2 Corinthians 12:1 Bragger!

2 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV)
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

Paul had been plain and transparent about:

  • God’s call
  • God’s power in Paul
  • The work he had done in that power of God, and even in
  • The things he had suffered for Christ’ cause

But he changes course here and boldly proclaims, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory.” About his next subject he could not boast.

There is a difference between puffing up self and sharing testimonial anecdotes and illustrations. Every Christian ought to study to know that difference.

  • We ought to recognize it in others. More importantly
  • We ought to know it in self

To give testimony as to God’s hand and the lessons learned in one’s life can be a great help to others.

To brag about ourselves for the praise, approbation and acknowledgement of others is inappropriate and unbecoming a child of God.

 

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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 12:1 Bragger!

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2 Corinthians 9:12-14 The Depths of Our Faith

2 Corinthians 9:12-14 (KJV)
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

The depths of our faith are so rich that, even in a subject so obvious as Christian giving, it is impossible for us to understand let alone express all that is accomplished through our giving.

  • God promises to meet all our needs as we give
  • The needs of others is supplied as we give

 

But so much more happens than that.

  • God is glorified in the gift
  • Prayer is offered for you because of the gift
  • Love is established by means of the gift and
  • Our minds are drawn to that unspeakable gift of Christ

Giving is one of the most spiritual, profitable and positive acts any believer can be a part of.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 9:12-14 The Depths of Our Faith

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2 Corinthians 8:13 This Is Not Socialism

2 Corinthians 8:13 (KJV)
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

Over the centuries various groups of Christians have attempted communal living, a sort of socialism, with mostly unsuccessful results.

  • I think it happened in the church at Jerusalem in Acts.
  • The Anabaptists attempted it throughout their history.
  • Jamestown attempted it almost to there extinction.

People simply do not perform at their best unless they have personal reasons to do so.

Paul makes it clear that his teaching here is not to be understood as socialist economics.

Those who have were encouraged to give voluntarily
It was not a tax. It was not a command. There was no law. The point was generosity.

Those who had enough were encouraged to give out of their plenty.

Those who have were not asked to give until they were burdened
Sacrificial giving is taught in the Word of God. But not sacrifice to the point of poverty or beyond the ability of recovery. True that does happen from time to time and there are those who have felt compelled of the Lord to give prosperity for the work of the ministry. That is not expected and certainly not expected of everyone.

It’s just a matter of caring. We do what we do because we are motivated by love and concern for our brethren.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 8:13 This Is Not Socialism

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2 Corinthians 7:12 Think First of Your Church

2 Corinthians 7:12 (KJV)
Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

Paul had written in his first letter and the fifth chapter a very stern rebuke for the actions of a young member. That member had by this time repented and the church as a whole had heeded the instruction of Paul. This had pleased him immeasurably in the midst of the battles he faced in Macedonia.

Paul here gives a statement both preachers and their congregations could learn much from.

He says that his rebuke was not primarily meant to correct the individual.
No doubt that was in his mind and heart. He cared for this one as can be seen in his instructions concerning him once he had repented.

He says he meant not chiefly to comfort and aide the one who had been wronged.
Surely this would have been a secondary goal. The one who had been wronged would surely have wanted it righted.

He says his first concern was the care of the whole body.
His primary goal was for the church.[1]

This ought to be the first concern of every preacher. Further every member of the church ought to understand that and desire it to be so. When the pastor gives direction, issues rebuke and even gets personal about it, the members of the church ought to take it that he is doing exactly what he is called to do. He is caring for the whole.

[1] See Gill’s notes as a confirmation.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 7:12 Think First of Your Church

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2 Corinthians 6:1 Vain Grace

2 Corinthians 6:1 (KJV)
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

This grace must not be that of salvation since he is speaking to a church, a body of believers. Not that everyone in a church possesses true salvation for surely there are false professions in every congregation. The body as a whole however is representative of genuine salvation. That can never be vain.

But the grace of salvation is received for a purpose. (Perhaps this is the devil’s trick in getting men to see it as either saved or lost; to make salvation personal[1] and remove its ultimate purpose.) Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The grace of God:

  • Draws believers into a church,
  • Unifies them in that church and
  • Commissions them to a specific work

When we become focused on self, or divided in the body, we lose sight of our purpose and it becomes vain.

The church must have members:

  • Committed to the church,
  • Forgiving of offenses and
  • Busy in service

or the grace God has given becomes fruitless.

[1] As in, “It’s personal and nobody’s business.”

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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2 Corinthians 6:1 Vain Grace

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2 Corinthians 4:18 Only In Faith

2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
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.

