Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel, because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said over me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You God, are Holy. Your word is truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Monday, November 20, 2017

Paul's 2nd Corinthian Letter - Week 2

I sat down to read Chapters 4 to 6 two or three times this week. Each time was in the evening, rather than in the morning and my brain wouldn't settle down, even though I had prayed for guidance.
Today, I asked Bill to pray for me and with me before I even tried to sit down and study. As we held hands and prayed, I could feel peace and serenity flow through me. My thoughts settled down, and I was able to begin the process of reading and taking notes with focus and clarity.
However, one random thought did make it into my mind,"Maybe I should have asked Bill for prayer the first time."

Chapter 4
Treasures in Jars of Clay
Do not lose heart if you are in a god-given ministry. (4:1)
The signs of a god-given ministry are:
  1. You have renounced secret and shameful ways (4:2)
  2. No deception
  3. No distortion of God's Word
  4. In the sight of God, you are setting forth the truth plainly
Setting forth the truth plainly means with no misunderstanding. You are not adding to what is written and most importantly you are not softening the word.
The word of God is veiled to the perishing because the god of this age - Satan - has blinded the minds of unbelievers. (4:3-4)
  • Unbelievers cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. (4:3-4)
  • Jesus is Lord and we are servants for Jesus' sake. (4:5)
God's light shines in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 4:6
  • God's light shines in my heart 
  • God's light gives me knowledge of God's glory
  • Christ's face reflects the glory of God. 
  • Through Christ, the light of God shines in my heart that I might know God's glory. 
We are jars of clay containing this treasure to show this power is from god, not ourselves (4:7)
Servants of god are:
  • hardpressed BUT not crushed
  • perplexed BUT not despairing
  • struck down BUT not destroyed (4:8-12)
We are dealing with the same world that Jesus lived in. Therefore, we will meet the same hardships he dealt with as we represent Jesus to the world around us. 
 We have the Spirit of God, who is life at work in us. 
"I believed therefore I have spoken." Psalm 116:10
  • We believe and speak because the one who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus. 
  • All this is for you, so the grace that is reaching more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. (4:15)
  • Do Not Lose Heart. 
  • Fix your eyes on the unseen, not the seen. What is unseen is eternal. We live by faith, not by sight. (4:16-18; 5:7)
Chapter 5
Earthly Tent versus Eternal House in Heaven
  • Even though we presently live in an earthly tent, our thoughts and minds can dwell on our eternal house in heaven. 
  • Paul said he longed to be clothed in his heavenly dwelling. 
  • God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee of what is to come. 
  • We can be confident we are going to our eternal house in heaven because we have the Spirit of God living in us. 
  • Our goal is to please him whether we are in our earthly tent or in our eternal house in heaven. (5:7-9)
Before the Throne
  • For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive what is due him. 
  • Christ is the judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42) 
  • Each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
The Ministry of Reconciliation
  • What we are is plain to God. 
  • For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that he died for all, and therefore all died. 
  • We shouldn't live for ourselves, but for Jesus. 
  • He died for us and was raised again. 
  • We shouldn't regard people from a worldly point of view because those in Christ are a new creation. 
  • All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (5:11-16)
We are Christ's Ambassadors
  • As Christ's ambassadors, when we speak, it is as though God were making his appeal through us. 
  • We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 
  • God made the sinless one to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (5:20)
Chapter 6
We put no stumbling block in anyone's path so that our ministry will not be discredited. (6:3)
As a disciple of Jesus Christ and God's servant, Paul faced
  • troubles in daily life
  • distresses in life
  • beatings
  • imprisonments
  • riots
  • hard work
  • sleepless nights
  • hunger (6:4-5)
Paul listed his ministry attitude and work as being:
  • in purity
  • understanding
  • patience
  • kindness
  • in the Holy Spirit
  • in sincere love
  • in truthful speech
  • in the power of God
  • using weapons of righteousness (6:6-7)
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, Paul and his ministry withstood many things.
  • glory and dishonor
  • bad report and good report
  • Paul and his ministry was genuine, yet regarded as imposters
  • known, yet regarded as unknown
  • dying, yet living on
  • beaten, yet not killed
  • sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
  • poor, yet making many rich
  • having nothing, yet possessing everything (6:8-10)
We are the temple of the living God.  (6:14-18)
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 17