2 Corinthians 8:2 Generosity

“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:2

Paul is talking about the churches in Macedonia. He states that God has given them a large amount of grace. They were undergoing an extremely severe trial, yet were overflowing with joy despite extreme poverty. They did not use this joy for themselves, but gave to others as much as they were able to do. They were willing to give their last shirt and food for others to meet their needs. They were extremely generous.

Most people do not like to be extremely generous because they are concerned for themselves. If they give all their money, how will they pay for their bills? Or put food on the table? Or what if the vehicle breaks down? Or how will they purchase the clothes their children need?

These are legitimate concerns people have. They are not frivolous, selfish type of desires.

While there are others who have more selfish concerns. Some such as how to pay for the vacation coming up? Or how to purchase that new car? Or new television?

Both types of concerns are things that as a believer you should not be concerned about. You are supposed to trust God in all of your needs. You are to be led by God’s Holy Spirit in what you are to do in your life. If God opens the door to give to someone in need, take it. Trust that He knows your needs and will provide for them.

All believers should be first generous in everything they have. God was extremely generous in sending His Son to this earth for you. Jesus was extremely generous in laying down His life so that you may have life. Jesus was extremely generous in forgiving you of your sins so that you could live for eternity.

In light of the grace God has given you, be generous to others. Be willing to give, even beyond your ability. Trust that God is in control and will take care of your needs. As you meet the needs of others, others can meet your needs.

I pray today that God will show you ways to be generous to others; that you will know how generous God has been to you; that you will trust God for all of your needs; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

2 Corinthians 7:10 True Sorrow

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10

Being sorry for something can mean two different things. Paul points out that there is a godly sorrow and a worldly sorrow. One is a true sorrow, while the other is a false sorrow.

People will often have a sorrow that is like a child’s sorrow: they are sorry that they got caught. Think of a little brother and sister fighting. The brother hits the sister and hurts her. The parent tells the boy to say “I’m sorry”. He does but with no meaning behind it. In his heart he is still glad that he hit her. He is only doing it because he got caught and had to do it.

This is the type of sorrow that the world has. There is no meaning behind their words. It does not change how they live or react. According to Paul this will ultimately bring about death. It brings about death because there is no repentance being done. Without repentance God cannot forgive a person, thus they must die in hell.

Godly sorrow, however, works differently. This sorrow knows that one did wrong and is extremely sorry for doing it. It brings about great remorse for doing the wrong. In this sorrow a person will then seek forgiveness and strive to change and never do it again.

There are some who have a “godly sorrow” but refuse to forgive themselves or believe that God can and does forgive them. They continue to live in regret of the sin and constantly ask for forgiveness for the same sin. This is not Godly sorrow. God’s sorrow knows that sin was done and that God can and does forgive. In His sorrow there is salvation offered.

Where are you at with your sorrow? Are you sorry you got caught by God? Or maybe someone else?

Or are you sorry that you did the sin? Are you will to repent and turn away from that sin?

Seek God’s Holy Spirit to reveal the forgiveness you are offered and the strength to turn from the sin. Have no regrets. Do not bring on death to yourself.

I pray today that God will help you have true sorrow for sin in your life; that God will guide you in turning from all sin; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; and that you will not have any worldly sorrow in your life.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Purifying The Body And Spirit

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Paul had just finished telling of some promises God had made. These were that believers will be saved, that God will be their God, and that they will be His people. In light of these promises he now tells people to purify themselves from everything that contaminates both body and spirit.

Believers in the church will readily see the need to purify the soul of any sin. They know that sin is bad in the spirit of a person. The challenge for many is knowing what is sin and what is not sin. The world has influenced the church so much that many sins are watered down and are no longer seen as sin.

Often believers will overlook what they are thinking in their thoughts because they feel it is not sinful to have bad thoughts since there is no action to it. Others often refuse to forgive someone else of a wrong done. These and many other things are still sin in their spirit.

The other area that is often overlooked is the body. People will eat junk foods continually, or drink bad drinks, or take drugs that are bad for their body, or refuse to exercise their body. This is not taking care of the physical body God has blessed the person with.

