Posts Tagged With: Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Church?


Coracle boats are round-shaped non-polluting boats that are used for transport in Tungabhadra river. These boats are very stable by nature and can carry 10-15 persons easily. Navigation is not difficult but it requires skills especially when going upstream. It is part of the local lifestyle in Hampi, Karnataka and is a highlight for tourists coming to this part of the world. by Dey.sandip

 

Good morning, beloved,

 

My Noah is up with me this morning. We are listening to a Pandora station that includes Lecrae and various similar artists, however, for me, we have added variety in Chris Tomlin. Though in Noah’s eyes, Chris Tomlin has attained a new status by featuring Lecrae. :) You know what’s coming next, right?

Awake my soul, I come alive, I”m alive when you speak to me….

Oh, friends, God is always speaking. Are we quiet to listen? Do we pause?

Hear His Word this morning. Get up. Get dressed. Go find your community of believers. Awake soul. You need them. They need you.

2 Corinthians 5: 18 All this is from God, who through Christ ·made peace between us and [reconciled us to] himself, and gave us the ·work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him [L ministry/service of reconciliation]. 19 [L For] God was in Christ, ·making peace between the world and [reconciling the world to] himself. In Christ, God did not ·hold the world guilty of its sins [L count their trespasses against them]. And he ·gave [committed/entrusted to] us this message of ·peace [reconciliation].20 So we ·have been sent to speak [L are ambassadors] for Christ. It is as if God is ·calling to [urging; exhorting; encouraging] you through us. We speak for Christ when we ·beg [implore; urge] you to be ·at peace with [reconciled to] God. 21 God made ·Christ [L the one] who ·had no sin [or never sinned;L did not know sin] to become sin for us, so that in ·Christ [L him] we could become ·right with [L the righteousness of] God.

Hear His word. He made peace between us…

Be at peace, be reconciled to God…

We can walk with God because Christ became sin for us…

So, go. Be at peace with Him. Be at peace with yourself. Be at peace with the community of God.

Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare for today:

3 Things about yourself that you are grateful for:

106. I;m thankful God made me to thrive on discipline and routine.

107. I’m thankful for God’s word in me. For the passion to love Him and His Word…

108. I’m thankful for a passion to pray.

How about you? How long did it take you to process what your “three” are today? Sigh.

Pray on. Pray on.

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Trust issues?


Crepuscular rays in the steam from a hot spring. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (USA).

Good morning, beloved,

The quiet of the early morning, this morning there are no birds around to break the quiet.  However there are always cars, and trains and motorcycles and trucks to shake up. This morning I strained to understand what God was showing me in His Word. The Bible study was not igniting a passion to study. A passion to connect with the questions asked of me. I closed the book not understanding and not connecting with where the author was taking me.

You see, I prefer to dig into the Word and nose around. Glean, connect other passages..fun stuff for little ol’ me. Yet, if I am real here, I think the questions hit very close to home. I connected WAY too much with what the author was asking.

To delve into places in my heart that I prefer to keep shut, to open the floodgates..the Spirit is alive and active this morning. It is uncomfortable. And most likely, I need to truly hear where He is guiding me to look with eyes to see.

You see, I want to trust God. I cry out and ask for help to trust God. However, I am resembling a two-year old that shares her toy but then wants it back two seconds later. I give God my stuff, but when the bills keep coming, the car is breaking down, the health of the body is shaky..I run to find answers. Who can help us? When is that check coming? Should we take a loan? I begin my planning. Why? At the heart of it all, I believe this is all our fault and God is up watching me and shaking His head in disbelief.

Good mercies! Where can I find that truth in the Bible? Um, nowhere. There is no verse in the Bible that says God helps those who help themselves. Have I sinned? Have I done things to get me to this place? I suppose yes..my sin blackens. Yet, the sin that captures my heart now? I have trust issues.

Why? I look back. I see what our family has walked through and I think..I pray for this, it didn’t happen. I pray for this, nothing happened. Those are the thoughts in my head. I confess that. I dive into the mire and muck around, throwing sludge all over me. My fault, God won’t help this, shame, whatever the terms…I rub the sludge all over me. And I forget. I can’t see…until..

Psalm 40: 2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.

