2 Corinthians – Chapter 11

Verse 1 – Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly – and indeed you do bear with me.

Folly in boasting. The idea here seems to be boasting is generally foolish, and not to be indulged in, but tolerate him just a little.

Verse 2 – For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Paul had taught the Corinthians to prepare themselves for the Redeemer, Christ, as a virgin bride is presented to the bridegroom.

Verse 3 – But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupt from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Corinthians sincere devotion to Christ was being threatened by false teachers. Just as Eve lost her focus by listening to the serpent, we too can get side-tracked with our devotion.

Verse 4 – For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it.

Every preacher, teacher, or prophet, has to be proven by God’s Holy Word. Scripture is your authoritative guide. If they contradict God’s Word, they are false teachers. There is no other Messiah but One – Jesus Christ! People get led astray because they don’t know the Original!

Verse 5 – For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles.

Paul had given them proof in the miracles which he had performed and the abundance of labor in teaching them, and didn’t want false teachers getting their affection that they should have for him. Paul had also proven to them that he was sent by God.

Verse 6 – Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.

Paul was a brilliant thinker, but was not good at public-speaking. Evidently, these false teachers were great public speakers, because they were getting the Corinthian’s attention enough to question Paul’s authority.

Verse 7 – Did I commit sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?

The false preachers may have suggested that Paul was an amateur because he didn’t charge for his preaching.

Verse 8 – I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.

Jesus Himself, taught that those who minister for God should be supported by the people to whom they minister. But Paul thought that by asking support in Corinth, it might be misunderstood, so he supported himself.

Verse 9 – And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what was lacking to me the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself.

Verse 10 – As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

Verse 11 – Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!

Verse 12 – But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.

In other words: Paul will continue to preach at no charge, which was a contrast between him and the false teachers.

Verse 13 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

They pretend to be apostles, but they had no divine commission from God.

Verse 14 – And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Verse 15 – Therefore it is no great thing is his (Satan’s) ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

I don’t know why false teachers, false prophets, and false preachers think that they can pretend to be speaking the gospel and really are doing it to get rich. They think that their motives will escape God in the Day of Judgment. It won’t!

Verse 16 – I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me a fool, that I also may boast a little.

Verse 17 – What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

Verse 18 – Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.

Verse 19 – For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!

Paul was being sarcastic.

Verse 20 – For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.

You bear patiently with people who impose on you in every way, and those who are constantly defrauding you, though you claim to be so wise.

Verse 21 – To our shame, I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold – I speak foolishly – I am bold also.

Verse 22 – Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

Verse 23 – Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

Paul presented his credentials to contradict the charges that the false teachers were making against him.

Verse 24 – From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.

Verse 25 – Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

Paul was sacrificing his life to bring them the gospel, something the false teachers would never do.

Verse 26 – in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Verse 27 – in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness –

Verse 28 – besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

Verse 29 – Who is weak, and I not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

Paul was identifying with the converts.

Verse 30 – If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

Verse 31 – The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

Verse 32 – In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to apprehend me;

Verse 33  – but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

Paul wanted the Corinthians and all who read this letter to know what he endured in order to bring the gospel. We may not ever go hungry, get beat, or thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, but we will be mocked and ridiculed. Can you handle it?

 

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2 Corinthians – Chapter 8

Verse 1 – Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:

Verse 2 – that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberty.

The church in Macedonia were in poverty themselves, but yet they gave in abundance out of their poverty. The gift is measured by what it cost you. It seems like those which have the least to give, give the most.

Verse 3 – For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,

Verse 4 – imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

Verse 5 – And this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

Verse 6 – So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.

It’s not going to do any good to just give money without first giving yourself to God.

Verse 7 – But as you abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us – see that you abound in grace also.

Paul tells the Corinthians that they are abounding in everything including their giving. When love is sincere, it will cause you to give.

Verse 8 – I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.

Verse 9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Verse 10 – And in this I give my advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;

The giving had been interrupted by the divisions within the church at Corinth. Paul was telling them to “Get back to what they were doing before they started quarreling!”

Verse 11 – but now you also must complete the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.

The need to help the poor was still there. They were not released from their obligation to give just because they had paused a while.

Verse 12 – For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

A willing heart in giving is acceptable to God, whether large or small. However, giving grudgingly, selfishly, or out of obligation, is a waste of time. Always keep this in mind when giving: If God has given you much, then give much. He doesn’t bless us for us to be hoarders.

Verse 13 – For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;

Verse 14 – but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack – that there may be equality.

Verse 15 – As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

This quotation comes from Exodus 16:18, when the Israelites gathered their daily manna. The rich Christians at Corinth should give freely to the poor brethren. They had gathered more wealth than was necessary for their families.

The one who gathered much were to give much, therefore having nothing left. And the one’s who gathered little, did not go without. Paul is talking about giving to the sick, disabled, or too old to gather. He’s not taking about those who are able to work but won’t!

Verse 16 – But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

Verse 17 – For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.

Verse 18 – And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches,

This brother is not named, but it may have been Luke.

