Posts tagged with: 2 Corinthians

A black and white sign on the ground that says "Please help by keeping a safe distance of 6 feet. Thank you for social distancing."

A New World?

Rest assured that we trust in a God who is reconciling the world to himself.

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Keeping Christmas Well . . . by Living Generously

We give in response to God’s most generous gift to us, the gift of Jesus.

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Easter and COVID-19:
Relying on God Who Raises the Dead

When things are going well in life, when the notion of a pandemic doesn’t even enter our minds, when the economy is strong, when our work is flourishing, it can be easy for us to rely on ourselves. This is especially true for those of us who are leaders. We’re used to being consistently reliable. But, when bad things happen to us and those we love, when we are threatened by a powerful disease, or when the world’s economy falters, or when we wonder about our own financial security, then we, like Paul, realize just how much we need God. Self-reliance seems naïve and unwise.

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A Prayer for New Year’s Day

Some of us will make New Year’s resolutions, promising to do better in the days ahead. And some of us might actually keep these promises . . . for a few days, anyway. But our hearts long for more than just a new year, a new date, or some new resolutions. Our world can feel so old, so caught in injustice, so wracked by violence, so wounded by poverty, so tainted by evil. But it’s not just our world that needs to be made new. We need this. We yearn for renewal in mind, heart, body, and spirit. We want to leave behind our sin and shame.

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Crime and Punishment

When I was disciplined as a child, that discipline never served to separate me from my family or to change the status of my relationship to them. When my timeout had been completed, or when my grounding was finally over, I was welcomed back into my family with open arms, the punishment and its inciting incident behind us all, and the lessons learned weaving their way into the fabric of my world view for years to come.

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A smiling boy.

What Gratitude Is and Isn’t

Personally, I have a hard time with gratitude. I don’t even like to send thank-you cards! But I’m learning more about what gratitude isn’t, so I can understand what gratitude is. Gratitude is more than saying “thank you” when someone gives you something. In fact, very often, we say the words “thank you” when we have no gratitude in our hearts. The difference is having the feeling of gratitude in your heart when you say the words.

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Grace, Gratitude, and Joy

The Corinthians knew something about God’s grace. They had converted to Christianity out of their pagan context and struggled to let go of their former ways. The people of Corinth had a reputation in the ancient world as an unruly, hard-drinking, sexually promiscuous bunch of people. Paul spent a year and a half with this group of believers in Corinth and then left to plant other churches. Later, he got word that they had continued in their Corinthian ways.

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Generosity Inspires Gratitude… and Vice Versa!

In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is raising funds. Yes, really. He is seeking contributions from the Corinthian Christians for the Christians in Jerusalem, who are going through difficult times economically and otherwise. In today’s passage, Paul begins by reassuring the Corinthians that God will supply them with more than they need so they can have a large “harvest” of righteousness. (9:10)… What Paul describes is quite clear: God will enrich the Corinthians so they can be generous.

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Here’s Another Good Reason to Boast

Paul’s example reminds us that there are times when it’s appropriate to boast about people other than yourself, to speak positively about them to others. If you’re a boss, for example, you may find it right on some occasions to brag about members of your team… a boss who gives heartfelt and legitimate credit to her team can be a real encouragement to them. Similarly, there may be times when you should tell others about the excellent work of a colleague.

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Revolutionary Communicator

What can we expect to learn from Jesus about communicating in a modern world, when he didn’t have to compete for the attention of people immersed in emails, podcasts, text messages, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and emerging virtual reality technologies? Can growing our skills of attentiveness help us connect with people who give their attention to these powerful technologies?

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Grass with beads of morning dew, with the sunrise in the background.

A Devotion for Easter: Living in the Day of Salvation

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! For centuries, Christians have greeted each other on Easter Sunday with these triumphant words. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus not only because one we love has conquered death, but also because we share in his victory. Because Christ is risen, sin and death have been defeated. Because Christ is risen, we are saved. To use the language of 2 Corinthians 6:2, “now is the day of salvation.”

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A stink bug on a leaf.

Death-Defying Stink Bugs

I teeter through life as if on the edge of a windowsill, my progress often slow, my thoughts occasionally sluggish. I sometimes follow the crowd and end up where I shouldn’t be. I try very hard to be a pleasing aroma in the world, but sometimes, if I feel threatened, I may lash out or overreact, leaving a less than desirable impression on others. Despite all of this, Christ has given to me and to you, the promise of resurrection.

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The name of Jesus carved out in wood.

A Devotion for Holy Week: Living in God’s Ways

Today, we pause to reflect on the meaning of the cross. We open our hearts to receive once again God’s amazing grace and love for us. We acknowledge that this day is good, not because of the horrible thing that happened to Jesus Christ, but because of what God was doing through the cross for us. All praise be to him!

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A Devotion for Holy Week: Living as Agents of Reconciliation

As we break down walls that divide people from people, as we forgive those who have wronged us, as we seek God’s justice for all people, as we extend the love of Christ to others, loving not only those who are different from us but even our enemies, people’s hearts will be opened to hear the good news of what God has done in Christ. We will say, “Be reconciled to God, and this is what reconciliation looks like. Come and see!”

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A Devotion for Holy Week: Living in the New Creation

You see, it’s not just that the individual is a new creation, though this is part of the truth. When we receive God’s grace through faith in Christ, we begin to live in the new creation that is yet to come. We begin to experience that which we will know fully in the future: forgiveness, restoration, healing, freedom, justice, and peace. Yes, our experience of the new creation is incomplete in this life. But it is real. And it is wonderful.

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