2 Corinthians5:15 Not Living For Self

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

In this world everywhere a person looks the views of most people are what is in it for themselves. Each person wants the best for his own life.

When a person goes to purchase a new car at a dealership, he is trying to get the lowest price possible. He is thinking about his own money, rather than thinking about the salesman who is trying to make a living for his own family. It is about himself, not someone else.

There are some wealthy people who give lots of money to some great organizations to help others. Although it looks good, often the purpose of giving the money is not so much to help others, but to get a tax write-off. Again, it is about self, not others.

When Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to earth it was with you and all others in mind. As He walked on this earth, He was focused on doing God’s will with you in mind. Ultimately Jesus died on the cross for you. Jesus died so that you might live.

Never once was Jesus living for Himself. His entire life on this earth was always about you and everyone else. His purpose was to save everyone.

Jesus died and rose again for you. No one can give or do for you anything more than He did. As a believer, you should live your life in the same way. You should be living to serve Jesus and others.

If you are living to serve Jesus, your whole purpose in this life will not be about yourself. It will not be about how much you can get or do. It will be about how many you can reach for Jesus. It will be about how many you can compel to follow Jesus.

When you are living for Jesus, He will provide for you. You will not have to worry about yourself. Your focus will be on Jesus, and His focus will be on taking care of you.

Die to yourself today, and live for Jesus, the One who died and rose again for you.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that God will show you how to live for Him; that God will reveal to you ways to reach the lost; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

2 Corinthians 5:9 What Is Your Goal?

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

People who are successful always state that they set goals for themselves to accomplish. They will also tell others to set goals in order to gain success. The various steps in a goal are what will keep a person on track to accomplishing that goal.

Paul now talks about what his, and all believers, goal is. That goal is to please God both in this physical life and in death. It will be easy for every believer to please God after death since they will be in heaven. The challenge is here on this earth in this life.

Some will ask how they can please God when they are just a little nobody here in this life. Think about the best way a person can please you. The best way is in loving you. When you are loved by someone, they will do the right thing with you and for you every time. You can trust them.

The greatest commandment of God is to love God with everything in you. Jesus later stated that to love God means you will obey Him. You will do what He wants–you will please Him. If you do not obey God, you do not love Him. If you do not love God, you are not pleasing Him.

Now the question comes up as to what does God want of me? He wants you to be like Jesus in every way possible. This is living in His perfect righteousness and telling the world about the salvation He provides. It is building others up in the God, not tearing them down. It is turning away from sin. It is trusting God in everything.

Life here on this earth is just the learning stage for life in heaven. If you do not love and obey God here in this life, how will you love and obey Him in heaven? If you do not please God here on earth, how will you please Him in heaven?

Start today to love and obey God. This will please Him. Make that your goal each and everyday.

I pray today that you will know what pleases God; that you will seek God to guide your life, actions and thoughts; that you will love God with all that is in you; and that you will become more like Jesus everyday.

2 Corinthians 4:18 Correct Focus

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Everyday every person has struggles of various types. Some days the struggles are very large, while other days they are small little ones. As people go through struggles they often get worn down and tired. Some of these struggles will actually tear the body down. Yet, Paul stated that these struggles are worth it in the end because of what they are accomplishing in light of eternity.

This is where focus comes into play. Believers are not to focus on the things that can be seen. These are things like, bills, a new car/house, latest fashions, illness, work, money, or anything like these. All of these things are things that the world strives to get and keep. Yes, a person can see them, but they are all temporary things. All these things will pass away eventually.

Think of life-like traveling down a road. As you are driving you come to a huge mountain that you must get over to the other side of. It is a difficult long drive to go up over, or around the mountain, but it must happen. As you pass over the mountain, you hit snow, bad weather, and steep climbs, but eventually you make it on the other side to your destination, despite the difficulties of the mountain and it is worth it.

In life you will have struggles, but the things that are not seen make it worth the struggle. You cannot physically see love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, or eternal life. Yet, all these things you will get and more as you make it through the struggles. It is all these things that are eternal and never go away or can be taken from you.

Focus on Jesus, who you cannot physically see. Watch what God is doing in your life and in this world today. Use your spiritual eyes to see the value of living the Christian life. Do not let the things of this world get you down or crush you, they are only here for a short time, (even though it feels like eternity right now).

I pray today that you will see what God is doing in your life; that you will focus on the things of God and what lasts for eternity; that you will not fear the things of this world; that God will help you not to be crushed by the struggles of today; and that God will make you more like Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 A Tough But Not Destroyed Life

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Paul describes his life as one that is very rough. It does not sound easy in any way. He was hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. Yet, with all of those bad things occurring he says that he still goes on. He is not destroyed in any way.

Every person has problems in this life. Each person’s problems are slightly different then another person’s problems, but all have many. These problems may be at different levels for each person. One person may have the problem of maintaining a 10,000 square foot house, while the other may have the same problem with a 1,100 square foot house. One makes seven digit figures annually, while the other is barely making $40,000/year. It is all a matter of perspective as to how big the problem is.

As a believer, many of the normal problems the world faces will be there, along with the troubles that come from the world because the person is a believer.

You may be hard pressed: having to pay the bills, work a job, and minister to others. Perplexed: not knowing what is next, not understanding why something is happening as it is, and not knowing how to reach someone who is lost. Persecuted: ridiculed for being a believer, overlooked for promotion as a believer, and physically persecuted. Struck down: this can be in word or the physical, and it includes all of the above problems.

