4 Ways To Experience The Presence God – 2 Corinthians 13

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 13 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Paul gave the Corinthians four ways to experience the presence of God as his final instructions of the letter.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11

Notice it says that if they did these things “then the God of love and peace will be with you.” The following instructions are ways to experience God’s presence.

1. Be joyful.

Joy is a natural byproduct of living in God’s presence. We are commanded to be joyful.  No matter how hard our situation we have a choice to rejoice. It is not possible to be happy all the time, but we can choose joy even in the darkest times through Christ’s power.

2. Grow to maturity.

The more you grow the more you will know Jesus. Growing in your faith will allow you to go into deeper fellowship with God. As you get to know Jesus you become more like him and you fellowship with him will become sweeter.

3. Encourage each other.

Through encouragement we can help each other experience God’s presence. God can speak to you through other people. Sometimes God’s comfort is most easily felt through the loving words of a fellow Christian.

4. Live in harmony and peace.

God’s presence dwells with those who are united in his name. There is spiritual power when a group comes together in harmony and peace. When there is fighting and disharmony it disrupts what God wants to do through a group.

Which of these four commands does your community need to work on today?

Which do you need to work on personally?

If you like this article share it on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe by Email.

Encouragement For Those Suffering – 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

We all go through hard times, but some people experience much more pain than others!

It order to defend his legitimacy apostle Paul share many of his trials with the Corinthians. Here’s the list of the trials Paul went through from 2 Corinthians 11.

  • Worked hard long days -23, 27
  • Put in prison -23
  • Whipped without number -23
  • Faced death again and again – 23
  • Received 39 lashes five times – 24
  • Beaten with rods three times – 25
  • Shipwrecked three times – 25
  • Spent a night and day drifting at sea – 25
  • Traveled many long journeys – 26
  • Faced danger from rivers -26
  • Faced danger from robbers -26
  • Faced danger from people, both Jews and Gentiles -26
  • Danger in the cities – 26
  • Danger in the deserts -26
  • Danger on the seas -26
  • Danger from false christians – 26
  • Endured sleepless nights -27
  • Been hungry – 27
  • Been thirsty – 27
  • Been cold – 27
  • Been without enough clothing to keep warm – 27
  • The daily burden of concern for all the churches – 28
  • Had to escape a city through a window in a basket – 32-22

It’s safe to say that 99% of those reading this article have not experienced as much pain as the Apostle Paul!

All of this pain never deterred him from his mission. Paul was so motivated that he was willing to endure all these things for the sake of the gospel! Paul experienced much suffering of the sake of Jesus. Paul said,

If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am. 2 Corinthians 11:30

I think the reason he boasted in his weakness is that it identified him with Jesus, “a man of suffering”.

It is in the middle Paul’s weakness and suffering that God used Paul to plant many churches. If you are in ministry and going through hard times, take heart, God still wants to use you and often uses us in the middle of our pain!

If you like this article share it on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe by Email.

8 Benefits Of Generous Giving – 2 Corinthians 9

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 9 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

These are results that normally happen when we give generously. There are situations where God allows generous people to experience poverty in this life, but these principles are generally what will happen if we exhibit a lifestyle of generousity.

1. Your passion will motivate others to give.

For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving. 2 Corinthians 9:2

2. You will receive blessing in proportion to what you give. (Not always monitory blessing.)

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 2 Corinthians 9:6

3. God is pleased when you give willingly and cheerfully, not because of pressure.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”2 Corinthians 9:7

4. God will meet the needs and give you plenty left over to share.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8

5. Your generosity will be remembered by God.

As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:9

6. God will increase your resources partially to increase your giving.

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 2 Corinthians 9:10

7. You will be enriched in every way.

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

8. You will bless others and they will praise God.

So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:12-13

Which of these results of generous giving inspires you most?

If you like this article share it on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe by Email.

The Difference Between Godly Sorrow And Worldly Sorrow – 2 Corinthians 7

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 7 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Sorrow is not always a bad thing.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians about something they needed to change. He wrote very forcefully so that they knew he was serious. The letter he sent caused them pain, but ended up leading them to change their ways.

I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 2 Corinthians 7:8–9

Godly sorrow causes you to repent and change your ways.

To repent means to change your mind about something. The kind of sorrow that Paul is describing here is not hopeless condemnation, but feeling sorry enough to change your actions. Paul then contrasts this type of sorrow with worldly sorrow.

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow leads us away from sin and results in being forgiven.

Worldly sorry does not cause us to turn from our sins.

We may feel bad about something, but then we go right back to the sin that we felt bad about. To the person with worldly sorrow the words “I’m sorry” often mean, “I’m sorry I got caught.”  People with worldly sorrow often end up in a sad state of depression. They are sad, but don’t change their behavior.

Godly sorrow has very different attributes.

Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right. 2 Corinthians 7:11

Godly sorrow produced the following qualities in the Corinthians:

  • Earnestness
  • Concern to clear themselves
  • Indignation
  • Alarm
  • Longing to see Paul
  • Zeal
  • Readiness to punish wrong
  • Doing what’s necessary to make things right

Godly sorrow results in godly action.

Godly sorrow means that you are ready to change whatever is necessary to get the sin out of your life.

Many of us have “pet sins” we have been struggling with for a while. We feel bad about them, but not bad enough to eliminate them from our lives.

My prayer is that we would experience this type of godly sorrow about our sin enough to actually do something about it!

Is there an area of your life that you would like to pray that God will give you godly sorrow about?

If you like this article share it on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe by Email.

9 Principles Of Authentic Ministry Leadership – 2 Corinthians 6

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 6 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Paul is a great example of authentic ministry leadership. Here are 9 principles we would do well to apply to our lives.

1. You Are Partnering With God

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 1 Cor 6:1

2. Preach With Urgency

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.2 Corinthians 6:2

3. Live In A Way That Doesn’t Cause Others To Stumble

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. 2 Corinthians 6:3–4a

4. Endure Hard Times For The Sake Of The Gospel

We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 2 Corinthians 6:4b–5

5. Prove Yourself Through Your Life

We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 2 Corinthians 6:6

6. Faithfully Preach The Truth By God’s Power

We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 2 Corinthians 6:7

7. Serve God Faithfully Whether You Are Honored Or Not

We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. 2 Corinthians 6:8a

8. Be Willing To Live A Life Of Tensions

We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:8–10

9. Speak Honestly And Lovingly

Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 2 Corinthians 6:11

Which of these principles do you need to work on in your leadership?

If you like this article share it on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe by Email.