Tag Archives: corinthians

Greg Laurie – How Sin Spreads

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? —1 Corinthians 5:6
As believers, we are interconnected. The sin of one will affect many. That is why the apostle Paul said the church should never tolerate evil. He said, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Apparently in the Corinthian church, there was a man who was sleeping his father’s wife (not his biological mother but a woman his father had married). The church was actually boasting about how liberal and tolerant they were. So Paul confronted them, saying, “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:2).
If an unbeliever who is living an immoral lifestyle comes to our church, we’ll welcome that person. We’ll say, “We love you.” We’ll also say, “Jesus Christ wants to change your life.” We will call him or her to the Lord and to faith.
But if a Christian comes to our church and is living openly in sin, if we find out about it, we will call him or her to repentance. But if that Christian refuses to repent, then he or she will be asked to leave.
Some might think that isn’t very loving. But actually it is very loving, and I’ll tell you why. If believers are living openly in sin, and the church doesn’t do anything about it, it’s sending a message that everything is okay and that we can thumb our noses at God.
Paul said, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6). In modern vernacular, a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough. If sin is tolerated, it will spread and corrupt others.

Night Light for Couples –Words, Words

 

“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.” 2 Corinthians 6:11

Every knowledgeable marriage counselor knows that the inability or unwillingness of husbands to reveal their feelings to their wives is one of the most common complaints of women.

Research shows that little girls are blessed with greater linguistic ability than little boys; it remains a lifelong talent. As an adult, she is typically far better at expressing her thoughts and feelings. God may have given her 50,000 words per day and her husband only 25,000. He comes home with 24,994 used up and disappears into Monday Night Football; she is dying to expend her remaining 25,000 words and find out what he’s thinking, what happened at the office, and, especially, how he feels about her. This difference between him and her—a function of their inherited temperaments—is one of countless ways they are unique.

When communication is a problem, compromise is in order. The clammed‐up husband must press himself to open his heart and share his deeper feelings. The frustrated wife must recognize that her man may not be capable of the emotional intimacy she seeks. They must seek to fix what can be improved—and to accept the rest.

Just between us…

  • Is it true in our case that the wife has twice as many words to use up each day as the husband?
  • Have our communicative differences created problems between us? • In terms of sharing feelings, how would you like our marriage to change?
  • What hinders good communication between us? How can we change?

Lord, help us to celebrate our differences as man and woman while tenderly and joyfully helping each other make the most of our union with every word. Amen.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

Greg Laurie – Is Your Life Like a Decaf Low-Fat Latte?

 

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”—2 Corinthians 5:10

Did you know that Christians will be judged one day?

Don’t panic, this is not a judgment about whether or not we get into heaven. This is about the rewards you will receive.

Luke 14:14 says, “Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you” (NLT). And in Revelation 22:12, Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (NKJV).

What exactly will be judged?

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” The “bad” spoken of is not something that is ethically or morally evil. The word for “bad” means “evil of another kind.” Another way to translate it is “good-for-nothingness.” Worthlessness. The wasting of one’s time, energy, and life. Are you wasting your life on nothingness?

It’s like a coke that has lost its carbonation. Or a decaf, low-fat latte. Why bother?

The quality of every man’s work will be tested: “Take particular care in picking your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely” (1 Corinthians 3:12–15 MSG).

At the judgment seat of Christ, each of us will have to give an account of what we did with the life, gifts, and calling that God gave to us. So what are you not doing that you should be doing?

Let’s use the gifts, talents, and resources that God has given us to do His work while we still have the opportunity.

Charles Stanley – Strength Beyond Self

 

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

“Into every life a little rain must fall.” So goes the familiar saying about the inevitability of hardship. But what if the rain turns into a torrential downpour—a life challenge that requires strength beyond what is humanly possible? Paul describes such a situation in his second letter to the Corinthians. He wrote of an affliction that weighed so heavily on his heart and body that he didn’t expect to survive.

The apostle’s approach to his problem still works today: “We would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead . . . and will deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10). The strength that we need during trials is available through Jesus Christ, whose supernatural energy flows through every believer’s mind, body, and spirit.

