Bible Book: 2 Corinthians

Lavender growing wild in a field

Life in the Spirit II: What Jesus Smells Like

Paul declares that Christ has his own fragrance. He goes on to say that we help spread in every place the aroma of Christ to those who are being saved and those who are perishing. The problem is that historically the church of God has stood in controversy and contradiction when our stench does not align with the aroma of Christ. Ask any Old Testament prophet. Ask Isaiah whom God used to reject their burnt offerings because their worship had the stench of injustice.

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A fountain pen lying on a partially finished letter

Life in the Spirit I: A Living Letter

Paul states that his listeners are letters. Living letters. Letters from Christ. So it is with you. Your life is a living letter and it is being read by others in this daily and ordinary life. Not only that, but Paul states that the Spirit is the ink. I imagine a dynamic and catalytic Spirit engaged in our lives and calling. I love the idea of an active spirit that is always moving in every page and chapter of our lives. What an encouragement it is to be co-creating a story with God’s own Spirit and our very lives!

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Purple neon lights spelling out "FREEDOM"

How to Liberate Your Imagination: A Personal Example

No matter the particular challenges you’re facing today, whether at work or at home, in your relationships or in your community, in your leadership or your discipleship, God’s Spirit is at work in you, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom: freedom to imagine, freedom to dream, freedom to fail, freedom to confess, freedom to grow, freedom to serve others with vision and compassion.

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A light bulb lying on a multicolored circuit board

How to Liberate Your Imagination

No matter the particular challenges you’re facing today, whether at work or at home, in your relationships or in your community, in your leadership or your discipleship, God’s Spirit is at work in you, helping to liberate your imagination so that you might live and lead with greater freedom, vision, fruitfulness, and joy.

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A neon sign showing glasses to advertise an optometrist

Seeing the Unseen with Your Imagination

In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about seeing “what cannot be seen.” He talks about “seeing,” not with physical eyes, but with the mind, with what we would call the imagination. Today we begin a new _Life for Leaders_ series called “Imagination: Redeemed and Redemptive.” May God teach us to use all of our abilities – including our imaginations – for God’s own kingdom purposes. 

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A stencil cutout reading "He is Risen"

Now is the Day of Salvation!

Today is Easter Sunday. On this special day we remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Through dying and rising again, Jesus broke the power of sin and death. He made sure the way of salvation. Thus, we might say on this day, “Now is the day of salvation!” 

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A wooden crucifix

What God Did on Good Friday

As we remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday, we rightly recall the events of his Passion. As we do, let us also remember what God, the Triune God, was doing on Good Friday. God was taking our sin off of our shoulders and bearing it for us. God was paying the penalty for sin so that we might begin a right relationship with God, and through God, with other people.

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A globe sitting on a counnter

Ambassadors for Christ

You are an ambassador of Christ. You have been authorized to bring the good news of God’s grace to those who so desperately need to hear it. So, if you seek to represent Christ well, by all means share the message. And by all means live it too! Love your neighbors and even your enemies so that, through you, people might come to know the love of God in Christ.

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From Enemies to Friends

What astounding good news! We who were once God’s enemies have now been made God’s friends through God’s grace in Christ.

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A red brick wall with "NEW" on it in white letters

The Christian Multiverse

As Christians, we live in a kind of multiverse. Though we affirm the painful reality of our mortality, at the same time we believe that in Christ there is a new creation. Thus we live in the tension between the old and the new, the mortal and the immortal. When we get a taste of the world to come, this gives us hope and helps us to press on in this life for God’s purposes and glory. 

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A woman's hands seen writing in a journal with a cup of coffee

Living for Christ

Today is Monday of Holy Week, a time when we remember in a special way the death of Christ and the difference it makes in our lives. One aspect of that difference appears in 2 Corinthians 5:15. There we see that because Christ died for us, we ought to live for him most of all, for his kingdom and glory, for his plans and purposes. Today we ask ourselves: For whom am I really living? 

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rapids in the middle of the forest

Riding the Rapids of Christ’s Love

Even as the banks of a river propel the water forward and direct its flow, so the love of Christ for the world can motivate us and guide our actions.

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woman happily working in coffee shop

Aiming to Please God

Whether we are at home with the Lord or away, whether we are at work or school, whether we are at church or shopping for groceries, whether we are teaching a class or sweeping a floor, whether we are writing a sermon or closing a deal, whether we’re feeding the hungry or hanging out with our friends, no matter what we are doing we make it our aim to please the Lord.

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man overlooking a foggy field

The Holy Spirit as Earnest Money

In this mortal life we will struggle and suffer. We will experience life mixed with death. But beyond physical death we will enter into the fullness of life. Our “perishable” bodies will put on “imperishability” and our “mortal” bodies will put on “immortality” (1 Cor 15:53). That sounds marvelous, but we may wonder if this is really going to happen or if it’s just wishful thinking. 2 Corinthians 5:5 shows that the Holy Spirit supplies God’s response to our wondering. The Spirit reassures us of the future we have in God. Someday we will experience life in all of its fullness and joy.

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A brightly lit tent in the middle of the woods

Groaning, Longing, and Swallowed Up

2 Corinthians talks about groaning as something human beings experience in this life. We groan with pain. We groan over sadness and injustice. But we also groan with longing. We groan as we hope for the day when God makes all things new, including us. In that time, we won’t be consumed by death. Rather, we will be swallowed up by life.

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