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04 September - 2 Kings 9; Lamentations 5; 2 Corinthians 3; 4


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Posted 04 September 2007 - 09:28 AM

First Portion

2 Kings 9


9:1 Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Put your belt on your waist, take this vial of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 9:2 When you come there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brothers, and carry him to an inner room. 9:3 Then take the vial of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait.”

9:4 So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 9:5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting. Then he said, “I have a message for you, captain.”

Jehu said, “To which of us all?”

He said, “To you, O captain.” 9:6 He arose, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Yahweh, even over Israel. 9:7 You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Yahweh, at the hand of Jezebel. 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish. I will cut off from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, both him who is shut up and him who is left at large in Israel. 9:9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 9:10 The dogs will eat Jezebel on the plot of ground of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’” He opened the door, and fled.

9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?”

He said to them, “You know the man and what his talk was.” 9:12 They said, “That is a lie. Tell us now.”

He said, “He said to me, ‘Thus says Yahweh, I have anointed you king over Israel.’”

9:13 Then they hurried, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king.”

9:14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram was keeping Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria; 9:15 but king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) Jehu said, “If this is your thinking, then let no one escape and go out of the city, to go to tell it in Jezreel.” 9:16 So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram. 9:17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company.”

Joram said, “Take a horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’”

9:18 So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’”

Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!”

The watchman said, “The messenger came to them, but he isn’t coming back.”

9:19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, who came to them, and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’”

Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!”

9:20 The watchman said, “He came to them, and isn’t coming back. The driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he drives furiously.”

9:21 Joram said, “Get ready!”

They got his chariot ready. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu, and found him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. 9:22 It happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?”

He answered, “What peace, so long as the prostitution of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft abound?”

9:23 Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, “There is treason, Ahaziah!”

9:24 Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and struck Joram between his arms; and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. 9:25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, “Pick him up, and throw him in the plot of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember how, when you and I rode together after Ahab his father, Yahweh laid this burden on him: 9:26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons,’ says Yahweh; ‘and I will repay you in this plot of ground,’ says Yahweh. Now therefore take and cast him onto the plot of ground, according to the word of Yahweh.”

9:27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. Jehu followed after him, and said, “Strike him also in the chariot!” They struck him at the ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo, and died there. 9:28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David. 9:29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. 9:30 When Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window. 9:31 As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?”

9:32 He lifted up his face to the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?”

Two or three eunuchs looked out at him.

9:33 He said, “Throw her down!”

So they threw her down; and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses. Then he trampled her under foot. 9:34 When he had come in, he ate and drink; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.”

9:35 They went to bury her; but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 9:36 Therefore they came back, and told him.

He said, “This is the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel on the plot of Jezreel, 9:37 and the body of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “This is Jezebel.”’”

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 09:30 AM

Second Portion

Lamentations 5


5:1 Remember, Yahweh, what has come on us:
Look, and see our reproach.
5:2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers,
Our houses to aliens.
5:3 We are orphans and fatherless;
Our mothers are as widows.
5:4 We have drunken our water for money;
Our wood is sold to us.
5:5 Our pursuers are on our necks:
We are weary, and have no rest.
5:6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians,
To the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
5:7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more;
We have borne their iniquities.
5:8 Servants rule over us:
There is none to deliver us out of their hand.
5:9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives,
Because of the sword of the wilderness.
5:10 Our skin is black like an oven,
Because of the burning heat of famine.
5:11 They ravished the women in Zion,
The virgins in the cities of Judah.
5:12 Princes were hanged up by their hand:
The faces of elders were not honored.
5:13 The young men bare the mill;
The children stumbled under the wood.
5:14 The elders have ceased from the gate,
The young men from their music.
5:15 The joy of our heart is ceased;
Our dance is turned into mourning.
5:16 The crown is fallen from our head:
Woe to us! for we have sinned.
5:17 For this our heart is faint;
For these things our eyes are dim;
5:18 For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate:
The foxes walk on it.
5:19 You, Yahweh, remain forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.
5:20 Why do you forget us forever,
And forsake us so long time?
5:21 Turn us to yourself, Yahweh, and we shall be turned.
Renew our days as of old.
5:22 But you have utterly rejected us;
You are very angry against us.

