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?

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How Paul Ministered: In Weakness, Fear, & Trembling – 1 Corinthians 2

From my reading in 1 Corinthians 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

All  who do ministry have experienced fear.

Maybe it’s right before you go on stage to speak or when you are on your way to an appointment to share the gospel. Maybe it’s when you have something hard to say to someone you are investing in.

Fear is an ever present struggle for those on the front lines of ministry.

Paul’s honesty in how he approached the Corinthians is refreshing and reminds us that even the giants of our faith have experienced fear.

I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” 1 Cor 2:3-5

Paul humbly and wisely focused on making the message about Christ very plain instead of over complicating it. He relied on the power of the Holy Spirit and not on his own intellect so that people would trust God’s power and not Paul’s.

God can even use our fear and weakness by showing people that it is not about us but it is about Jesus!

My twin brother Paul Worcester asked people to pray for his ministry and shared this verse that I think is very relevant to this topic.

“When I cried out for help, you answered me. You made me bold and energized me.” Ps 138:3 NET

Next time you feel weak or timid doing ministry ask God to give you his boldness and energy to do what he has called you to do!

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