Saturday, March 10, 2007


2 Corinthians 4:10 (NKJV) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Imagine that, our bodies containing both Life and death!

We see in Paul’s words a contrast of the weakness, which marked the humiliation of Jesus’ earthly life, and the power associated with His heavenly exaltation.

In his service for Christ, Paul constantly faced death. The life of Jesus was manifested by God’s deliverance of Paul. That deliverance was evidence that Jesus is alive.

Perhaps we don’t face physical death each day in our service for the Lord, but we should experience “death” to selfishness and “life” through obedience to the Holy Spirit that now lives in us. We should be manifesting Jesus’ life by imitating the way He lived. After all, isn’t that why we call ourselves Christians?

It means “followers of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV) 4For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 - 10 (NKJV) 9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) 20I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

May God richly bless you as you seek to follow Him.


Friday, March 09, 2007


When trouble comes our way, we often get depressed or scared or think, “The whole world’s against us! If we are only looking at mortal men to help us through this then it may get really bleak at times. After all, don’t they have the same problems that we do?

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 2 Corinthians 4:8 - 9 (NKJV)

Paul looked to God Who had created all humanity and everything else. He knew that the risen Jesus was coming back to gather together those that called Him Lord. He had told them

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b

Paul had a hope that went beyond mere humans. Not that he didn’t think of people. As we will find out later in verse 12, Paul was going through all of the problems that he faced, because of people and for people. He thought it was worth the suffering and the persecutions in order to tell everyone about the amazing saving grace of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And, He knew, that even if he were to be killed, he would still live on in the presence of Jesus Christ for all eternity.

Here’s how Eugene Peterson puts those same two verses:

As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, 9 but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. 2 Corinthians 4:8 - 9 (TMSG)

So, the next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, remember what Paul went through in order to get the message through to an entire world, including you, that Jesus Christ is Lord and He will save you out of any and all circumstances.


Thursday, March 08, 2007


One thing I’ve always liked about the desert is how you can see so far when the light of the full moon is shining. Add that light with the millions of stars and you can walk anywhere without a flashlight.

God’s light is like that, shining into our lives and lighting up the dark places. Then, when we see what is there in the dark, we can avoid the obstacle or remove it.

His Word, the Bible, does precisely that. It lights up or exposes those dark areas that we need to work on. He is so good to us.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NASB)

God is the Source of Light…

God spoke light into existence when He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3

His Light is a True Spotlight on our lives…

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5 - 7 (NASB) (see also Ephesians 5:6-13)

God sent His Only Son, Jesus, into the world (John 3:16)

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 (NASB)

The Purpose of Light in us is to glorify God…

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 “nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14 - 16 (NASB)

Get in the Word…read it every day…it will “light up your life!”


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Have you ever had friends that just loved to talk about themselves? They tell you of their accomplishments, recount stories of things that they did, sometimes repeating them over and over until you could almost tell the story from memory.

That doesn’t make them a bad person, but it does make them a less effective friend to you and a less effective witness for Christ. Why? A couple of reasons come to mind.

First, because they don’t really seem to care about us since they talk only of themselves. Second, because what we should be hearing is how Jesus did this, or Jesus accomplished that, through us perhaps, but He is the one that should be praised, not “self.”

Paul explains how he feels about this in 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NASB):

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

Not only did He put Christ first, but he also put others second, with self coming in at third place.

Isn’t that what Jesus said when asked what the most important commandment was?

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37 - 40 (NLT)

Paul’s whole concept of self was that it was, and should be, DEAD!

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

His concept of others was that they were more important than self…

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3 - 4 (NASB)

God first, others second and myself immersed deeply in Christ. This is the recipe for genuine happiness.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007


2 Corinthians 4:3 - 4 (NKJV) 3But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Paul had told us in verse 2 that he preached the unadulterated, unaltered Word of God. He didn’t water it down with things people wanted to hear or vain philosophies in order to win them over. It was the pure Word from God.

Beginning in verse 3, he tells us that some think the message he preaches is veiled or mysterious. In other words, they just don’t get it. He goes on to explain that the god of this age, satan, has blinded their minds.

Jesus told His disciples in John 10:27 (NKJV),

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Satan has not blinded those of us that understand what God is saying. God, in His wonderful grace has opened the “eyes” of our hearts.

Does that mean there is no hope for them that do not understand it now? Paul tells us “no” in Ephesians 2:1 - 3 (NKJV) because we too were once like them.

And you He (Christ) made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Therefore, we must not give up because the seed of God’s Word that we plant in someone’s heart today, may be watered by another tomorrow.

One thing is for certain, Christ has already won the victory over death and the god of this world, satan, has been defeated.

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. John 12:31 (NASB)

Our part is to continue on bringing to the people of this world the gospel of peace. It is God’s part to convict men’s hearts and bring them to understanding.

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14 (NKJV)


Monday, March 05, 2007


Do you want to sleep soundly at night? Do you want to be able to look people squarely in the face? Try Paul’s recipe found in 2 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV):

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Renounced: to give something up, to reject belief in (the hidden things of shame)

  • Now they won’t be hidden or deceiving others...the equivalent to walking in the truth.

Craftiness: using cunning or trickery to deceive other people (no more!)

  • Now only walking in truth

Deceitfully: intentionally misleading or fraudulent in lying to people or not telling them the whole truth

  • Now manifesting (to show something clearly) the truth found in the WORD OF GOD

Giving up shameful, secret things

+ Not twisting God’s Word or taking it out of context to fit your agenda

+ Clearly using God’s Word as He intended

= Clear Conscience


Sunday, March 04, 2007


Don’t you just feel like quitting some times: quitting work, school, a project or something else? I think we all get discouraged if we are honest. So why then do we keep going? What is it that spurs us on, regardless of the task? Paul tells us something about this in 2 Corinthians 4:1 (NLT),

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way (or ministry), we never give up.

The “new way” is the answer. What is that about? When we lived at home with our parents, we were under their law or rules. When we are on our own, there is liberty from those rules, but hopefully we learned a little something about life from them; work ethic, morals, responsibility, etc. We also feel, as we get older (more mature), a responsibility and sense of gratitude for the sacrifice our parents made in order to make us able to handle our liberty.

It is the same with God and us, though we are never apart from Him! There has to be something beyond humanity that keeps us going and Paul tells us it is God’s merciful dealing with us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.

No longer are we under those hundreds of rules called the Law and condemned to death because we can’t keep them. We have liberty in Christ Jesus because He took that punishment of death on Himself. He paid for our sins with His life. We are freed from the law because of that but bound to Christ (we owe Him big!) because we have accepted His gift and His love for us. What does Christ ask of us in return? Love God and Love each other.

That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? It also sounds like a message worth telling. So why would we ever stop? Can a mere human discourage us from telling people about the God that created all humanity and everything else? Can trials or circumstances ever stop us from telling people that when their earthly body dies they can live with God in heaven forever? Paul says, “Never!”

Romans 8:38 - 39 (NLT) And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.