2 Corinthians 10:7-18 – Boast in the Lord

Read 2 Corinthians 10:7-18

We’ve all seen people who are so full of themselves and their own agendas they are almost repelling. You are probably picturing someone you know right now! Those people haven’t read this passage, or if they have, they don’t see how it should be speaking to them. They are only comparing themselves to each other. That is a limitation to be sure, and it doesn’t make for an attractive character. Do you think?

We can boast all we want, so long as those boasts are about God and how he is working in the world. Better yet, how he is working in our own lives! His authority trumps all else. When we are fortunate enough to be touched by God’s grace, we can’t help but want to share. Yet sometimes we don’t, afraid of what people may say or think. It’s seems to be so much easier to share about a good restaurant meal, a funny movie, a comfortable pair of shoes. Why is that?

Continue reading “2 Corinthians 10:7-18 – Boast in the Lord”

2 Corinthians 10:1-6 – Our Secret Weapons

Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

top secret stamp

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Paul, I don’t think “timid.” Yet he is trying here to be gentle and kind like Christ. That, to me, speaks volumes to us as well. Kindness and Gentleness are two of our secret weapons. Have you ever heard it said, “Kill them with kindness”? Selena Gomez has a song entitled “Kill ‘em With Kindness” and one of the lyrics says, “We don’t have to fall from grace. Put down the weapons you fight with.” When we lead with kindness, good things can happen.

Paul sees this as powerful as well. Afterall, Jesus never led with might and weapons of war. Why should we? But like a shepherd protects his flock, Paul wants to protect his people (us) from the lies of the world. Paul reminds us, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.” What does that mean? Think of war. Guns. Bombs. Death. Why?

Continue reading “2 Corinthians 10:1-6 – Our Secret Weapons”

2 Corinthians 9:1-15 – How Much to Give?

Read 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

In my post from 2 Corinthians 8, we heard Paul’s teaching on giving and how we should see it as a privilege and not an obligation. What exactly are we giving? Perhaps it’s our time. Perhaps it’s a portion of our income. Perhaps it’s both. What we give is between us and God. Here again, Paul teaches that we should give cheerfully.

I don’t know about you, but from my experience when I am generous with my giving, it just feels good. There is some satisfaction about putting our tithe in the offering each week. Even when it was an auto-deduct from our bank account, I knew it was happening and it gave me joy. God can do so much more with that gift than I can by holding on to it.

Continue reading “2 Corinthians 9:1-15 – How Much to Give?”

2 Corinthians 8:16-24 – Glorify the Lord

Read 2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Paul introduces us in this passage to Titus and has many nice things to say about him. Titus will have some companions, too, but they remain unnamed here. It seems like Paul is going out of his way to show his support and acceptance, presumably to give the Corinthians the same level of trust. After all, Titus and his travel mates will be the ones carrying the donations back to Jerusalem.

Having been a church leader for many years, I know the scrutiny we endure. There is a lot of pressure to be above reproach. Why is that? For some, it is to make sure nobody can accuse you of doing something shady. We’ve all seen the scandals of church leaders who have been caught in their sin, exposed, ridiculed, and thrown out of their roles. Being we’re all sinful, it can be hard to live up to the expectations put on a church leader to somehow be less sinful. How can it be less daunting?

Continue reading “2 Corinthians 8:16-24 – Glorify the Lord”

2 Corinthians 8:1-15 – The Gift of Giving

Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Such a beautiful passage about giving. I know the church gets a bad rap at times from people who don’t understand the discipline of giving. I’ve heard people complain that all churches do is ask for money. I feel sad for those people who haven’t encountered Jesus in a way that has touched their heart to overflowing. Only then does giving seem like it is something we WANT do and not something we HAVE to do.

Paul’s words here are very helpful. When we see giving as a “privilege,” we are starting to understand. Paul starts out by using an example of the people in Macedonia. They must be going through some difficult times, yet they are giving way more than they can afford. They have the joy of the Lord overflowing, and this is resulting in their “rich” generosity. Paul says, “their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.”

Continue reading “2 Corinthians 8:1-15 – The Gift of Giving”