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..
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
SOW FREELY! YOU WILL REAP ABUNDANTLY!!!
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.
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!
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?
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.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. vs. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
This is a reminder to us: the unsaved cannot see. We cannot expect the spiritually blind to walk as we do. If there was ever a model of prayer for the unsaved, here it is. God is giving us the key to prayer for the unbeliever. As we seek God for those who are unsaved, let us pray that God will cure the blindness if their minds and make His light to shine in their hearts.
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
This picture is two fold: those whom we disciple are letters from Christ to the world, the result of our ministry. 3 John:4 says it best, ” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”. To watch those you have invested in become great letters for Christ is pure joy. In the same way, we are letters, written through Christ by someone who invested in us. The beauty of it is this: in any case, it is God who does the writing.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
Don’t miss this: it is a triumphal procession in Christ. As we go, there is present a fragrance – a fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. When someone says to you, “What is it about you that is different?” It is the fragrance of Christ. If someone comments about your integrity or kindness or wisdom in a situation of life. That is the fragrance of Christ.