How does this happen? When someone receives Jesus as Savior, His Spirit comes to live inside the new believer (John 14:17). As a result of this indwelling, the power that Christ demonstrated while on earth prevails in those who now call upon Him for aid. However, for us to access His supernatural strength, we must trust His promise to supply what we need when we need it (Philippians 4:19). As long as we attempt to muddle through using our own abilities, we will prevent His Spirit from unleashing divine help.

Jesus Christ’s power is released into our life when we acknowledge our helplessness. The effect is immediate. As soon as we surrender to the Lord, His might is working within us so we can endure hardship while maintaining our joy and peace.

Our Daily Bread — Motivated By Love

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:11–17

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 24-25; John 5:1-24

The love of Christ compels us. —2 Corinthians 5:14

In the 1920s, Bobby Jones dominated the golfing world, despite being an amateur. In one film about his life, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, there is a scene where a professional golfer asks Bobby when he is going to quit being an amateur and grab for the money like everyone else does. Jones answers by explaining that the word amateur comes from the Latin amo—to love. His answer was clear: He played golf because he loved the game.

Our motives, why we do what we do, make all the difference. This certainly applies to those who are followers of Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul gives us an example of this. Throughout the epistle he defended his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Christ. In response to those who questioned his motives for ministry, Paul said, “Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15 NIV).

Christ’s love is the greatest of all motivators. It causes those who follow Him to live for Him, not for themselves. —Bill Crowder

What are some of the ways your understanding of Christ and His love has shaped your motives and your actions? In what ways would you like to see God work in you now?

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love most.

INSIGHT: In 2 Corinthians Paul was writing to a church that he founded—yet a church that had, in a sense, turned on him. This makes it very different from 1 Thessalonians, where Paul was writing to men and women with whom he had a strong and loving relationship. Because of these different relationships, in 1 Thessalonians 2–3 Paul was describing his ministry while in 2 Corinthians was defending it.

Charles Stanley – Supreme Love

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

There is no value or human expression of greater importance than love. Paul’s incomparable treatise on this subject in 1 Corinthians 13 is sandwiched between two chapters that deal with spiritual gifts. The Corinthians focused too much on their display of such gifts, so the apostle showed them the “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Interestingly, he made no attempt to define love but instead described its importance and expression.

The type of love Paul is talking about isn’t human in origin but, rather, comes from God—a part of His very nature. It’s unselfish, sacrificial love that acts on behalf of someone else. Since the Lord wants to transform our character into the image of His Son, this priority makes perfect sense. You see, whenever we display such selfless care for one another, that’s when we are the most like Christ.

The first three verses of this chapter issue us a warning. Without the motivation of love, all our good deeds—even service for the Lord—will profit us nothing. In God’s eyes, a loving spirit is more important than all our impressive words, knowledge, faith, generosity, and self-sacrifice. When we stand before Christ to be judged for our good works, those deeds done for selfish reasons will not be worthy of reward.

We are all blinded to some degree when it comes to our motives, so discerning why we serve God or do good deeds can be difficult. Pray to know your heart’s hidden intentions, and replace any self-centered motivations with His “more excellent way” of love. Then your works will be of eternal value.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Home Is Holy

 

“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the house of God, and that the Spirit of God lives among you in His house? If anyone defiles and spoils God’s home, God will destroy him. For God’s home is holy and clean, and you are that home” (1 Corinthians 3:16,17).

At this writing, I am with the staff at our annual training on the campus of Colorado State University. In addition to the 3,000 United States and Canadian field staff of Campus Crusade for Christ who are here, thousands more are attending music workshops, summer school, numerous conferences and meetings on this campus. Also, the entire Denver Broncos professional football team is here for training.

Throughout the day, from early morning till late at night, the campus is alive with people jogging, roller-skating, playing tennis, walking and other physical activities. These people are disciplining their bodies, keeping them in good physical tone.

Sadly, however, I also witness many people who lack interest in physical well-being by smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. A stroll down the sidewalks of this beautiful campus will reveal numerous smokers. And, in the early hours, before the clean-up crews go to work, one can see in the gutters the empty beer cans from the previous night’s revelry and carousing.

The body of the Christian is the temple of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 3:16,17). For this reason, God asks us to present our bodies as “living sacrifices,” holy and righteous, for God could dwell in no less a temple.

