Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 13. This is the final chapter of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. The keyword for this chapter is “kat-ar-ti-sis”.  The definition is “perfecting, fitting together. It is used in the sense of setting bones or reconciling parties and refers here to the growth in holiness.” “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬ we recently witnessed the burning of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It is estimated the costs for restoration will exceed 1 billion dollars.  Is it worth it?  As Christians, we believe in Jesus as our Savior. The cost of our restoration to a right relationship with God was Jesus’ suffering and death.  Are we worth it? God believes we are! Since we have been restored in our relationship with God, He desires that we seek to be restored in our relationships with others.  Who do you need to be restored with?  “Aim for restoration!”  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 12.  The keyword for this chapter is “sko-lops”. The definition is “stake, a stake used for impaling or torturing someone, a sharpened wooden staff, thorn or splinter.” “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:7-9‬ ‭Paul was a man gifted by God as a great missionary.  God knows that with gifting comes a powerful temptation to be prideful.  In order to reign Paul in, God gave him a “thorn” which served to keep Paul humble and also pliable for God’s purpose and use. How do you avoid the sin of pride? Has God assisted you by humbling you through circumstances?  How does this humility make you more likely to listen to God?  May God guide you according to His purpose for your life! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 11. In this chapter Paul continues his defense of his ministry.  The keyword for this chapter is “as-the-ne-o”.  The definition is “to be weak, to be powerless. The charge here may be of weakness caused by fear or caution.” “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭11:30‬ ‭Paul lists the many times when he was weak. When do you feel weak?  When do you feel powerless? How do your times of weakness make you closer to God?  Our weakness puts the greatness of God on display!  May God be glorified in your time of weakness! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 10. In this chapter we read about Paul defending his ministry. The keyword for this chapter is “kau-ka-o-mai”. The definition is “to boast, to glory”.  Paul uses this word in an interesting way. “”Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭Apparently, the Corinthians were prideful in their spiritual experience.  They boasted about who they heard the Gospel from and other matters where they considered themselves better than others. In response Paul tells them he could boast too but that we should only boast in Jesus—how wonderful He is, how much He loves us, how He died for us etc.  In reality, we are not “boasting” but giving Him all glory and honor.  How can you give Jesus all glory and honor?  May God help you not to be prideful but to boast in Jesus!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 9. In this chapter we read about about giving.  The keyword for this chapter is “eu-lo-gi-as”. The definition is “a gift freely and spontaneously bestowed and thus constituting a blessing to the recipient.” “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Have you ever given so much to God that you worried you may have over-done it?  When you give from a place of faith and gratitude God will always supply everything you need. The key is to have your financial house in order as a careful manager of what God has entrusted you. I love the expression “you can’t out-give God!” This is true on many levels. Most importantly, when we compare what we give to God giving us Jesus to die for our sins, our gift looks pretty small. May God give you a generous heart! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 8. In this chapter we read about about how committed and hard working the missionaries were. The keyword for this chapter is “spou-dai-os”. The definition is “active, diligent, zealous, earnest”. “But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭8:7-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬ What comes to mind when you read that word “earnest”?  Who do you know that is “earnest” for the Lord?  How are you “earnest” for Jesus?  How was Jesus “earnest” for you?  May God bless you to see examples of Jesus being earnest for you!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 7. In this chapter Paul writes about the affect that God’s law has on our hearts. The keyword for this chapter is “lu-pe-o”. The definition is “to cause pain, to make sorry”. “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭Think of a time when you were justly punished. It caused you pain to be punished but what was the result?  If you are wise, you were sorry and did not repeat the offense.  If the pain led to your repentance then the pain served a good and Godly purpose. Praise God that He brings people into our lives to lead us to repentance! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 6. In this chapter Paul writes about his relationship with the Corinthians. The keyword for this chapter is “pla-tu-no”. The definition is “to make wide, to open wide, to be wide open, to have the heart wide open means there are no secrets in it.” “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:11-13‬ ‭This is the way that God is with us!  His heart is wide open towards us. Is your heart wide open to God?  Is your heart wide open towards your family? Friends? Neighbors? What would our world be like if we all had our hearts wide open towards God and each other? May God guide us with the Holy Spirit with wide open hearts! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 5. In this chapter we read about the ministry that we have been given along with Paul. The keyword for this chapter is “pres-beu-o”. The definition is “to be an ambassador, to carry out the office of an ambassador. This was the regular word in the Greek east for envoys or the emperor’s legate.” “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:20‬ ‭We are the ambassadors for Jesus.  We speak His message and we represent Him and His kingdom.  Who are you an ambassador to?  How do you carry out your tasks? How do you represent Jesus in your daily life?  May God give you joy as you serve in His name!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Corinthians 4. In this chapter we read about the challenges and hardships of serving Jesus. The keyword for this chapter is “a-na-kai-no-o”. The definition is “to renew again”. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭Paul speaks of the very real struggles that we face as we share the message of salvation with the world around us. What are the struggles you face? How does God renew you day by day?  The focus is not on the hardships but on the renewal. That is what will carry us through—focusing on God, His Word, His love and His mercy. May God bless you as you faithfully serve Him!  Pastor Tim