this freedom to everyone!
some questions for you today:
Are you sensitive , in your interactions with others who are pursuing a relationship with the Lord. Careful not to hinder those who seek Him by your actions or talk?
Does your lifestyle open up opportunities for you to speak freely with others about Jesus Christ? Do you "walk your talk"? Do you have a reputation of having integrity?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1

2 Corinthians 5 New International Version (NIV)

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We serve a Holy and Perfect God who cannot be in the presence of sin.
How then, could we ever hope to live in His heavenly home....knowing ourselves to be full of sin?
It is only by this very wonderful "reconciliation" that God has made for us! He sent Jesus, his own and only son, to us to take away our sin and not hold it against us.
It was in that holy sacrifice that the barrier between sinful us, and our perfect Father God, was removed forever!
We are able to behold Him in His glory in heaven one day!
Washed clean and forgiven we can stand before his throne!
Praise His holy name!!!!