Posts tagged with "2 Corinthians"
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:29:53 PM
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
Paul says he has stopped evaluating people from a human point of view, because that's how he used to judge Christ and how wrong he was!
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new creation- the old life has ended and a new one begun.
The new life is God's gift. God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ. He gives us the task of sharing in this ministry of reconciliation, calling people to turn to Christ,
We are Christ's ambassadors, representing him to the world. We speak for Him when we urge people to turn to the Lord.
God's great mission is to reconcile people to Himself through Christ. The cross is not so much about a vengeful God wreaking violence on an unsuspecting humanity. The cross is a call to the world to “Come back”.
When we respond to that call we receive a new life. We are made into completely new creatures. The old life of sin and not caring about our actions is replaced by a new life of righteousness and love for God and others.
But this Good News is not meant to be kept for us alone. We are to be ambassadors, urging others to take hold of this free gift of new life.
Thank you Lord for saving me and making me new. Please show me the people with whom I need to share this message today. Amen.
Sunday, September 2, 2012 2:21:43 AM
The sermon for 2nd September 2012 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on 2 Corinthians 10:1-5 and Judges 6 & 7, I talk about pulling down the strongholds that hold us in captivity and prevent us from moving on with God.
Click here to download.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 12:28:31 AM
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul refuses to boast about his spiritual experiences. He has been taken up to heaven and seen things that are wonderful but he is not allowed to talk about them. Still he refuses to boast about these things.
He could be proud but God has kept him humble. A thorn in the flesh, a messenger from satan, continues to torment him so that he is forced to rely on the grace of God.
It is in weakness that Paul experiences the grace of Christ, so if he will boast about anything it is the weakness and brokenness that keep him at the foot of the cross.
We live in an age that tries to make heroes and celebrities. The church is not immune from such things, and there are any number of celebrity preachers who boast about their dreams, visions, revelations and miracles.
The reality is that true intimacy with Christ comes in the daily world of being faithful to Him in our weaknesses and struggles.
Miraculous answers to prayer are wonderful experiences and strengthen our ability to trust God. But real strength comes as we persevere in prayer, as we wrestle the enemy and subdue our temptations.
Thank you Lord for being with me every day and for the way that you use my weakness to glorify your name. Amen.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:45:08 AM
But just as you excel in everything- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in love for us- see also that you excel in this grace of giving.
Paul is encouraging the church at Corinth to excel in the grace of giving, the gift of generosity.
He doesn't command or demand this of the church, but rather he wants them to see giving as an outflow of love. The willingness to give is what makes the gift acceptable, not the size of the gift.
Paul's aim is to see all the churches giving to help each other's need with the Holy Spirit ensuring that there is no need among them.
The issue of giving causes controversy and anxiety in the church. Part of the problem is the strength of the demonic power called “Mammon” and its grip on us. We find ourselves torn between following Jesus and trusting our money.
Just as Jesus emptied himself of every form of glory and wealth to become poor and live among us, we also have to empty ourselves of dependence on “stuff”.
It's easy to say we trust God for everything, but much more difficult to do it in practice. I notice that even after many years of “living by faith”, my anxiety levels rise when the bank balance falls.
The key to overcoming this is to be generous. Paul points out that we don't need to be silly about this and harm ourselves in our giving. Having said that, the way to ease the grip of our possessions on us is to be willing to let go of our grip on them.
Lord I thank you for the possessions that I have and enjoy. Please help me to be mindful of the needs of others. Let me excel in the grace of giving. Amen.
Thursday, June 21, 2012 2:30:41 AM
I tell you now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation.
Paul is a genuine servant of the Lord. He puts no stumbling block in the way of anyone. On the contrary, he endures every conceivable hardship in order to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul has been through beatings, imprisonment, good reports and bad, regarded as an impostor, poverty, hard work. Through it all he has known the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
For this reason Paul can genuinely say his heart is open to the Corinthian church. He appeals to them, to open their hearts to him.
Following Jesus is no guarantee of “the good life.” In fact ministering the gospel can be hazardous.
God allows us to go through various trials and successes in order to deepen our trust in Him and to open our hearts to others.
Lord let me know your presence today. Let me stand firm in you regardless of how people around me respond. May my heart be filled with love for you and for my neighbours. Amen.
Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:07:20 AM
The sermon for June 17, 2012 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on 2 Corinthians 5:6-17, I talk about walking by faith not sight and the need to daily seek God in the Bible and prayer.
Click here to listen
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 1:11:25 AM
For we live by believing not by seeing
We are caught between our present life in this body and the future which is our true home. Whether we are here in this body or in the life to come our aim is to please God, for we will all be judged by God.
Christ died for all of us so that we might live no longer for ourselves but for Christ. Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person- the old has gone and a new life begun.
Coming to Christ is more than securing our ticket to heaven. It brings a radical redirection to our lives, so much so that it is like being a new person.
Our focus changes from being concerned with our own interests in this life to being led by Christ with eternal goals and purposes.
Instead of living like other people with no thought of eternity, we measure everything by God's will for us.
This is a life-long process of maturity which leads us ever deeper into the heart of God.
Father, please show me the areas of my life that are not yet surrendered to you. Help me to repent of my selfish ways and to live entirely for you. Amen.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:43:56 AM
Satan, who is the god of this world has blinded the hearts of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.
Paul says that he preaches the Good News openly and clearly. If it is hidden in any way, it is hidden only from those who are perishing.
Satan has blinded the hearts and minds of unbelievers. They are unable to see the glorious light of the gospel.
Paul says he preaches only Jesus. His desire is to make known the glory of God seen in Jesus.
The process of evangelism is not a matter of learning the right words or of being bold to share with friends.
Primarily it is spiritual warfare. Before we say a word about Jesus to anyone, we have to overcome the blindness and confusion spread by the devil.
The devil has those who are perishing trapped in a place of darkness. Our prayers need to be to bind satan and for the light of Christ to flood in.
Father, show me how to pray for my unsaved friends. In Jesus' name I bind the power of satan over their hearts. May they be able to hear the Good News and see your glory. Amen.