Your focus should not be on anyone of these things or of many other things that may need to be done or not done. Your focus needs to be on Jesus and what He wants for you.

Are you taking care to not contaminate your spirit in any way? Are you trying to be pure and holy before God? Jesus paid the high price of death for you. Will you abuse the price He paid?

Are you striving to take care of the body God has blessed you with? What contaminates are you putting into it? What nutrition are refusing to give it?

God had fearfully and wonderfully made you the way your are. Do not mess up His good work. Be a good steward and take care of your body and soul. The best way to do that is focusing on loving and serving Jesus with all of your mind, body, soul, and strength.

I pray today that God will reveal what contaminates you are allowing into your body and soul; that God’s Holy Spirit will fill your life to clean out the sin; that your focus will be on Jesus; and that you will honor God with your body and soul.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Be Separate

“Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Paul quotes from the Old Testament about how God wants to be the God of the Israelites and wants them to be His people. At that time God wanted the people to get out from the other nations and be separate. A few thousand years later, Paul is using those same quotes to the believers to still come out from the other people and be separate.

People will often question what it means to be separate from those in the world. They look at the Gospels and see Jesus eating with the sinners. When you look at Jesus you should notice that He was among the sinners, but did not act like them. He was separate, even while among them.

The world wants every believer to look and act just like them. People do not like change or someone different. Often if someone is different, one person feels that there must be something wrong with themselves, and that is usually the person who is not different.

There are some in the church who blend into the world. When they are seen in a public place, there are no signs that they are a believer. They will do the same things the world does and never state that doing or saying something is wrong. This is not being separate.

As a believer you must not touch unclean things. The touching here is physical touch, watching, doing, participating in, using, or saying something in any way that is sinful.

You are to be separate. You are to be different. Just as foreigners in a land is different from the natives of the land, so you are to be different in this world. You have a different culture to live by. Your culture is from heaven, and not of this earth.

God wants to be your God. God wants you to be His child. This cannot happen if you stay a part of the world and live like the world does. Turn from sin today and follow God. Be separate. Be different.

I pray today that God will give you the power to turn from worldly ways; that God will guide you in not touching anything sinful; that you will be separate from the world; that you will stand out for Jesus; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

2 Corinthians 6:3 No Stumbling Block

“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” 2 Corinthians 6:3

One of Paul’s goals was to reach as many people for Jesus as possible. He was willing to do what it took to be God’s servant in accomplishing that task. This task was the same one that Jesus had when He walked on the earth and still has it to this day. Paul allowed himself to be examined to see if there was any fault in him. He did not want anything to be the cause that could possibly cause a person to not want to believe in Jesus.

Being a stumbling block for someone can be very easy to do. Many believers talk about God’s love and loving others, yet in the next breath speak hatred for certain types of people and condemn them because of their sinful lifestyle. Others talk about compassion, yet refuse to help someone in need.

Many will talk about striving to live a holy life for God, yet, will watch and enjoy the same sinful stuff the world does. The language of some is no different from the world’s when outside the church doors. The action and rage can be the same.

All of these and many more things can be a stumbling block to someone. The world will look at believers acting like this and will not want to be a part of it. If a person can be a believer and purposefully live in sin, why would they want to subject themselves to the rules of the church world? They can live that way as just a regular sinner/person.

Various Christian leaders have fallen into a great sinful lifestyle that became a stumbling block to many people. It caused many to walk away from God and others to refuse to come to Him.

What do people in your life see? Do they see someone who is truly seeking God’s heart and ways? Or do they see someone who speaks of God, but lives like the world?

Where is your heart really at? God or the world?

Are you willing to do what it takes to not be a stumbling block for others to see Jesus? Put aside your own preferences and follow God fully with all of your heart and abilities. See what God can do in and through you.

I pray today that God will reveal ways you may be a stumbling block to others; that God will strengthen you to change those ways; that Jesus will be seen in you; and that many will come to Jesus through you.