2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Love Him Back

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (KJV)
O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

The Apostle expresses here what I believe is the constant struggle of the preacher; he grows to love his congregation but they don’t always equally love him.

In the case of Paul, the problem was others who came to claim that affection for themselves. We too have enemies vying for our congregation’s affection:

Sometimes it is a worldly love
A sports event or a boat or a cabin in the hills.

Sometimes it is another agenda
A political cause, a social issue or a pet peeve.

Sometimes it is another preacher
They abound today through TV, radio and social media.

Sometimes it is a nearby church
Whose members try to draw from other churches into their own.

Every pastor I think has experienced those emotions when it becomes obvious that a member of his church hasn’t the same love for him that he has for the member.

Paul simply urges them to love him as much as he loves them.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 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 6:11-13 Love Him Back

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Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Ezra 7:15-18 (KJV)
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

The king’s offerings were to be used:

To speedily buy
The purpose was so there would be no hindrance in buying and doing what ought to be done in the house of the Lord. They had already waited. This offering was meant that no delays should continue.

To provide offerings of all sorts in God’s house
The work of God has many facets. We:

  • Preach
  • Sing
  • Worship
  • Evangelize
  • Welcome
  • Encourage
  • Assist

All of these in alignment with our commission. All of them require financial resources. All of them are to be supported by the freewill offerings of God’s people.

To do what seemed good
The king’s offering was generous and would certainly cover the necessary things. It was anticipated that it was also generous enough that there would be money enough for things that were unanticipated. In that case it had been released to be used at the discretion of Ezra.

See here lessons in our own offerings to God. We have been made not only priests, but kings. We give not of necessity but freely. When we give generously as we ought, our offerings are meant to meet the needs of the house of God and the rest to be used at the discretion of our preacher for the good of the ministry.

(More applications are found throughout the rest of the chapter)

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 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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Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

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1 Chronicles 29:16 His All Along

1 Chronicles 29:16 (KJV)
O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

It had come to David’s heart to build a house for God. When God spoke and told him that he wasn’t to build it but his son, who would sit on the throne after him, David took it upon himself to make preparations for his son.

  • David had given personally
  • David had contracted with other countries to lay in store materials and
  • David had inspired his fellow countrymen to give

But when he looked at all they had stockpiled for the construction David said that all of it had been God’s all along.

God has graciously given us opportunity to participate in His work, first by faithfully tithing and then by giving above that to the things of God. In order to accommodate those gifts,

  • We have Faith Promise giving conferences
  • We have special speakers of one sort and another
  • We set up designated accounts and
  • We publish charts and graphs with the results

The resources come from our wallets and banks accounts. We have earned them by our labor and work. But the healthy, holy and proper way to view every one of those gifts is that they come of God’s hand and have always been His own.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 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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1 Chronicles 29:16 His All Along

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1 Chronicles 12:17 God Will Rebuke It

1 Chronicles 12:17 (KJV)
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

David had been in flight long enough to be a bit leery of strangers. Though he had a pretty constant stream of devotees, this bunch was different. This bunch included Benjamites, the very tribe King Saul was of. Who could blame David for being skeptical?

What is interesting is how David handled this. I notice that there was no suggestion of animosity or reprisal if they turned out to betray him.

  • If they truly supported him he promised to love them
  • If they turned out to betray him they would be accountable to God

In some sense every relationship we have involves risk. David’s practice would be good for all of us; love those with whom we have to do. If they hurt us, forgive them and leave it in the hands of God.

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

 

For this and more than 3000 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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1 Chronicles 12:17 God Will Rebuke It

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John 4:7 (KJV) When Christ Asks

John 4:7 (KJV)
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

I note first that Jesus asked.
What is He asking of you?

I note secondly that He asked an as yet unconverted sinner.
The responsibilities of faith extend to all, not just those who have been born again.

I note thirdly that Jesus asked for a material and human need.
What humility that God took upon Himself the need of man.

Concerning this request I have these observations:
He could have satisfied His thirst through His divinity.
Bring God He had no true need for water. His thirst, though real, was voluntary. He could have chosen to not submit to this human necessity.

He could have drawn the water Himself.
He was physically capable and, though perhaps culturally it was appropriate to ask a woman, it was not unheard of that a man draw his own drink.

He could have waited for His disciples
They were, after all, in the town procuring other physical needs. They would no doubt have been happy to draw Him water.

When Christ asks a thing from us we ought to view it as a learning moment. He does not need what He asks for. He is capable of getting it Himself if He so chooses. He has others who are anxious to minister to His needs. But He asks us. Let us faithfully draw for Him.

 

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

 

For this and more than 3000 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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John 4:7 (KJV) When Christ Asks

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Mark 7:2 (KJV) Fault Finders

Mark 7:2 (KJV)
And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

I have not verified it but would suspect that this is where the term finding fault originates.