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 09:31 AM

Third Portion

2 Corinthians 3; 4


3:1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3:3 being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh. 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God; 3:5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 3:6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 3:7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: 3:8 won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory? 3:9 For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 3:10 For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses. 3:11 For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

3:12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 3:13 and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. 3:14 But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away. 3:15 But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 3:16 But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 09:32 AM

4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we don’t faint. 4:2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 4:3 Even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled in those who perish; 4:4 in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. 4:5 For we don’t preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake; 4:6 seeing it is God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

4:7 But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. 4:8 We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; 4:9 pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 4:10 always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 4:11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. 4:12 So then death works in us, but life in you. 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” We also believe, and therefore also we speak; 4:14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you. 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 4:16 Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; 4:18 while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:48 AM

04 September 2008

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:40 AM

04 September 2009

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:45 AM

04 September 2010

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

"OUR INNER NATURE IS BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY"

This statement by Paul in today’s readings [2 Corinthians 4:16] really sums up what we aim to achieve by reading portions of God’s word every day. Of course, the effectiveness of this depends on the spirit with which we read. Most face the challenge each day of finding time to read; a little time for some degree of meditation on what we have read is also important. ‘Where am I at the moment in the sight of God?’ we must ask ourselves?

Many have times of difficulty and frustration to face and overcome. We note what Paul goes on to write; “for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” [2 Corinthians 4:17].

Now, nearly all have positive things in their daily experience and these help to balance out the afflictions. But God’s word helps most of all – but that depends how we read it – what we look for! We try to demonstrate this in our daily thoughts.

We all experience things which tend to frustrate us, but Paul says, “we do not lose heart” [2 Corinthians 4:16] and as we see his list of afflictions – ours are nothing! The reason why he did not lose heart was because “we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” [2 Corinthians 4:18] Let’s follow his advice. We read 4 verses earlier “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will raise us also …” [2 Corinthians 4:14] Sometimes that sense of “knowing” eludes us.

We have climbed a few mountains in our younger days and, for much of the time we climbed surrounded by clouds, but then, suddenly there is a break in the clouds and we realise both how much we have climbed, but greater still, we marvel at the vista of the distant scene that suddenly unfolds. We feel that progress in the believer’s life is like that.

Now Jeremiah is an exception to the general experience of “light affliction” and as we complete reading his Lamentations today we note his lament; “We get our bread at the peril of our lives …The joy of our hearts has ceased” [Lamentations 5:9,15] and we think this is probably happening to some of our brethren in Pakistan – and we know has happened to many in the Congo. For them, these words of Paul have a special meaning, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair … struck down, but not destroyed” [2 Corinthians 4:8,9] Our remembering them in our prayers helps in the renewal of our own inner nature.
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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:04 AM

04 September 2011

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

"BY THE MERCY OF GOD WE DO NOT LOSE HEART"

This statement by Paul in today’s readings [2 Corinthians 4:16] is achieved; at least the foundation is laid, by reading portions of God’s word every day. The effectiveness of this depends on the spirit with which we read. Most face the challenge each day of finding time to read; also time for meditation and reflection on what they have read and to ask, ‘Where am I at this moment in the sight of God?’

Many have times of difficulty and frustration to face and overcome. We note what Paul goes on to write; “for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” [2 Corinthians 4:17]. May we all have positive things in our daily experience which help to balance out the afflictions and irritations that challenge our “peace”.

We all experience things which tend to frustrate us, but Paul says, “by the mercy of God we do not lose heart” [2 Corinthians 4:16]. As we see his list of afflictions – ours are nothing! The reason why he did not lose heart was because he looked “not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:18]. Let’s follow his example. We read 4 verses earlier “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will raise us also …” [2 Corinthians 4:14]

Sometimes that sense of “knowing” eludes us: the temptations and distractions are the clouds that blot out the “son”.

We have climbed a few mountains in our younger days and sometimes we climbed surrounded by clouds, but then, suddenly there is a break in the clouds and we realise both how much we have climbed, but greater still, we marvel at the vista of the distant scene that dramatically unfolds. Progress in the believer’s life is like that.

Jeremiah is an exception to the general experience of “light affliction” and as we complete reading his Lamentations today we note his lament; “…the joy of our hearts has ceased” [Lamentations 5:15] Yet Paul did not “lose heart” – he could write, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair … struck down, but not destroyed” [2 Corinthians 4:8,9] May we “not lose heart” no matter what tribulations may yet come in these “last days.”
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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:26 AM

04 September 2012

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

"THAT IS NOT TRUE"

What is true? We live in a world abundant with half-truths and misleading information; those in authority are expert at ‘bending’ the truth. What of the truth about God? We suspect that underlying all the ‘denial’ by academics, &c, people still have in their hearts an underlying concept of God. Is not this concept ‘fed’ when they hear sung such things as Handel’s Messiah and watched the Diamond Anniversary of the Queen with its references to God; it is also, more often than not, ‘fed’ to some degree when they attend a funeral.

