Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 23 - 2 Corinthians 10

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Corinthians 10. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul begins by reminding us that we are to live by a different standard than the world. We may live in the world, but we belong to God. Paul equates this life to a war. He says that if we are in Christ we must fight against arguments and pretense that go against God. This is a spiritual fight that defeats lies with the truth of God.
  • Paul then takes a bold turn and confronts his critics over the course of the next several chapters. Some troublemakers in Corinth were saying that Paul was unimpressive in person. They felt he should be a better professional speaker.  Paul reminds them that they are looking at the surface and not what really matters. Paul's goal is not to tear anybody down but to build everybody up. 
  • He then warns that those who are boasting are comparing themselves with themselves! Definitely not a wise decision. Paul declares that if we boast, it should only be about God.
  • Paul closes his argument by stating that the most important thing is the gospel (the good news that Jesus came for us and died for us to make us right with God and give us life with Him) and that it could be shared with more and more people.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God calls us to a higher standard of living. We need to replace spiritual lies with spiritual truth. We must first do that in our own life and then we can help others do the same in their own lives. This can be accomplished by knowing the word of God.
  • Paul says that we are to "take captive every thought" and give it to Jesus. Our thoughts are very powerful. Oftentimes we think about things that we shouldn't. And often, we think on things we would be embarrassed if someone knew. But the Bible gives us hope. We don't have to live like that. We can give our dark and negative thoughts to Jesus. He wants to help.
  • Our goal should be for everyone to hear the gospel in a way they can understand and respond to.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What lies do you believe? Maybe you believe some lies about what will make you happy? Or about what God is like? Or about how to do relationships? Or about the purpose of life? Or about money? The more we know the Bible, the more we can replace these lies with God's truth. Continue to spend time with him everyday.
  • We all struggle with thoughts we wish we didn't have. Maybe you struggle with thoughts of hate, anger, bitterness, self-loathing, or maybe it's sexual. No matter. Have you ever considered you could give those thoughts to God? Take a moment now and pray for help. He hears you.
  • What do you boast about? Your body? Your salary? Your house? Your new car? God should be the only thing you want to brag about. If that seems silly to you then maybe you need to spend more time with him. Take time this week to read the Bible, pray, or sing to God.
  • Our hearts should be like Paul. We should desire for everyone we know to hear the gospel. Who can you share your heart with this week?