The Pharisees and scribes, who came from Jerusalem, came to find fault. If it had not been for this it would have been for something else.

Anyone trying to do good and accomplish something with their life will run in to fault finders. They came looking for something to complain about. It is irrelevant what it is they found because if they had not found fault with what they found they would have found fault with something else. We should not be burdened by their accusations.

Jesus rebuffed their accusations with the truth of the Bible. He merely turned the situation around, pointed out that they had made the Word of God of none effect and moved forward with His work.

I do not believe that, for the most part, it does is any good to try to answer the faultfinders (Jesus had power that no one else possesses). Usually it’s just best to search the Scriptures, be sure we are in line with that, and press on.  The faultfinders will find fault with that too, but move forward anyway.

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

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Mark 7:2 (KJV) Fault Finders

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Ruth 3:1 (KJV) Concerned for Souls

Ruth 3:1 (KJV)
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

I see in Naomi a type of the Christian who is concerned about souls. Having gone out and, at no small cost to herself, brought Ruth into the Promised Land, she refuses to leave Ruth alone to muddle her own way through. Naomi seeks rest for Ruth. She is capable of doing so because:

  • She has a personal relationship to Boaz
  • She has an understanding of the plan of God
  • She has a regular contact with Ruth
  • She had a willing disciple in Ruth

 

Naomi’s guidance transformed Ruth from a stranger (albeit a virtuous one) to a part of the family of God.

Naomi was by no means a perfect person. But she was used of God in an impossible situation. The same may be said about any Christian with concern enough to reach out to win and disciple others.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Ruth 3:1 (KJV) Concerned for Souls

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James 2:8-11 KJV Guilty of a “Lesser Commandment”

James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

 

We tend to associate James 2:10 with the verses following it regarding two of the Ten Commandments; against adultery and murder.  It is key, I believe, to associate it also with the verses preceding it regarding what might by many be considered a lesser commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 

This “lesser commandment” though not found among the ten, is part of those laws of the Old Testament[1] and was especially singled out by Christ as second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine…[2]

 

Two things come to mind:

  • The importance of loving and respecting all persons
  • The serious mistake of attempting to earn righteousness through these laws

If a man is trying to earn his righteousness through keeping the law and just one time prefers one man above another he has committed a sin as heinous as adultery or murder.

 

God offers a better righteousness through faith in Christ. His righteousness liberates us to then practice good works for the sake of the work and not as a futile effort to please God in the flesh.

[1] Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

[2] Matthew 22:37

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 2:8-11 Offend in one point

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Loving Righteousness

Hebrews 1:9 KJV

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

The testimony of God concerning Christ is, “Thou hast loved righteousness”.   The testimony goes on to say the Christ “hated iniquity”. Perhaps our hatred for iniquity, or sin, would be better received if we were known first for loving righteousness. How completely we ought to love righteousness:

  • In the practice of it
  • In the encouraging of others engaged in the like practice
  • In the study of and bettering ourselves in it
  • In the humble avoidance of making ourselves known for it (a true practice of righteousness will not seek to be known but will naturally become known)
  • In the prayer for it

 

Righteousness; God help us love it and to love it more.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 1:9 Loving Righteousness

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Successful Negotiation of Difficult Requests

Philemon 1:19

I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

 

Paul’s letter to Philemon has a pretty major subject. Perhaps we do appreciate the weight of it. He is pleading, essentially, for a man’s life. More importantly, he is pleading for spiritual victory in Philemon. He is doing so having already acted on the assumption that Philemon will respond as Paul requests. In making his plea Paul employs several triggers to lead Philemon to the appropriate response:

He mentions Apphia

She is presumed to be his wife. By mentioning her name he both assigns this letter to her as well as Philemon, and places part of the responsibility for his request upon her. Perhaps the feminine element will move Philemon to a more gentle response.

 

He reminds Philemon that he could expect his submissive response

But then chooses rather to ask than to demand. Whenever an authority is able to enlist the voluntary compliance to his leadership he is much better off than if he forces the mandatory one.

 

He submits himself to Philemon

There is a sense in which we are all to be submitted one to another. Those in authority are as equally accountable to those they lead as those they lead are to them. The soldier who is about to give his life on the field of battle does so expecting that his commanding officers will not waste his sacrifice. Paul recognizes this and submits to the authority of Philemon.

 

He makes Philemon his comrade and partner in the ministry

By appealing to Philemon as a partner he gives him fruit in the blessing of souls saved, including that of Onesimus.

 

He reminds Philemon of his part in Philemon’s salvation

Paul considered himself a debtor to all men to preach to them the gospel but in many respects those he lead to Christ were indebted to him. That he would ask this of him was reasonable.

 

He referred to Philemon as “brother” 

By doing so he invoked the bonds of family and blood. Men will do many things for family that they will not do for anyone else..

 

See in these tools of Paul clues for successful negotiations in difficult requests.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Philemon 1:19 Successful Negotiation

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