Verse 19 – and not only that but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind,

Verse 20 – avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us –

Verse 21 – providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Paul explained that by these three traveling together, there could be no suspicions and that the gift would be handled honestly.

verse 22 – And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you.

Verse 23 – If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.

Verse 24 – Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.

We as Christians, are to have a heart for the needs of others. Maybe more churches ought to preach on this chapter for the sake of letting people know that the offerings and gifts collected are not just for themselves.

One time, I needed help and went to my church pastors and asked for help. Did I get it? Nope! The answer I got was, “If we do that for you, it will open a can of worms, and we will have to do it for everyone else who asks. That was horrible! Here’s the result though: Find a loving and  giving church to attend that cares for the welfare of others to give your gifts to. Watch closely whom you support.

 

 

 

 

What is the Judgement Seat of Christ?

The apostle Paul guarantees that every believer will stand before God at the judgment seat of Christ. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” No believer will escape this.

At the end of this verse, Paul says, “good or bad.” This is not referring to righteousness or sin. It is talking about the works we do and did while living on earth. Are they acceptable to Christ or not. Our motives behind every deed done will be exposed.

In 1 Corinthians 3:13, Paul writes that “each one’s work”…, will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

When we stand at the judgment seat of Christ, it will be about the motives, not how much work we did. If any of our motives are less than pure, they will be burned up.

For instance: Whenever you reach out to help someone, are you doing it to actually see them better off with nothing given back to you in return? Or are you just doing it to show others what a good person you are? Those that do things in secret, will be openly rewarded.

Honesty with yourself plays an important role in why we do what we do for others. Love plays an even bigger role.

Hosea – Chapter 8

Willful Idolatry

Verse 1 – “Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant an rebelled against My law.

Verse 2 – Israel will cry to Me, ‘My God, we know You!’

Verse 3 – Israel has cast off the good; the enemy will pursue him.

Verse 4 – “They set up kings, but not by Me; they made princes, and I did not acknowledge it. From their silver and gold they made idols for themselves – that they might be cut off.

The Israelites would cry out to God for help, but refuse to give up their idols. Some today will cry out to God to avoid the consequences of their actions, but yet have no intention of turning away from sin. This is what Israel did when the Assyrians started to devour their city.

Verse 5 – Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them. How long will it be until they attain to innocence?

Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom. Jeroboam I, had set up a calf to worship at Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:25-333).

Verse 6 – For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.

Verse 7 – “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Proverbs 22:8). The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal. If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.

A crop yield is the result of good seed planted in good soil with water and fertilizer. A single seed can produce multiple fruit in good conditions. However, Israel had sown spiritual seeds to the wind. When we seek advancement without God, we are on our own and are exposed to the enemy to scatter. The Assyrians will come and take what Israel meant to produce.

Verse 8 – Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which there is no pleasure.

Verse 9 – For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.

In 732 B.C. Hoshea, when he became king, went to Assyria for help. He wanted to stop Tiglath-Pileser III from ruling Israel.

Verse 10 – Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king of princes.

This burden was when Hoshea was king and he imposed high taxes on the people.

Verse 11 – “Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, they have become for him altars for sinning.

Verse 12 – I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing.

The altars that were supposed to remove sin were actually increasing sin through their misuse in worshiping Baal.

Verse 13 – For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the Lord does not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins. They shall return to Egypt.

The people’s sacrifices had become mere rituals and God rejected them. They forgot that God sees motives and intentions of the heart. Beware of a repeating rituals to : Gain God’s favor or gaining others approval. When God said they will return to Egypt, it is a metaphor, they would return to being captives in a foreign land under foreign leaders which didn’t know their God.

Verse 14 – “For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and has built temples; Judah also has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces.”

How sad that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and now Hosea, all warned God’s people to repent and return back to Him, but ignored them all!

I don’t believe there is or ever will be a person living on God’s earth that at one time or another will not be warned about what will happen after death without Christ. Romans 1:20, says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” If anyone doesn’t know God, its because they simply don’t want to!

Our Words Matter

Proverbs 18:20 – A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

The quality of our lives depends upon the words we speak, to some degree.

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

This phrase and thought, are so important all through scripture. Everything God created He spoke out of His mouth. We were created in His image, so there is major significance in what comes out of our own mouths when we speak.

This truth, taken from scripture has been taken to the ex-stream by some. Satan takes every truth and tries to distort it. This happens when someone takes a truth and begins to exaggerate so people will believe more. I’ve seen this done with healing and prosperity teachings. This is how we got the phrase, “Name it and claim it” movement. We need to get our words we speak in agreement with God, not the other way around.

Are you releasing, by the words of your mouth, life or death?

Words connect us to God. Words are where God comes from the spiritual realm to the natural realm where we live. Yes, God sent His son to bridge us between us and God, but Jesus is the Word!

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And John 1:14 says, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Psalm 107:20 – He sent His Word and healed them.

Before Christ, there was a large gap between man and God called sin, so God sent His Word. Romans 10:8 says it this way – The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” The Bible connects the mouth and the heart, (verse 9) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (verse 10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made into salvation. (verse 13) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

What we really believe in our heart, comes out of our mouth. So we connect with God through words.