Our thoughts on this were triggered today by reading 2 Kings 9. It was an evil time with the godless sons of Jezebel reigning on the thrones of both Judah and Israel. The first verse tells us that “Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets … take this flask of oil … go to Ramoth-gilead … look there for Jehu.” [2 Kings 9:1-2] We learn in v. 5 that he is a commander in the army. This son of the prophets is told to “lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say , ‘Thus says the LORD … I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee ..” [2 Kings 9:3]

This task is carried out and “when Jehu came out (of the chamber) to the servants of his master, they said to him, ‘Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?’ And he said to them. ‘You know the fellow and his talk.’ And they said, ‘That is not true: tell us now.” [2 Kings 9:11-12] So despite calling Elisha’s messenger a “mad fellow” they did not really mean it. When Jehu admits he has been anointed king “they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, Jehu is king.” [2 Kings 9:13].

Jehu then carries out God’s will in destroying both the bad kings, the sons of Jezebel - and then Jezebel herself. He gets King Joram’s body thrown “on the “plot of ground” that had been Naboth’s “in accordance with the word of the LORD” [2 Kings 9:26] which he remembers the prophet uttering.

So despite the spiritual darkness then – and now – many in our world will call God’s word’s to mind as the drama of God’s actions start to happen. We read in 2 Corinthians today, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ …” [2 Corinthians 4:4] “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness, has shone into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God …” [2 Corinthians 4:6] Is that light shining in your heart? Do you say to the “darkness” – “That is not true!” Are you trying to spread the light?
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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:07 AM

04 September 2013

2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4

“BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY”

Our readings in 2nd Corinthians again gave us thoughts which are very ‘heart’ provoking. There is a danger for those (and that is most of us) who are busy earning our living in an environment which has little or no thought about God or Christ, that the attitude around us will start to ‘soak’ into our way of thinking and doing – in view of this the words of Paul today about his total commitment to God and the example this set the Corinthians are very appropriate.

“So that we do not lose heart,” Paul writes, “Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” [2 Corinthians 4:16] Yes, it is a day by day renewal otherwise our hearts can get out of focus, like a camera can: with human nature, a good focus is NOT automatic. But our daily renewal ‘even if there is “slight momentary affliction” writes Paul, “is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Our daily renewal is essential so that we can see the unseen with greater clarity – with the eye of faith! What is this “weight of glory”? It is intriguing that Jesus used the Greek word for “weight” just once! In the parable about the labourers in the vineyard. The complaint of those who worked all day was that they had “borne the burden of the day”

Will glory be a “burden”? Surely not when immortal powers are possessed – but there will be weighty challenges for those reigning with Christ and who work with him “to decide disputes for many people” [Isaiah 2:4] As we witness the impossibility of nations to decide disputes in our days our minds struggle to grasp our potential role in the future. Maybe we can better empathize with the Psalmist who wrote, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the temple of my God …” [Psalm 84:10].

In contrast to the “slight… affliction” Paul sees the Corinthians experiencing, we have read of the burden of affliction of Jeremiah.. We completed reading his Lamentations today. Notice his final words, his plea to God. “Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old – unless you have utterly rejected us …” We know that God has not rejected his people, the present restoration of the Jews to part of their promised land is a great stimulus to our faith in God’s plan and purpose. Finally, remember Jeremiah’s words in chapter 3 we quoted 2 days ago, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25] Let us seek him “day by day” as we wait for Christ’s return.
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Posted 04 September 2014 - 12:35 PM

04 September 2014
 
2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4  
 
"OUR INNER NATURE IS BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY"
      
This statement by Paul in today’s readings [2 Corinthians 4:16] really sums up what we aim to achieve by reading portions of God’s word every day.  Of course this depends on the spirit with which we read.  Many face the challenge each day of finding adequate time to read; and then have little or no time for meditation on what they have read. But it is important to make an effort to do this for it multiplies in our minds the effectiveness of our reading. 
        
In this ever more godless world many have times of difficulty and frustration to face and overcome. Note what Paul says next; “for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” [2 Corinthians 4:17].  Nearly all have some positive things in their daily experiences and if we highlight these in our minds they are invaluable in preventing worldly concerns from dominating our thoughts.  It is God’s word that helps most of all – but that depends how we read it, how receptive our minds are – what we look for!  We try to demonstrate this in the daily thoughts we circulate.
         