The Lord comes in, right now, and says:

2 Corinthians 6:2  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

The “Rosenmühle” with mist and fog in the evening. The “Rosenmühle” on the river “Haller” is a former water mill in Adensen, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany. by Michael Gäbler

I am welcomed. Now. I am assured a welcome like no other. God listens when we call. God is always responding. God is always speaking. We need to be listening. I need to clothe myself with truth. For God is the one who has kept us warm. God is the one who keeps the lights on. God is the one who feeds us. God is the rock. God is the steadying grip on my shoulders.

Isaiah 2:22 Cease to trust in [weak, frail, and dying] man, whose breath is in his nostrils [for so short a time]; in what sense can he be counted as having intrinsic worth?

God has provided over, and over, and over again. So Satan, enough of your stupid lies. I know the truth and that sets me free. I am free indeed. For I have the God of Angel Armies and He is always, always, always by my side.

Pray on. Pray on.

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Strength


 

Kirkby Hill near Old Bolingbroke. Looking across to Kirkby Hill and the Windmill by Dave Hitchborne

Good morning,

I was pondering what to say, how to say what is on my heart. I am blind in my own sins so very often. I complain or I wish or I pity myself and this morning I realize what often tears me up is exactly what I do to others. I could give excuses. I could give reasons. In my brain now, I have them built up.  Daily, I desperately need to call upon the Lord, ask Him to cleanse me of my sins, show me where I’m falling and grieving the Holy Spirit.

Here’s where the Lord is bringing me, pray. Instead of thinking, praying. Praying continuously. If a person has wronged me, pray. If a person has hurt my feelings, pray. The idea that I need to build up a federal case against someone who has injured my heart is not from God. I need to pray.

2 Corinthians 12:

there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.

Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for Mystrength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknessesand infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength).

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have said these verses aloud, in my head, to others. My pastor said something to me about suffering and Job. I’m not going to do it justice but here’s my best stab. When the Lord allowed (big word) Satan to rob Job of his children, money, status, etc…that was one level. There is something very profound that the Lord and Satan both understood and understand, when Satan came back a second time…it was for Job. To destroy Job with pain, physical pain.

Friends, I do not know what was Paul’s thorn. Quite honestly, now, it could have been anything. When people ask how I am doing and I have to say I’m still dizzy. I still have near constant ringing in my ears. It’s depressing. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be the one..do you hear that? It’s subtle but I believe lies when I start on this road. Who do I want to give this to? Nobody! Who would I rather have “be that person”? Good grief. When dear ones ask, I need to be truthful.  Yet I can also continue to remember, His grace (His favor, His loving-kindness, His mercy)..I can boast in that. I can remember and recall for those who ask that His grace is enough for me.

Kinney Lake and Mount Whitehorn near Mount Robson by Florian Fuchs

I want to be a reflection of His grace, just like this picture. I spend way too much time with my thoughts yet His strength, His power are made perfect in my weaknesses. Oh how lovely, friends, if this trial gives me more of His strength, more of His power..that they are made more effective in my weakness..I open my hands. I give myself over to the work of God.

To glory in the work of God in my life…

To have God pitch a tent over me! Over you!

I am strong. Not because of anything in my person, but because divine strength.  You are strong.

My Noah is in a constantly listening to the same track of songs..one of them is by Group 1 Crew..He Said..

You may be knocked down now
but don’t forget what He said, He said

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break
and No-o-o-o-o, I’ll never ever let you go-o-o-o-o
Don’t you forget what He said

Who you are ain’t what your going through
So don’t let it get the best of you
Cause God knows everything you need,
so you ain’t gotta worry

God knows everything we need.

 

 

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No chains on me!


St. George Island, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Photo: USFWS by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Good morning, beloved of God,

Yesterday was one of those crazy days where I bit off a little more than I could chew and I finally had to admit I was done. :) I am trying to get meals in my freezer with meats that I get on sale ( part of a plan..) and just to give myself a break as we go through these next busy weeks. I’m excited by what we did carry out with cooking four whole chickens and a thing of chicken thighs…but I had the Holy Spirit by the middle of it, nudging me…go spend time with My kids. So, I cleaned up and let it go. Joshua came home and we headed for the lake for a late afternoon of fishing, swimming and of course, reading. I try to read but really, I just go to gaze out over the lake. I need lake gazing time. Refreshes me.

