Never Give Up! (2 Corinthians)
Never be ashamed of the gospel!
We could all use a little encouragement right now. I’m writing these words in late October 2020. In a few days we will wrap up the most contentious presidential election of my lifetime. Soon we will say farewell to 2020, which has been nothing like we expected. Twelve months ago we had never heard of […]
The Holy Spirit is the “first installment” of our salvation. He is God’s “deposit” in our lives, guaranteeing that God will one day finish what he has started.
God intends for the church to become a body of committed, loving truth-tellers. Easy to say, hard to
Death will not have the last word for Jesus has conquered the grave. Because he rose, we too shall rise.
You do the figuring. Which is greater? Your sorrows or the vast and immeasurable promises of God, made in his Word, guaranteed by the Spirit, and purchased for us in the death and resurrection of our Lord?
May God give us preachers with some backbone who won’t back down. God deliver us from politically correct sermons and preachers who preach everything but the Word of God.
We can live in such a way that others see Christ in us. But for that to happen we must be broken so that the light of Christ can come shining through us.
So what can we expect as Christians who live in this world? Well, we can say with Jimmy Stewart, it’s a wonderful life. But it’s not an easy life.
God prefers losers who know their weakness, see their flaws, admit their mistakes, and cry out to him for help.
We can preach the gospel and we can pray. Satan will do all he can to keep the lost blind and confused so they cannot “see” the gospel. Only God can lift the veil and speak the words that will bring light to those who walk in darkness.
You can have the fading glory of the law and all you’ll get for it is death and condemnation. Or you can come to Christ and you will have the unfading glory of life and righteousness forever.
While living in this flesh, we face the same limitations as others do. We keep going because our confidence is on God, not in ourselves.
God measures our success in terms of lives changed. He’s evidently not that impressed by the size of our budget or by the stained glass in our sanctuary. The One who hung the stars in space doesn’t really care how many books we’ve written or how much money we make or whether or not we see our name in lights.
We are still the aroma of Christ to the saved and to the lost. Some believe and are saved. Others reject and are lost. That was true 2000 years ago, and it is still true today.
Maybe we should make 2010 a Year of Good Riddance in which we say farewell to anger, bitterness, blaming, finger pointing, self-justification and a critical spirit, and ask God to grant us a fresh infusion of his grace in all of our relationships.
When others twist your words, do not despair. Speak the truth, explain yourself clearly, and then entrust your future to the Lord. If we trust in him, the time of chaos will pass, and we will be stronger for having gone through the struggle.
Don’t waste your pain. Use it to grow closer to the Lord and to his people. Use it as a means to minister to others. Our personal ministry begins as we share with others what God has shared with us.