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 3:11-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will take especially good care of my body – physically, mentally, spiritually – realizing it is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Right Circles

 

I know what the Corinthians were thinking when they fought over theological allegiances. Paul describes the discordant sounds of the Christian community in Corinth: One was saying, “I follow Paul” and another, “I follow Apollos” and another, “I follow Cephas” and still another, “I follow Christ.” I remember a time when these words seemed so strange, and with Paul, I agreed the Corinthians were in need of reprimand. But I know how this happens; I have seen it happening in me.

The longer I study theology and its varying schools of thought, the more I realize how much I do not know. Mapping all of the types and categories, trends in thought and history, and the emerging theologies today seems nearly impossible. And even if it was possible to make sense of every school of thought, it would hardly mean that every theologian today and in history would fit neatly into one such school. The more I study theology, the more I fear being able to soundly navigate through the noisy choruses. I fear the blind spots that I likely have—and nurture. And so I find myself wanting to stand behind one or two trustworthy theologians in particular, drawing a line between us and all the rest, declaring myself a follower of his or her theological camp, and following my safe theological leader through the labyrinth of good and bad theologies.

The Corinthian mindset is not so different from my own.

During his tenure as a professor at Magdalen College in Oxford, C.S. Lewis delivered a memorial oration to the students of King’s College, the University of London. It was titled, “The Inner Ring.” Addressing his young audience as “the middle-aged moralist,” Lewis warned of the natural desire to find ourselves a part of the right inner circles, which exist endlessly and tauntingly throughout life. He cautioned about the consuming ambition to be an insider and not an outsider, on the right side of the right camp, though the lines that distinguish the camps are invisible, and the circle is never as perfect from within as it looks from without. Like the taunting mirage a weary traveler chases through the desert, noted Lewis, the quest for the Inner Ring will break your heart unless you break it.(1)

Of course, the desire to be seen inside the right camp is a desire that reaches well beyond the bounds of theology. The longing to belong and belong to the right group is an intense motivator of human behavior. It is how we make sense of the world around us; it is how we navigate through the recesses of conflicting thoughts, ideas, and worldviews. But it is also misleading. Membership can lead to blind allegiance, thoughtlessness, and persecution of those deemed outside. One only has to watch a group of kids to see how easily our desire to belong can be corrupted by our need to exclude. The inner circle is not inner if there are no outsiders. Choosing to follow Cephas is just as often about not choosing to follow Apollos or associate with his followers.

My choice of theological leaders bears similar qualities. Paul’s question rings in my ears the same way it did for the Corinthians: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul [or C.S. Lewis or your seminary professor] crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul [or John Calvin or your favorite preacher]?”

The kingdom in which Christ invites us to participate is in fact far greater than any one theologian pretends to describe, and it is not one of these, but Christ himself who reigns within it. “We go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tiny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s ‘weakness.’…But everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.”(2) The camp to which we want most to belong is his.

Following anyone other than Christ, we may find words of human wisdom, but we have emptied the cross of its power. Likewise, we find not the kingdom of God, but an inner circle with which we will eventually grow weary. Following Christ Jesus is something else entirely. Following Christ, we find a wisdom that is foolishness to many and a kingdom whose very description continues to crumble the walls we neatly build. Following Christ, we are repeatedly jarred awake to the realities of God’s reign, the inadequacy of our circles, and one far worthier of our boasting.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1980), 154.

(2) The Message, 1 Corinthians 1:22-31.

Charles Spurgeon – A blast of the trumpet against false peace

 

“Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Many of the people of London enjoy peace in their hearts, because they are ignorant of the things of God. It would positively alarm many of our sober orthodox Christians, if they could once have an idea of the utter ignorance of spiritual things that reigns throughout this land. Some of us, when moving about here and there, in all classes of society, have often been left to remark, that there is less known of the truths of religion than of any science, however obscure that science may be. Take as a lamentable instance, the ordinary effusions of the secular press, and who can avoid remarking the ignorance they manifest as to true religion. Let the papers speak on politics, it is a matter they understand, and their ability is astonishing; but, once let them touch religion, and our Sabbath-school children could convict them of entire ignorance. The statements they put forth are so crude, so remote from the fact, that we are led to imagine that the presentation of a fourpenny testament to special correspondents, should be one of the first efforts of our societies for spreading the gospel among the heathen. As to theology, some of our great writers seem to be as little versed in it as a horse or a cow. Go among all ranks and classes of men, and since the day we gave up our catechism, and old Dr Watts’ and the Assemblies’ ceased to be used, people have not a clear idea of what is meant by the gospel of Christ. I have frequently heard it asserted, by those who have judged the modern pulpit without severity, that if a man attended a course of thirteen lectures on geology, he would get a pretty clear idea of the system, but that you might hear not merely thirteen sermons, but thirteen hundred sermons and you would not have a clear idea of the system of divinity that was meant to be taught.

