Isaiah 51:5

My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.

This verse clearly says, “salvation is on the way”, yet it was hundreds of years after this before Jesus came, bringing the Good News of eternal salvation. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when Jesus said, “the end is near…”, but we have not seen it yet in this generation. Time is not something that restricts God, and in the face of eternity, a few hundred years certainly could be called “near”. Like the islands, we wait in hope.

II Corinthians 13:10

This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority – the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

No matter what authority we are given, or the circumstances where we will use that authority, it is always for building the other person up in Christ.

II Corinthians 12:9, 10

But he (the Lord) 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest in me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ***parentheses, mine

I struggle to identify with Paul’s delight in weaknesses in insults, persecutions, etc. Yet, in the 40 years of my life as a Christian, I have indeed experienced the power of Christ in those very instances. In that, I delight. When you are insulted, and you want to lash out, but you hold your tongue and go to the Word of God and prayer, the Lord leads you to work though the insult to a place of grace and forgiveness. THAT is the power of Christ made perfect in weakness. When you suffer persecution for doing right, or even for no explainable reason, and you hold on to the hand of God and slog through it with Him, you learn humility, grace, servanthood, hope and comfort as only He can give. When Christ leads you out of the other side of your trial or struggle to a door He has opened wide to refreshment and restoration, then, you will know Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness.

II Corinthians 11

This chapter is a warning against false teachers. People can talk about Jesus, but if their talk is not about the Jesus of the Bible, the One Who was Sinless, but died for men’s sins, then do not listen. Studying God’s Word daily, knowing what it says, prepares us and equips us fully with the truth. Then, when the false comes along, we recognize it immediately, and are able to reject it.

II Corinthians 10:4

vs. 4 the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

What are these weapons we use that are not of this world? In Ephesians 6:10-18, they are listed as truth, righteousness, Gospel, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God and prayer. In Proverbs 15:1 : gentleness. In Proverbs 10:12: Love.

We don’t even need to list the opposite ways of the world. The truth is blinding. Our weapons have no similarity to the world’s. The weapons they use fuel more sin, create more havoc. Our weapons break down strongholds of sin and bring peace and righteousness..

II Corinthians 9:6 thru 8, and 11

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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. vs. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Thinking of some ways we can be generous on every occasion since we have been made rich in every way:

Rich in love: so you can love as Christ did, especially the unlovely

Rich in comfort: so you are able to be with someone in great grief and bring solace

Rich in compassion: allowing you to touch others with God’s love no matter your circumstances

Rich in hope: to encourage the downhearted

Rich in wisdom: to counsel and exhort

Rich in friendship: so you can give the gift freely

Rich in mercy: so that when you think you cannot be merciful, it overflows from you

Rich in kindness: so you can seek the good of others, and consider them better than yourself

Rich in wealth even when you are broke: so that you can give to others in need without hesitation


II Corinthians 8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

He left the glory and majesty of heaven for dust, sweat and mosquitos. We didn’t even know we needed Him. We did nothing to earn His love and friendship. We were content with dust, sweat ad mosquitos because we thought that was all there was….except….for that gnawing spiritual hunger deep inside. He came and loved us; He told us the Father loved us, and He gave us a glimpse of heaven. That spiritual hunger grew, we embraced His truth and His friendship through salvation. We look forward to leaving the things of earth behind and moving to heaven, but while we are here, we are His ambassadors, drawing others to this amazing grace.

II Corinthians 7:5 and 6

For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn – conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…

God sends His comfort to us not only by His Word, but also through the comfort of His children – other believers in Christ. I remember a time when a friend came and sat up with me till 2:30 in the morning in an especially hard time in my life. I can recall encouraging notes and phone calls received from dear brothers and sisters when life was difficult. We are privileged to be sent to others to bring God’s comfort and encouragement. Let’s be available!

II Corinthians 6:1 and 2

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

When we were in sin and cried out to God, out of His favor He heard us, out of His favor He helped us by salvation. We were wretched, lost, angry, lonely sinners, and He offered us friendship (unearned), love (unconditional), and peace (of heart, no matter what the circumstances). To receive this grace in vain is to have had this unearned love and friendship poured out on us so freely, yet to refuse to pass it on to others. He has LAVISHED us with grace, are we being stingy with it?

II Corinthians 5:14, 16 AND 17

vs. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. vs. 16 and 17. 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!

So, now that Christ’s love compels us, we do not regard anyone from a worldly point of view. Those who are not saved, who are outside of Christ are lost sheep, without a shepherd. We must not be condemning, but compassionate toward them. Because it is the love of Christ that compels us, we cannot look at Christian brothers and sisters from a worldly point of view either. Condemnation, gossip and manipulation should not exist among the members of the Body of Christ, or how would the body function properly? We are called to live our lives motivated by the love of Christ our Saviour.