Home for dinner of..you guessed it..CHICKEN! and a bonfire…and the kids slept in the tent again..cracks me up. We are living the dream. LOL. My neighbor came up to me at the grocery store and said, I love your house. I have to tell you. It is lived in, Cara. You can tell you live there. When your leave your house, you won’t look back with regrets and say wow, I wish I cleaned more. I love coming to your house.

I guess I’m telling you all that because this comes after years of pain and suffering and darkness in this house where I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to have light dawning again. Hear that. If you are traveling down this road, know the Lord is good and great and can be trusted. And we have walked our house praying that it would be a beacon of light to our neighbors, how wonderful that this is what they see!

Let’s get back into our study of the Sermon..and look at the first question posed to me in my Precepts study of Sermon of the Mount and how it is answered in Scripture.

Righteousness (dikaiosynē)...in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

How could we ever attain such a righteousness when we are nothing but sinners? (Sermon on the Mount, @2007 Precept Ministries Int’l, p.16) Let’s look:

Romans 3: 10 As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. 23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

These verses here are an important reminder to me that in ourselves there is nothing good. :0) We’ve got nothing without Him. We all have sinned and we are short. This is where His glory and honor comes flowing in!

1Timothy 1:15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.

Paul must have shocked his readers. Love that. He did that all the time, I bet. Aren’t we all the worst? Yet, His Son came into the world to save me and you!

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

Read it again. Okay, now, read it again. Now, pause and lift up your hands…

You are an example of the righteousness of God! He made Christ to be sin who knew no sin..so that in and through Him we might become the righteousness of God. What we ought to be! In a right relationship with Him by His goodness!! Oh dwell on that beloved!! Amazing grace how sweet is that sound! Thank You Lord!

Romans 4:5 But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).

Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does:

Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.

Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him.

Let’s pull out some facts here: not working by the Law, apart from the works he does…so let’s get that on the table. Now to one who TRUSTs (believes FULLY) in Him Who justifies (Declared or made righteous in the sight of God.) the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness.

Interesting, David congrats the man? Hmm…pronounces blessing on him whom God credits righteousness APART…

Check out this: sins forgiven and not only that, covered up and not only that, COMPLETELY BURIED!! Love that@!!!!

Then, how about that the Lord will take no account or reckon it against him. Adore that…just sayin’

Romans 7: 14 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.

15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice oraccomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].

16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledgeand agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.

17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]

24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?

25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

8:

Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame,deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who liveand move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

Okay, so that was a kind of lot..there, but if we are going to talk about being free from the law of sin and death and good mercies! You have to have Romans 7 and 8. I spent the entire last summer on that and probably should have spent this past year as well. Changed my whole life…

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! You remember that today. Memorize that. Write it on a notecard. Better yet write it on your forehead. ;) Ok, just kidding about that.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Music, New Testament, Romans, Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Captive


Lightning over Uppland, Sweden by Jonas Bergsten

Good morning beloved…

What a morning as the light streams in through the windows, breaking through the trees, seeping into the house and splashing into corners.  Watch the sun come up some morning. Morning people nod with me. Non-morning people shake their heads.  We can learn so much by watching the sun rise.

Chinese (Singapore) ‬: Leshan, Sichuan Province, mainland China under the sun in a college flower by 自有作品

Watch the light…there is still darkness but where the light touches it is radiant. It is beautiful. It shimmers. I was out at a park with my kids yesterday and the wind was strong and the temperature was in the sixties. Yet the sun was out. So as long as I stayed in the sun, basking in the light, I stayed warm. I reveled in the warmth. The shade? No way. I backed out of there quick.

Same idea for my mind. When negative thoughts invaded my mind this morning, I had a decision to make. What was I going to do with this?

  1. Well, first, am I denying myself and picking up my cross? (Luke 9:23)
  2. Next , am I giving thanks in everything? (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

3.  Then, take the thoughts captive! 2 Corinthians 10:

3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,

[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories andreasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete.

And today I need to “flesh” that out a little bit more so I’m going to take some help and work through some more verses..want to come along?

For though we walk in the flesh

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

1 Peter 4 

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought andpurpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],

So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.

For the weapons of our warfare...

Romans 12

12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light.

13 Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy.

14 But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).

Ephesians 6

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.

…we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…

Psalm 139You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought afar off.

Hebrews 412 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Tomorrow…part two…I gotta go make bread! Love you guys…die to self, give thanks and take those thoughts captive!! :)

Pray on, pray on!

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Psalms, Romans | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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