Note: This is a seriously long post…most of it is scripture…which is a good thing…just wanted you to be forewarned. You are welcome to take it in bite sized pieces…which means you can visit me lots and lots this week. If you are scared…then click here and see a beautiful example of God’s goodness and creativity.
This past week, marked the beginning of the final four weeks of Cover to Cover readings…I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. I have had a couple lapses but for the most part I have kept pace. This has been such an amazing year of reading the Word chronologically as well as writing posts most weeks. I am sure that I will feel a sense of accomplishment when I press publish on the last post but I know withdrawal will set in as well…I will be anxious to see where the Lord will direct me in His Word next year.
This past week we read all of Second Corinthians and Romans 1-14. As I type…I have no idea what I am supposed to write…and it is not because of lack of material…there is so much choice meat that this post would be endless…but have no fear I won’t do that to my fingers or consume too much of your computer time. (***oops, I was wrong on that account.)
I pray each week that God would give me one juicy nugget that resonates with me and that He would allow me to be able to adequate write about it. It’s easier that way…easier to write and perhaps easier for the reader. But alas, I don’t have one big thought or “aha” this week…but what I do know is that the pages I allowed my eyes to gaze on this week contain some of my favorite scriptures.
I purchased my current Bible during the fall of 2007…so it was fairly new when I began cover to cover…it has been fun to underline and write notes in these untouched pages and II Corinthians and Romans are marked up quite a bit now.
With that introduction, I am going to write a post that contains some…not all of the verses I underlined this week and I will make comments here and there…In fact, let’s call this my top ten…
If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I love words…definitions…all that jazz. Whenever I see a word repeated…my ears hear ding ding ding ding ding.
- Commend: to recommend as worthy of confidence or notice.
Paul uses the word commend or a form of it a lot in the book of II Corinthians.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?” (3:1)
“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 every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (4:2)
“We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.” (5:12)
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (6:4-10)
“But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” (10:17-18)
As believers, our goal is not to commend ourselves which is pride…our highest hope is to be commended by God…but if we do boast…we boast in the only One worthy of praise…the Lord.
2. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
II Corinthians 3: 16-18
Whenever…not maybe…not hopefully…but whenever anyone turns to the Lord…the veil is taken away! The veil is gone…freedom comes to us through the Spirit…but it doesn’t end there…we start to look like Him…in fact we become a reflection of the One that is full of glory…is that not incredible.
3. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
II Corinthians 4: 7-12, 16-18
4. “We live by faith, not by sight.” II Corinthians 5: 7
I think most of us are immersed in the day by day reality that much of what we see does not and cannot produce faith…but walking in the continual hope of what we can’t even catch a glimpse of yet keeps our eyes on Him.
5. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 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.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
II Corinthians 5: 14-21
So often I wonder what it would be like to be a celebrity…the constant glare of the spotlight. The camera capturing every good step and misstep in vivid color. Televisions that show every pore thanks to high definition technology. Great pressure to nip and tuck…tug and pull…making an older face look younger…no…different…yes. Face lifts are artificial means of reconstructing the physical. We have the real deal in Christ…He takes all of our lumps, bumps, dimples and creases of our heart and smooths them out and makes them new…nothing artificial or plastic about it…changed life…changed heart…changed countenance. He is the Master Surgeon.
6. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
II Corinthians 9: 8
7. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
II Corinthians 10: 3-6
8. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5: 1-8
9. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8: 1-2, 26-39
10. “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Romans 10: 8-10
Bonus and a peek at a couple of upcoming verses:
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 15: 4-6
Could there be anymore reason to get into God’s Word…it is not an out dated book but a manual to life today…to help us endure…it is full of encouragement and by living according to His Word we will bring glory to our God and King.
Now a fitting benediction to this extremely lengthy post…
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15: 13
I am anxious to read the other cover to cover gals’ posts…hopefully I am not the only one over 200o words…yikes! Head to Bev’s for more recaps of our wonderful week in the Word.
If you read this post to the end…bless you and if you abandoned the plight…bless you too…I completely understand. So much for not knowing what I was going to write…ha!