Read II Corinthians 9 -- 13
In Today's Reading:
Paul's spiritual authority; warning against false teachers; Paul's suffering; his thorn in the flesh; his plans to visit Corinth
Paul often faced rejection from hostile enemies of Christ and occasionally from believers as well. He recalled: Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes (lashes) save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleepless nights) often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are outside that which comes upon me daily, the care (concern) of all the churches (II Corinthians 11:24-28). After his conversion, Paul lived with only one purpose, to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond (10:16).
We too have the high calling to reach out in love to all people with the Good News of eternal life. Surely everyone should have the opportunity of hearing, at least once, that at death they are destined to either eternal death in the lake of fire or eternal life in heaven. Even though our lives and good works are very commendable, our Creator Jesus Christ said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). Have you ever seriously thought what it means for your friends or loved ones to die without being saved?
The dividing line between the sheep and the goats, the weeds and the wheat, the saved and the lost rests upon one fact; Jesus assured us that, if a man keep (obey) My saying, he shall never see (experience) death (8:51).
It is of utmost importance that we consider our priorities. Do they bring us closer to the Lord and His purpose for our lives or take us further away from Him? When the Son of Man shall come. . . . before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them . . . as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. . . . Then the King shall say to them on His right hand, Come . . . inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:31-34).
9:2 forwardness = readiness; 9:5 bounty = gift; 9:7 of necessity = under compulsion; 9:13 experiment = experience, proof, and evidence; 10:13 without = beyond; 11:2 espoused = engaged; 11:3 beguiled = deceived, seduced; simplicity = sincere faithfulness; 11:5 a whit behind = at all inferior to; 11:6 rude in speech = unskilled as an orator; 12:7 buffet = discipline, strike with clenched fist; 12:17 make a gain of you = take advantage of or exploit you; 12:20 swellings = pride; self-assertion; 12:21 lasciviousness = lustfulness; 13:6 we are not reprobates = rejected, not genuine Christians.
For II Corinthians 9:9: See Psalm 112:9. II Corinthians 10:17: See Jeremiah 9:24. II Corinthians 13:1: See Deuteronomy 19:15.
Pray for Alexander Botanov, Russian translator · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. John A. Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Barbara Cubin (WY) and Rep. Richard Burr (NC) · Country: Dominican Republic (8 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: The Lord is a shield for you in times of trouble (Psalm 3:1-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:5