Eschatological Ethic (2 Corinthians 1:12-14)

Eschatological Ethic (2 Corinthians 1:12-14)

If we miss the mark in our Christian life – we will eventually forfeit everything – we will end up in the WRONG place altogether. Paul has come in our verses to the main body of the letter. A major reason that Paul had to write this letter is to set things straight with the Corinthians. Paul appeals to that which is being done in him by the grace of God (v. 12). The whole point for Paul is that God gets the glory when His strength is made perfect in our weakness. It is especially that idea of “MADE PERFECT” that Paul will focus in on. It is the MARK that Paul always wants to hit. Paul’s faithfulness finds its ultimate support in this truth, that God is faithful, faithful to the very end. And what I believe Paul would have us focus on in these 3 verses is that God’s completed work is the mark we should never deviate from!

Gospel within the Gospel (Luke 15:11-32)

Gospel within the Gospel (Luke 15:11-32)

The Parable of the Prodigal is a gospel within the Gospel! God comes to find what is lost and we are His sheep that got lost, but He has found us. Praise God for His grace! How many times do we need to be lost? How many times will we run from His grace before we realize how great it is? Especially when we see that our salvation is so complete. Our Pardon is full in Christ Jesus.

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Displaying the Power of Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)

Displaying the Power of Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)

For the Corinthians Paul will display the power of comfort in the gospel, vividly setting it before their eyes in a public portrayal so that it is unavoidable. The key to this comfort, however, is that we have to be driven outside of ourselves because selfishness is the death of comfort. Corinth encouraged triumphalism and success – which makes the acceptance of suffering difficult if not impossible! And it removes the platform for comfort. The word confidence is actually instructive. Coming from 2 Latin roots CON = with, and FIDE = faith – self-confidence is nothing but faith in self, IDOLATRY – but Christ is always to be the object of our faith so when our confidence is in God through Christ and not ourselves, then we have comfort!

God is My Song (Psalm 118:1-29)

God is My Song (Psalm 118:1-29)

“The Lord is my strength and song”; both are in the present, we sing while we fight. Verse 14 is actually a quote from the Song of Moses in

The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (ESV)

and the Psalmist quotes again from Moses’ song in v.28 – which means that 15-27 are a unit, a sort of commentary on God’s Steadfast love writing a NEW SONG on the believers heart after the fashion of Moses’s song.

Teaching Justice (2 Samuel 1:1-16)

Teaching Justice (2 Samuel 1:1-16)

There is a parallel here to David in Ziklag with the Arch in Ashdod – and perhaps had David and his men fought “with” the Philistines, they would have become the heavy hand of the Lord against the Philistines that the Arch was back in

Making Bricks Without Straw

5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.” 14 And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”

15 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.” 17 But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.” 19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.” 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and they said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” (ESV)

? – Whatever the case, it seems true that the Narrator has a way of punctuating movement in the narrative through God’s judgments. I wish to highlight from our chapter how we need God’s justice to teach us as we need His grace to save us!

Two Great Realities (Psalm 118:1-29)

Two Great Realities (Psalm 118:1-29)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

118:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)

is a favorite of many and has been a favorite of many in Church history. It is not surprising that it is so well loved and known since Jesus and the Apostles quoted it multiple times in reference to the death and resurrection of our Lord and the establishment of the Church. Our Psalm will show us that we have every reason to sing our thanksgivings to God with loud Hosannas because our greatest good is found in the person and work of God which ever surrounds us!

Instructions for All Part 2 (1 Corinthians 16:10-31)

Instructions for All Part 2 (1 Corinthians 16:10-31)

Paul’s last set of instructions is couched among his closing greetings so we really might be tempted to tune out. But we would miss more than you think if we did. For one thing, this is where most of us find ourselves. We are not the ones being sent out, nor do we have to worry much about receiving new teachers – but here Paul gives the day to day instructions. Paul shows yet again that everyone who shares in Christ’s Life will share in His service with Christlike devotion!