Saints of past generations endured all they did, esteeming the suffering even of death as a light affliction, by practicing this lesson. They kept their gaze on things not seen. This is done:

By turning from the things that are seen
When the carnal eye sees the physical thing, it affects the heart. It is not possible to have a heart affected for heaven if the eye is looking at earth.

Only in faith
For it is the only sense at our disposal that reaches into the unseen world.

This has always been the conflict. Worldly men and religious souls have no facility to see the unseen. They can therefore not comprehend what it is we hope for. The pagans of old called Christians the atheists because they worshipped an invisible God. Lost or carnal family members have grieved over the deaths of their loved ones who, having the eye of faith, have died for eternity’s sake.

When one has an eye for the unseen, that which can be seen is of little use.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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2 Corinthians 4:18 Only In Faith

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2 Corinthians 2:17 Not All Corrupt The Word

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV)
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Here is a sobering thought and with it a very important principle. Many corrupt the Word of God as they speak. Not all mind you, but many. It might be by now, for the corruption has surely leavened a lot of the lump by now, that most corrupt the Word when they speak.

But not all do.

Paul said the difference between he and the corrupters was this; he spoke (or preached) in Christ and in the sight of God. This was not his message, his opinions or for his favor. His preaching was:

  • In the name of Christ
  • For the sake of Christ and
  • He was hidden in Christ

Further, he spoke in the sight of God. He recognized that God

  • Saw every motion he made
  • Knew every thought he had and
  • Heard every word he said

He understood he would give an account to God. This understanding regulated and informed his preaching.

One might rightly argue that anyone, even the corrupters, could claim what Paul did. It would be impossible to tell because we cannot know the heart. Yes, but God can and does. Draw nigh to God. Grow in a real and vital relationship with him and He will bring you to that place where God’s Word is preached without corruption.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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2 Corinthians 2:17 Not All Corrupt The Word

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2 Corinthians 13:4 Weakness With Power

2 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)
For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

There resides within the Christian this dichotomy of weakness vs strength.

On the one hand we are weak in this world.
We have never been the mighty, the noble or the majority. Even when we have had the greatest influence, such as in the beginning of the United States, our ideas were only lightly embraced and that, only from the perspective of the most popular denominations. Baptists and other smaller denominations contented themselves in that we were given liberty, not wealth, prestige and power.

At the same time the believers of yesteryear had great power with souls

  • No king,
  • No religion,
  • No movement,
  • No legislation

was able to stop the spread of their doctrines.

The true power of Christianity is not to be found in Catholicism or Protestantism and their wedding with governments. The true power of Christianity is to be seen in the hated Anabaptists and their survival and growth despite the vehement persecution of them.

Weakness with power
Weakness in the eyes of leaders. But power in the hearts of the common man.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 13:4 Weakness With Power

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2 Corinthians 12:15 Compassion is Not For Sissies

2 Corinthians 12:15 (KJV)
And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

A case could be made that Paul was an emotional man. Though he was a leader of men, in both his secular[1] and spiritual roles, Paul had a side of him that tended to great sensitivity. He spoke of how he cherished his converts. They were his fellow servants, fellow prisoners, and children in the faith.

I am led to observe that sensitivity is not feminine. The manliest of men can be brought to tears. Compassion is not for sissies but for the big and burliest of guys.

I, like Paul, can list the names of people that I love very much but refuse to love me in return. There are former members of the churches I have pastored whom I considered family: brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and even some I could easily have thought of as parents in the faith. For one reason or another, though I still love them and grieve over them, they have come to hate me.

I do not see where Paul ever got over those who would not love him.
I do see that his pain never stopped him from loving them or from serving the Lord.

[1] I’m calling his position as a Pharisee secular.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 12:15 Compassion is Not For Sissies

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2 Corinthians 11:23-29 The Proof of Ministry

2 Corinthians 11:23-29 (KJV)
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

It is fascinating what Apostle Paul considered proofs of his ministry:

Suffering
Vs23-27
Pastor Dwight Tomlinson preached recently at our church. Brother Tomlinson is the founder of Barnabas 10/40, a missionary ministry. In speaking about suffering he explained how most Christians of the world don’t think like Americans. They expect suffering, even jail, to be par for the Christian course. They think of jail time as nearly a part of Christian testing, especially for pastors. Paul obviously thought similarly.

Care
Vs 28
This wasn’t “hands on” physical caring for buildings (they didn’t have them) or persons (he was away from them) this was care of the heart and soul. I imagine it was most clearly manifested in prayer.

Empathy
Vs 29
Paul allowed himself to feel what they felt. He rejoiced when they rejoiced, he wept when they wept.

The proof of ministry is not:

  • the ordination paper,
  • the size of the congregation or
  • the number of professions of faith one records

The proof of ministry is in the passion for Christ and for those God allows him to shepherd.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 11:23-29 The Proof of Ministry

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