We have to watch what we say, so what is the unpardonable sin? Many people don’t understand this because they either take this scripture out of context or they stop reading too soon.

Matthew 12:31 – “Therefore I say to you every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. (blasphemy means evil speaking.) (verse 32) “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. This is where most people stop reading and never  fully understand what Jesus meant. (verse 33) “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.

The tree is the heart and the fruit is the mouth. (verse 34) “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (verse 35) “A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. (verse 36) “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (verse 37) “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”

What’s happening in this passage is Jesus was working by the power of the Holy Spirit and these men attributed this work that He was dong, to the devil. They had said that Jesus cast out demons by the power of the devil. So they in essence attributed the work and power of the Holy Spirit to Satan. And what Jesus said to them, put in simple words, “What you men are speaking, will send you to hell!” If your heart is evil you will speak evil things. Here’s the reason why: The only person of the God head that reveals our need for a Savior is the Holy Spirit! So if you continue to speak and harden your heart against the Holy Spirit, that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and that is what Jesus was telling these men, which applies to us also. So the unpardonable sin is the sin you commit with your mouth. The reason someone would speak against the Holy Spirit, is because they have hardened their heart.

Words also connect us to each other. Think about this: anytime you’ve ever had a disconnect” with someone, words were spoken to break that connection.

If you have a bad marriage, then check out what you are speaking. Any relationship that takes a dive, is more than likely because evil words were spoken by either party. You can speak death or life over your marriage, finances, health, or anything you are connected with, including our relationship with our Savior.

We don’t have creative power. That’s the error that has been taught with this truth, for instance the “Name it and claim it,” movement. God’s the only One who can say, “Let there be light!” But our words either agree with God’s plan for our life or they agree with Satan’s plan for our life. And don’t ever, ever forget, Satan roams around seeking whom he may destroy! Every word we speak is either releasing life or releasing death in our lives.

We are accountable and responsible for the words we speak and it depends  on whether you are speaking out of an evil hardened heart or a heart that bares “good fruit!”

To Blog Followers

cover

Some of you are new to my blog and don’t know that I wrote a book about 2 years ago. It’s available for $5.99 on E-book, i-pad, nooks, or any computer device that can download something. It’s a quick read and if you would like to read it, go to Google and type in Christina Harrison and Linda Eley and you can purchase it and download it there.

It’s about a hardship that I went through that lasted several years trying to save my home. But I survived as most of you know that continue to read my blog because my God is still on the Throne of grace and that lets me know that His grace is sufficient for any crises, trouble, hardship, or disaster we might go through.

Too many give up while living the Christian life because they feel like God has left them. But let this book be a part of my testimony, that even though things don’t work out the way we think they should, God still loves you and will lead you into your destiny He has designed especially for you! Let me know what you think after you read it at c.harrison30@aol.com.

 

 

Have I Helped You in Any Way?

Psalm 120

When I started doing this blog in 2012 I could barely use a computer. With the help of a friend, I wanted to start a different kind of blog that would encourage people who had stopped reading God’s word or never read it.

I started in The Beginning, so people would get an idea of how God’s Word, even in the Old Testament. would show people how it does relate to our everyday lives.

I’ve put many hours in studying because that is where we will receive our wisdom about who we are and who our great God is. I don’t copy and paste anything. Everything is hand written while I am studying and then typed on this blog.

I now am in another crises of my life and need my followers help. I say another crises because 4 years ago I lost my home of 16 years. That was hard, but what was even harder was finding a place to live because I have an old dog which can’t climb steps. I had no money for all the deposits, and no money to even rent a truck, so I had to borrow it.

Now, all the while this was taking a toll on my emotions I kept this blog, stayed in church, continually prayed for God to show me what to do or where to go.When I needed a place to live when I lost my house I looked for over 2 years for something. My kindhearted neighbor let me and Hershey live with her and her son for a year and a half. I live in a tourist area where rent is not reasonable. I’m a hairdresser and have been for 28 years and also pay rent where I work. I’m single and there is not another income to help.

What I’m asking of you who follow me, is to please donate something, anything on my donate button, to help me continue this work. I was just told today that my landlord is going to add another $150.00 a month to my rent. I’ve spent hours today looking for another place to rent that I could afford but either they don’t allow pets or they have steps. Hershey, my chocolate lab is 13 and was born with Hip Dysplasia. I had his one hip replaced when he was 8 months old. His other hind leg is crippled with arthritis, so steps are out of the question.

When I found the place I live in now, it was perfect; no steps, fenced in back yard; I was allowed to put in a doggie door; and it wasn’t too far from work. It was sold a year ago to someone who thinks $850.00, with nothing included and a power bill of $150.00 or over a month is right for this area. Not his fault, but I struggle every month to just buy gas and food.

I’ve prayed about this and it’s hard for me to ask. I stand on God’s word, but sometimes we need help from our fellow believers who are able to help. The donation button is through pay pal. It is safe and secure. If you don’t see it on my blog, scroll down to the bottom of the page. So after you pray about my situation and find it in your heart to donate, know that it will be much appreciated. Believe me, I’ve done all that I can do.