For meditation: The unconverted by themselves cannot understand the truths of the Gospel when they hear them unless God enlightens them (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4). But there are parts of the country where they would find it very hard to hear the truths of the Gospel being preached (Amos 8:11,12).

Sermon no. 301
26 February (1860)

Greg Laurie – Temporary Unknowns   

greglaurie

We see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. —1 Corinthians 13:12

The Bible tells us that one day, in heaven, we will know as we are known (see 1 Corinthians 13:12).

For the time being, I don’t have a complete knowledge of life beyond this life. The fact of the matter is, there’s so much about the person of God, His ways, and His dwelling place that I don’t know. But one day in a new body, I will see Him face-to-face, and all of my questions will be answered.

The apostle Paul had a remarkable experience in which he died and then was revived (see Acts 14:19-20). This wasn’t a near-death experience; Paul literally died. But he didn’t write a book about it or go on the talk show circuit. He basically said, “I was caught up into the third heaven and heard things that I can’t even describe to you, but it was paradise” (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). That’s all he would say.

It does appear, however, that we will recognize one another in heaven. After all, when Moses and Elijah met with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples recognized them immediately. So you might ask, “How will I know you if I’m looking for you?” Well, look for the guy with the full head of brand-new hair. That will be me.

Yes, someday very soon we will be with the Lord. And though we don’t know a great deal about heaven now, we can be sure its reality will exceed our wildest dreams. We will see the Lord, and we will see one another. And all of the mysteries will be solved.

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – More Than You Need

 

dr_bright“God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

One of the greatest discoveries that I have ever made in the Christian life is the law of sowing and reaping. Paul explains, beginning in his second letter to the Corinthians with the sixth verse of Chapter 9, “If you give little, you’ll get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will harvest only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7).

I have several friends and colleagues who have joined with me in claiming this marvelous promise of God and in every case the blessings are abundant. People with modest incomes are able not only to give large sums of money, but also enjoy a life-style that one could hardly expect even from individuals whose salaries were much more than theirs. It is a “loaves and fishes” kind of demonstration of God’s faithfulness. You cannot outgive God. As someone put it, “I give to God by the spoonsful and He returns to me shovelsful.”

Most believers have never discovered the joy and excitement of Christian stewardship. Always remember that God’s graces are bestowed upon us, not that we may hoard them, but that we may pass them on to others.

The same principle of giving also applies to the giving of our time and our talent to the proclamation of the gospel. The more we give, the more we receive. Was God giving you an extra portion of love today, of joy, of patience, of encouragement, or peace? Pass it on. Has something happened to you? He may have given that extra supply for you to pass it on to others in need. By the same token, if your supply in any of these things is lacking, you need only ask. With your motivation of wanting to share with others, God will not delay in responding to your request.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 9:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: In order to be a faithful steward of that which God has entrusted to me, I shall seek to share with others a generous portion of all that He gives to me, with special emphasis on the good news concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and the supernatural life which He gives.

Charles Spurgeon – Self-examination

CharlesSpurgeon

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

“Examine:” that is a scholastic idea. A boy has been to school a certain time, and his master puts him through his paces—questions him, to see whether he has made any progress,—whether he knows anything. Christian, catechise your heart; question it, to see whether it has been growing in grace; question it, to see if it knows anything of vital godliness or not. Examine it: pass your heart through a stern examination as to what it does know and what it does not know, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Again: it is a military idea. “Examine yourselves,” or renew yourselves. Go through the rank and file of your actions, and examine all your motives. Just as the captain on review-day is not content with merely surveying the men from a distance, but must look at all their equipment, so look well to yourselves; examine yourselves with the most scrupulous care. And once again, this is a legal idea. “Examine yourselves.” You have seen the witness in the box, when the lawyer has been examining him, or, as we have it, cross-examining him. Now, mark: never was there a rogue less trustworthy or more deceitful than your own heart, and as when you are cross-examining a dishonest person—you set traps for him to try and find him out in a lie, so do with your own heart. Question it backward and forward, this way and that way; for if there be a loophole for escape, if there be any pretence for self-deception, rest assured your treacherous heart will be ready enough to avail itself of it. And yet once more: this is a traveller’s idea. I find in the original Greek, it has this meaning: “Go right through yourselves.”

