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Bible Pathways - November 28, 2005

November 28

Read 2 Corinthians 1

In Today's Reading:

Forgiveness of those who repent; Lordship of Christ; Christian suffering

Earthen vessels (clay pots) have very little value of their own. Their essential worth depends upon what they contain. If they are left empty, they have no purpose for existence. However, if they are filled with gold, their value increases dramatically. The body of a Christian is compared to an ordinary clay pot and the precious treasure is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We have this treasure in earthen vessels (II Corinthians 4:7) and are precious to Christ and responsible to Him as dispensers of His life in our character and conduct.

Being accountable to Christ not only includes a moral responsibility regarding the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16) but also includes how we respond to difficult and distressing experiences common to many of God's children. Because of this, the Holy Spirit led Paul to write: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed (puzzled), but not in despair (without hope); Persecuted (driven away, pursued), but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest (known) in our body (II Corinthians 4:8-10). Since the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian, He enables us to respond in a way that honors the Lord. But we are responsible to make that decision. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).

Trials, troubles, and temptations in whatever form, are necessary for spiritual growth; without them, we would not exercise our faith or develop spiritual insight and strength (Acts 14:22; I Peter 1:6-7). Just as it was necessary for Jesus to die, we too must die daily to self-love as He said: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).

Our light affliction (present trouble, temptations), which is but for a moment (short time), worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:17-18).

Word Studies:

2:5 not overcharge = not overstate the case or be too severe; 2:9 know the proof of you = test your loyalty; 2:14 savour = satisfaction, sweetness, like a lovely fragrance; 3:10 even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth = what was glorious (Law given to Moses) has no glory in comparison to the surpassing glory of Jesus Christ; 4:15 redound = abound, overflow, result in abundance.

Cross References:

For II Corinthians 3:13: See Exodus 34:33. II Corinthians 4:13: See Psalm 116:10.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. Charles Serball · Staff: Barbara Bivens · Government Officials: Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (MI) and Secretary Michael Chertoff (Department of Homeland Security) · Country: Albania (3 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Albanian and Greek · Newly opened to evangelism · 40% Muslim; 11% Albanian Orthodox; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord at all times regardless of circumstances (Psalm 34:1).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:26

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