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Showing posts from July, 2020

A Plea and an Appeal - 2 Corinthians 6:1 -7:1

Friday, July 31 – It is the end of the workweek. As we continue our reading thru the New Testament in a year, today we will read 2 Corinthians 6:1 – 7:1. Read the scriptures first and then come back and we’ll work through the text together. One of the realities of pastoral ministry is that the person who enters into it is often unprepared for the myriads of demands and expectations. Since I am near the end of my career, I understand what is often expected. A research poll of 1500 Pastors from a cross-section of denominations found that 84% say they are on call 24/7. 80% expect and have dealt with emotionally draining conflict. 54% find the role of the pastor to be overwhelming. 53% are often concerned with their family’s financial security. 48% confess that the demands of ministry are often more than they can handle. I was 21 years old when I gave my life to God to train for ministry. I became a Senior Pastor for the first time when I was 28. Of my closest friends (six) who trained wit

The Hope for the Believer - Eternal Life and Righteousness, 2 Corinthians 5

Thursday, July 29 – We have come in our readings to one of the most significant chapters in all of the New Testament. There are some excellent chapters like John 14, Romans 3 & 8, 1 Corinthians 13 & 15, and now we come to 2 Corinthians 5:1 – 21. Please take your time, read it slowly, and absorb the words that Paul beautifully wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When you have finished reading Scripture, please come back, and we’ll take a more extended look at what he wrote. Paul had written at the end of the fourth chapter that “we are outwardly wasting away...and our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is unseen is eternal”(4:16-18). All of us have some understanding of the nature of life – namely, that 100% of humanity dies. Some die at very old ages, some die at very young ages, and many die somewhere in between. The process of “wa

The New Covenant Glory - 2 Cor. 3:6 - 4:18

Wednesday, July 29 – It’s mid-week, a Wednesday, and we continue our reading thru the New Testament in a year.   Today, our reading is in 2 Corinthians 3:6 – 4:18.   It’s not as long as you think!   After you have finished reading, I’d invite you to return to this page, and we’ll walk through it together. The theme Paul begins to unfold is the glory of the New Covenant in Jesus.   Jesus announced the New Covenant, and in His death and resurrection, the Covenant was established.   Now the Covenant continues by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.   The behind-the-scenes reason for this long doctrinal and theological explanation is to contrast the difference between the Gospel of the New Covenant and the false gospel of the teachers Paul had written were “peddlers of God’s word.”   Paul wants to expose the error of these charlatans who are trying to change the Gospel back into obedience to the Law apart from faith in Christ Jesus alone.   The New Covenant was prophesied by the

A Defense of Discipline, Forgiveness and Authentic Ministry - 1 Cor. 1:23 - 3:6

Tuesday, July 28 – It is Tuesday, and we are continuing our reading in the New Testament. Our reading continues in 2nd Corinthians 1:23 – 3:6. As you can see, we are picking up the text at the end of chapter 1 and reading thru the beginning of chapter 3 because of the context. After you’ve finished reading the Scriptures, I invite you to come back, and we’ll walk through it together.   Paul’s integrity was still under fire by some in the church, and when he didn’t come, some accused him of avoiding the church. He makes it clear, he had already given them a lot to deal with, and it was not his job to tell them what to do. “The Message Bible” accurately described Paul’s thoughts – “Now, are you ready for the real reason I didn't visit you in Corinth? As God is my witness, the only reason I didn't come was to spare you pain. I was being considerate of you, not indifferent, not manipulative. We're not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, s

Saints and Suffering, 2nd Corinthians 1:1 -22

Monday, July 27 – Welcome to a new week and also to a new book. We are beginning Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians this morning by reading 2 Corinthians 1:1 – 22. After you’ve read the Scripture, come back, and I’ll share some background to the letter, and we’ll take a look at what we’ve read. One more thing, we are now well over halfway through the New Testament. Sincerely, “well done”, and thanks for coming along with me as we seek to read the New Testament in a year. It’s safe to say that no other church challenged Paul as a Missionary and Church Planter as the Corinthian Church. We just finished the letter of First Corinthians, and as you recall, much of it was rocky. The Corinthians were divided by personality cliques and doctrinal confusion. Paul had told them that he planned on visiting them but was delayed by responsibilities in Ephesus, and the need to visit the other churches in Macedonia (1 Cor. 16:5-8). Paul had sent Timothy on ahead, and it was after he left Eph

Collections, Travel Plans, Greetings and Goodbyes - 1 Corinthians 16

The Weekend, July 25 – Whenever you read this, we will have one reading for the Weekend.   We also will be finishing 1 Corinthians by reading 16:1 – 24.   After you finish reading the Scriptures, please come back as we take another look at this last chapter in 1 Corinthians.   At the end of chapter 15, Paul appealed to the Corinthians – “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (15:58).   As we have learned previously, chapter divisions were later developments and so Paul moved from that final appeal of chapter 15 to the continuing sentence of chapter 16 – “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do” (16:1).   As we had seen before, Paul used the words “Now concerning” to address issues the church had previously asked him to clarify.   His appeal for them as “dear brothers...abound in the work of the Lord” ha

The Resurrected Body and Power - 1 Corinthians 15:20-58

It’s the end of the workweek and we’re continuing our reading in 1 Corinthians 15, the great Resurrection chapter. Yesterday’s reading was Paul’s defense of the Resurrection in the first nineteen verses. Today’s reading continues at 15:20 – 58. Take your time and look at the various ways Paul addresses the resurrection and the mystery of the new creation. Please come back after you’ve read it and we’ll walk through it to get a better look at what Paul wrote, and I will add, perhaps read it twice. The “some” Paul spoke of in 15:12, who did not believe in the bodily resurrection now realize the connection of the Resurrection and the Gospel. Without the resurrection, Sin has not been erased; there is no eternal future, and the Gospel is a false narrative. The “what if there is no resurrection?” question is laid to rest by Paul - “But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (15:20). When Paul used the words “ those who have falle