Yet, in all of these problems of life, as a believer, you are not completely crushed, in despair, abandoned, or destroyed. God is with you. His Holy Spirit is in you. You have a hope that the world does not know. You have a future with a mansion in heaven some day. There is a reason and a purpose for everything you are going through.

Are you trusting God in your situations of life? Or are you giving up like the world does? Do not allow the problems of life to destroy you. God has overcome already and given you the victory. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will not be crushed, in despair, abandoned, or destroyed; that God’s presence will be real to you; and that God will give you His favor, strength and blessings.

2 Corinthians 4:2 Open Conscience

2 Corinthians 4:2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2

Paul had just talked about having a ministry that has greater glory than what Moses had. With this ministry, he now states that he has renounced, done away with, all deception or distortion of God’s word. He tells the gospel message plainly for everyone to understand without using any gimmicks. He was willing to let anyone check him out for any possible false-hood.

Very often, it can be seen with ministers of the gospel using tricks to get people to hear the gospel message. They will change up the words that are spoken in order to draw people in to hear about Jesus.

Things are posted all over Facebook about if you want to be blessed, share this. Or if you love Jesus, like this and share. On television there is often speakers ask you to buy something or give something in order to receive God’s blessings.

In churches, many times the messages are watered down to draw more in. Or they set up fancy coffee shops to draw people.

Jesus said if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him.

How are you presenting Jesus to the world? Are you trying to trick them into believing in Jesus?

Or are you revealing the Jesus in the gospels?

If you were to go to court for what you teach and speak, would it reveal that you are speaking what the gospel message in the Bible says? Or would it reveal ways of this world?

You are to allow yourself to be an open book to the world. Your life should be revealing Jesus in truth and love. There should be no deception at all. Do not distort God’s word in any way in your life. Let only the light of Jesus to shine out in your life.

I pray today that you will know the truth found in God’s word; that you will speak the gospel message in truth and sincerity; that you will have an open conscience for all to see; that Jesus would be revealed in and through you; and that many will come to Jesus through your words.

A Touching Letter To Teachers

I work at a public school as a permanent substitute teacher. On Aug 23, the night before school started up again, I received an email from one of the teachers to all the teachers that she was having a prayer meeting the following morning. That prayer meeting was going to be at 7:20am, before school started. It was a time for any teachers who wanted to be a part of it to come and pray for each other, all the teachers and staff, and all the students.

I told some of my children about it. One of my boys was excited about the idea that teachers in a non-Christian public school were getting together to pray. He told me he wished he could go to it, but was unable to do so. Instead he chose to write a letter to the teachers. This is what he wrote:

Dear teachers and staff members of Jane Long middle school.

My name is Kyle Arn 3rd oldest of Tom Arn. I am 17 years old and in my senior year in high school. Many of you may know that I am homeschooled. I have recently heard that the teachers of Jane Long are meeting together early to pray for the school. As much as I wish I could be there right now saying this in person I cannot. However I would like you to know that as a student it is rare to have teachers and schools that are praying not only for you to have an impact but that God has an impact as well. As a student I would like to thank you for praying I would like you to know that I am praying to. As someone who stands outside of the public school we can often begin to judge based on appearance. But from what I have learned from my Dad being in the school system I have heard of the good things God has done I have also heard the not so good things. I know your school is not perfect but God has blessed it. I pray that all of you are blessed in the name of Jesus Christ the son of God. I hope that you realize that the choices you are making to teach these students shall forever be remembered. I pray that God be your guidance and that you all have a great year.

I shared it with the teachers that came to the prayer meeting. They were all touched and stated they wished every teacher could see that letter. I then chose to share it by email with every staff member of the school. It touched many hearts. I was very blessed that my son did this on his own choosing.

If you are a teacher this is for you. If you know of a teacher please share it with them. May you be blessed by this letter.

I know my son is praying for all teachers everywhere all the time. Know that there are other boys and girls out there praying for teachers also. God will use teen-agers to touch the world with His love and care.

2 Corinthians 3:12 Why Be Bold

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” 2 Corinthians 3:12

Paul described the ministry of Moses as being very great. When Moses came out from being before God he had to wear a veil over his face because it shown so much with the glory of God that the people could not look at his face. The covenant that Moses was revealing was one that brought only condemnation and no salvation, and was for a short time. Yet, there was very great glory in it because God had made it.

Next, Paul compares that to what Jesus had done. Jesus died and rose again to bring eternal life. There was no condemnation being handed out. His work was to last for eternity.

Think about the implications of this. Moses was in great glory with a ministry that brought about condemnation and death, Jesus brought about a ministry that brought about eternal life with forgiveness instead of condemnation.

Since you have been filled with God as a believer, you now have the glory of God in you. With that glory of God in you, you can be very bold.

Being bold is being willing to do the ministry God has called you to do. At a minimum you must be willing to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for you and them. Further ministry may be reaching out to show love to those who are unlovable, or those that are living in sin hating anything to do with God. It is showing love to those who persecute you. It is showing praise to God when things are not going correctly in your life.

Many people are afraid of what other people may say or do. Do not fear them. God is in you and will shine through you. You do not have to put a veil over your face and hide your belief. Be open about being a believer in Jesus. Moses had only death and condemnation, you have real life and a real future.

Your hope is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus, are you living in that hope?

I pray today that you will know the glory of Jesus in your life; that you will have the hope of His salvation in your heart; that you will not live your life veiled behind a mask; that you will boldly show Jesus to every person; and that God will build His kingdom through you.