The heart of Christian ministry can only be seen on the other side of pain. Why? because Adam made death to reign through his disobedience. And Christ’s obedience which brings life and justification as a free gift – also unites us to Christ so intimately that we all share a death like his before we are united with him in a resurrection like his. This is why LOVE HURTS. That is what real faith is all about. Real faith will be a full participation in Christ’s sufferings and his glories!
Always Yes! (2 Corinthians 1:15-22)
The closer we stick to the Word the more the Word sticks in us. When a man is serious about divine truth – his life reflects that throughout his life! The Big-picture effects the little. You see our lives are reliable as they flow out of the Testimony of Christ! Our integrity comes out of the integrity of God in Christ.
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)
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.
Showing Your Love (Romans 16:1-16)
Letting others know that you love them and how important they are – is more of a gospel issue than you think.
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 of All Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:1-7)
Paul was suffering so greatly in his love and longing for the saints at Corinth and it was exactly this, that was his weakness that most magnified the power of God because it produced and occasioned gospel comfort of the greatest degree. And what we see in the opening verses of the letter, in Paul’s “Thanksgiving” is really true, that comfort is the power that we want!
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 Ex 15:2 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)
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 chapter 5? – 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)
Psalm 118 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!