For meditation: Is self-examination a foreign concept to you? It should be done as least as regularly as we observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:28); God is able to assist us in our self-examination (Psalm 26:2; 139:23,24).

Sermon no. 218

10 October (1858)

John MacArthur – Becoming an Effective Minister

John MacArthur

“Love . . . is not arrogant” (1 Cor. 13:4).

Love is the key to effective ministry.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4 Paul says, “Love does not brag and is not arrogant.” We often equate bragging and arrogance, but in this passage there is a subtle difference. The Greek word translated “brag” emphasizes prideful speech or actions; “arrogant” emphasizes the attitude of pride motivating those actions.

The prideful attitudes of the Corinthians were evident in several areas. In 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Paul says, “Some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. . . . What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Cor. 4:18- 21). Apparently, some thought they no longer needed his instruction. “After all,” they reasoned, “we’ve had the best teachers—Apollos, Peter, and even Paul himself (1 Cor. 1:12)—so what need do we have for more instruction?” The fact was, they had just enough knowledge to inflate their egos, but they were woefully ignorant of love (1 Cor. 8:1).

It was arrogance that led the Corinthian church to condone gross immorality: “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife [incest]. And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst” (1 Cor. 5:1- 2). They were too prideful to confront and correct that situation, so they bragged about it instead. Even pagans wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior!

That’s a tragic picture of people so blinded by pride that they refused to discern between good and evil. Consequently, all their spiritual activities were counterproductive. They were gifted by the Spirit and even flaunted their gifts, but lacked the love that transforms a gifted person into an effective minister.

Learn from the Corinthians’ mistakes. Never settle for mere spiritual activities. Let love motivate everything you do. Then God can honor your ministries and make them truly effective for His purposes.

Suggestions for Prayer; Ask God to make you a more effective minister and to protect you from the blindness of arrogance.

For Further Study; What do the following proverbs say about pride: Proverbs 8:13; 11:2; and 29:23?

 

 

 

John MacArthur – Avoiding Spiritual Deception

John MacArthur

“All Scripture is . . . profitable for . . . reproof” (2 Tim. 3:16).

In November of 1978, United States Representative Leo Ryan of California visited the People’s Temple (a California- based cult) in Guyana. He went to investigate reports that some of the people were being held there against their will. The world was shocked to learn that the congressman and his party had been ambushed and killed.

Even more shocking was the grim discovery that followed a few days later. Authorities who entered the compound at Jonestown, Guyana were horrified to find the bodies of 780 cult members who had been shot or had committed suicide by drinking cyanide-laced punch. Their leader, the Reverend Jim Jones, was found lying near the altar–dead from a single bullet wound to the head.

For many, it was the first time they had witnessed the deadly effect of satanic teaching. Editorials and articles for months attempted to explain how such appalling deception and genocide could occur in this day and age. But as tragic as the Jonestown deaths were, most observers missed the greatest tragedy of all: the spiritual damnation that Jim Jones and all other false teachers lead their followers into.

Spiritual deception is a very serious issue to God. That’s why in Scripture He lays down the truth and reproves anything contrary to it. The Greek word translated “reproof” in 2 Timothy 3:16 means to rebuke or confront someone regarding misconduct or false teaching.

If you have a thorough grasp of Scripture, you have a standard by which to measure all teaching. Then you can easily recognize false doctrine and avoid spiritual deception. That’s what John had in mind when he said, “I have written to you, [spiritual] young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).

False religions will always attempt to distort Scripture because they must eliminate God’s truth before they can justify their own lies. Beware of their subtleties, and be strong in God’s Word.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank the Lord for protecting you from spiritual deception.

Pray for anyone you may know who has fallen victim to false teaching. Take every opportunity to impart God’s truth to them.

For Further Study:

Read 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15. How did Paul describe false teachers?

