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Bible Pathways 11/30/04

November 30

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. Someone may be very likable and a good citizen but the dividing line between the saved and the lost is dependent on one fact: have they repented of their sins and received Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. We need to remind them that Jesus Christ said: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no one comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).

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).

Word Studies:

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.

Cross References:

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Dr. and Mrs. John A. Hash · BP Staff: Kenneth Roy Roberts III · Government Officials: Rep Barbara Cubin (WY) and Rep. Richard Burr (NC) · Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa · Major languages: Kirundi and French · Losing religious freedom · 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your words and thoughts will be pleasing to the Lord (Psalm 19:14).

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10

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