 

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – More Than You Need

dr_bright

“God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

One of the greatest discoveries that I have ever made in the Christian life is the law of sowing and reaping. Paul explains, beginning in his second letter to the Corinthians with the sixth verse of Chapter 9, “If you give little, you’ll get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will harvest only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7).

I have several friends and colleagues who have joined with me in claiming this marvelous promise of God and in every case the blessings are abundant. People with modest incomes are able not only to give large sums of money, but also enjoy a life-style that one could hardly expect even from individuals whose salaries were much more than theirs. It is a “loaves and fishes” kind of demonstration of God’s faithfulness. You cannot outgive God. As someone put it, “I give to God by the spoonsful and He returns to me shovelsful.”

Most believers have never discovered the joy and excitement of Christian stewardship. Always remember that God’s graces are bestowed upon us, not that we may hoard them, but that we may pass them on to others.

The same principle of giving also applies to the giving of our time and our talent to the proclamation of the gospel. The more we give, the more we receive. Was God giving you an extra portion of love today, of joy, of patience, of encouragement, or peace? Pass it on. Has something happened to you? He may have given that extra supply for you to pass it on to others in need. By the same token, if your supply in any of these things is lacking, you need only ask. With your motivation of wanting to share with others, God will not delay in responding to your request.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 9:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: In order to be a faithful steward of that which God has entrusted to me, I shall seek to share with others a generous portion of all that He gives to me, with special emphasis on the good news concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and the supernatural life which He gives.

 

Charles Stanley – Requirements of a Godly Influence

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 1:25-31

Have you ever wondered what God’s human history textbook might look like? Who would appear on its pages as the principal movers and shakers of world events? First Corinthians 1:27-28 provides a clue when it tells us that the Lord has chosen the weak and the foolish things of the world to shame the strong and wise. This principle is woven throughout the fabric of biblical history.

A prostitute named Rahab makes a right choice and becomes the ancestor of the Messiah. A widow named Ruth chooses the God of Israel and becomes the great-grandmother of King David. An infertile wife named Hannah pours out her soul to God and becomes the mother of Samuel the prophet. A man called Abram responds to God, leaves his relatives behind, and becomes the father of all who believe. A woman named Mary pours expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and gains for herself an eternal monument in the stream of history.

Who are the truly influential people on this earth? Don’t be deceived by outward appearances. The ones with impact are those who leave all to follow Jesus—the men and women who have proven themselves to be “blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [they] appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

You may not think that your light is very bright by this world’s standards, but when the Lord calls you a luminary, you can agree with Him and keep on shining.

 

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Our Great Privilege

dr_bright

“And don’t you realize that you also will perish unless you leave your evil ways and turn to God?” (Luke 13:3).

Today I sought to share the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ with a taxi driver who reacted impatiently when I handed him a book which I had written, entitled “Jesus and the Intellectual.” He flung it aside in contempt. I have seldom met anyone who appeared to be more angry and resentful of God than he was. I felt impressed to say to him what Jesus said to the Galileans, “It is a matter of life and death what you do with Jesus Christ. There is a heaven and there is a hell. God loves you and cares for you. He wants you to come to Him and receive the gift of His only begotten Son through whom you can have forgiveness, life abundant, and life eternal.” From all appearances he could not have cared less.

That warning to the Galileans many years ago applies equally to the nations and individuals today. If one truth in the Word of God is made abundantly clear, it is this: Repent or perish.

“It is because of this solemn fear of the Lord, which is ever present in our minds, that we work so hard to win others. God knows our hearts, that they are pure in this matter, and I hope that, deep within, you really know it too” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

As Christians we have the same awesome responsibility and great privilege to tell everyone who will listen about Christ. Most of us would take great risk to save the life of a drowning child or to snatch up a toddler from the path of an automobile. Yet, most everyone who is living today will be dead in 100 years or less, but all men will live in heaven or hell for eternity. How much more important it is to tell men and women who are perishing without Christ of the loving Savior who cares and who is waiting to forgive if only they will surrender their lives to Him!

We must warn them and if we do not know how, it behooves us to learn how to share our faith. One method of witnessing is the use of the Four Spiritual Laws booklet. Anyone is capable of sharing this booklet with others – if not vocally, at least by handing it to someone.

If you are hesitant to witness vocally why not begin distributing literature like the Four Spiritual Laws booklet?

Bible Reading: Luke 13:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I resolve with God’s help, to begin to distribute Christian literature, especially the Word of God and materials that will help individuals to make definite commitments of their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Our Daily Bread — Re-Creation

Our Daily Bread

2 Corinthians 5:12-21

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17

Chris Simpson’s life used to be consumed by hate. After he and his wife lost their first child, he was confused and angry. He directed that anger toward various ethnic groups and covered his body with hate-filled tattoos.

After listening to his son mimic his hatred, though, Simpson knew he needed to change. He watched a Christian movie about courage and began attending church. One month later he was baptized as a follower of Jesus Christ. Simpson is now a new person and is leaving the hate behind him, which includes the painful and expensive process of having his tattoos removed.

The apostle Paul knew something about this kind of deep transformation. He hated Jesus and persecuted His followers (Acts 22:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:9). But a personal encounter and spiritual union with Christ (Acts 9:1-20) changed all of that, causing him to reevaluate his life in light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This union with Christ made Paul a new person. The old order of sin, death, and selfishness was gone and a new beginning, a new covenant, a new perspective and way of living had come.

Following Jesus is not turning over a new leaf; it is beginning a new life under a new Master. —Marvin Williams

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT

What is the evidence that my union with Christ

has transformed my old humanity? Are there

indicators that I am not the me I used to be?

Being in Christ is not rehabilitation, it’s re-creation.

Bible in a year: Jeremiah 3-5; 1 Timothy 4

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Reasons for Trials

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“He…comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

For two years, Annette had suffered through the agony of her beloved husband’s terminal cancer. Meanwhile, their only son had been drawn into drug addiction through the influence of an undesirable group of students in the local high school. She was devastated. Her whole life was filled with heartache and sorrow. She had nothing to live for. Then a neighbor told her of Jesus – how He could give her peace of heart and peace of mind and could provide the purpose she needed in her life. He could even change her son.

So Annette received the wonderful gift of God’s love, the Lord Jesus Christ, and began to pray for her son. At first he was antagonistic, but gradually he became aware of the dramatic transformation in his mother, and in answer to her prayers, along with those of her new-found friends in the local church, he too came to worship the Savior and make Him Lord of his life.

In the meantime, Annette was suffering great financial difficulty because of the huge doctor and hospital bills and her lack of ability to work during her husband’s illness. But God wonderfully comforted and strengthened her so that now she can witness joyfully of His gracious mercy and faithfulness in her behalf. She and her son are ministering effectively to others who are experiencing heartache and tragedy similar to those which once plagued them.

Are you experiencing difficulties, sorrows, heartaches, disappointments? Ask the Lord to show you how to translate them into victories so that He can use you to be a blessing to those around you who are experiencing similar difficulties.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 1:3-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Knowing that God is faithful in His love and wisdom, I will trust the indwelling Holy Spirit for the power to accept the trial or adversity I face today, and will expect God to use it to comfort and help someone else through me.

 

 

 

Alistair Begg – How Much Do You Owe?

Alistair Begg

For the love of Christ controls us.

2 Corinthians 5:14

How much do you owe to my Lord? Has He ever done anything for you? Has He forgiven your sins? Has He covered you with a robe of righteousness? Has He set your feet upon a rock? Has He established your goings? Has He prepared heaven for you? Has He prepared you for heaven? Has He written your name in His Book of Life? Has He given you countless blessings? Has He laid up for you a store of mercies, which eye has not seen nor ear heard?

Then do something for Jesus that is worthy of His love. Do not give a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your Master comes if you have to confess that you did nothing for Him but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither flowing out to the poor nor to His work? Be done with that kind of love! What do men think of a love that never shows itself in action? Why, they say, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”1 Who will accept a love so weak that it does not stir you to a single act of self-denial, generosity, heroism, or zeal?

Consider how He has loved you and given Himself for you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a rushing, mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your worldliness and clear away the mists of sin. For Christ’s sake let this be the tongue of fire that sits upon you: For Christ’s sake let this be the divine excitement, the heavenly empowerment to bear you up from earth, the divine spirit that will make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord’s service. Love should give wings to the feet of service and strength to the arms of industry. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be shaken, determined to honor Him with a zeal that is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with a passion that doesn’t waver, let us display the constraints of love for Jesus. May the divine magnet draw us toward heaven itself.

1Isaiah 40:27