We all experience things which tend to frustrate us, but Paul says, “we do not lose heart” [2 Corinthians 4:16]  and, as we see his list of afflictions, ours are nothing in almost every case!   The reason why Paul did not lose heart  was because he did not look on “the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” [2 Corinthians 4:18]   Let’s try harder to follow his way of thinking.
         
We have climbed a few mountains in our younger days and, for much of the time we climbed surrounded by clouds, but then, suddenly there is a break in the clouds and we realise both how much we have climbed, but greater still, we marvel at the vista of the distant scene that suddenly unfolds.  Is not progress in the believer’s life like this?
          
Now Jeremiah is an exception to the general experience of “light affliction” and as we completed reading his Lamentations today we noted his lament; “we get our bread at the peril of our lives …the joy of our hearts has ceased” [Lamentations 5:9,15] and we think this could be happening at times to some of our brethren in the Middle East and in one or two parts of Africa and maybe, even amongst those elsewhere whom the Government is trying to force to return to their homeland. For all these, Paul’s words are really full of meaning and it is vital and they know it is vital that their “inner nature is being renewed day by day.” They may sometimes feel somewhat as Paul felt,  “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair … struck down, but not destroyed” [2 Corinthians 4:8-9] Let us include them in our prayers – sensing how it helps in the renewal of our own inner nature, remembering what we read in 2 Corinthians 1:11. 
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Posted 04 September 2015 - 08:15 AM

04 September 2015
 
2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4  
 
“WE DO NOT LOSE HEART, THOUGH …” 
            
These days the challenges to “lose heart” are multiplying as the boisterous ways of the world swirl around us – and appear to be getting even more chaotic and ungodly.  Our readings in 2 Kings 9 reveal a situation that was, in some ways even worse!    But at least Jehu, to whom Elisha had sent one of the sons of the prophets to anoint as the new king, was carrying out deserved justice on the wicked Jezebel and the ungodly kings of both the northern and southern kingdoms.
            
Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4 are applicable to at least some believers today.  Paul encourages the faithful [2 Corinthians 4:6-7] that “we have this treasure,” that is, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," but it is "in jars of clay,"  meaning, our present humble and lowly situations.   But this is "to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." [2 Corinthians 4:7] 
            
Do we feel increasingly overwhelmed by this godless world? Let us try harder to follow the example of Paul, for, although he was "persecuted” he was “not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed ..." [2 Corinthians 4:9] His and our "spirit of faith" was in "knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence." [2 Corinthians 4:13-14] 
            
How encouraging, indeed triumphant, are his words from 2 Corinthians 4:16. "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
            
As a result we know for sure, if we possess a full faith in our hearts, that (as the chapter ends) "the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" and “our present light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" [2 Corinthians 4:17] 
            
So let us make sure "we do not lose heart."  
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Posted 11 September 2016 - 04:27 AM

04 September 2016
 
2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4  
 
"BY THE MERCY OF GOD WE DO NOT LOSE HEART" 
                                                                                
This statement by Paul in today’s readings [2 Corinthians 4:16] is achieved; or - at least the foundation is laid - by reading portions of God’s word every day.  The effectiveness of this depends on the spirit with which we read.  Most face the challenge each day of finding time to read; also time for meditation and reflection on what they have read and to ask themselves,  ‘Where am I at this moment in the sight of God?’ 
            
Many have times of difficulty and frustration to face and overcome especially during week/workdays.  We note what Paul goes on to write; “for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” [2 Corinthians 4:17].  May we all have positive things in our daily experience which help to balance out the afflictions and irritations that challenge our “peace”.
            
We all experience things which tend to frustrate us, but Paul says, “by the mercy of God we do not lose heart” [2 Corinthians 4:16].  As we see his list of afflictions – ours are nothing!   The reason why he did not lose heart was because he looked “not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:18].   
            
Let’s follow his example.  We read 4 verses earlier “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will raise us also …”  [2 Corinthians 4:14]  Sometimes that sense of “knowing” eludes us: the temptations and distractions are the clouds in this world that blot out the “son”.
            
We have climbed a few mountains in our younger days and sometimes we climbed surrounded by clouds, but then, suddenly there is a break in the clouds and we realise both how much we have climbed, but greater still, we marvel at the vista of the distant scene that dramatically unfolds.  Progress in the believer’s life is like that.
            
Jeremiah is an exception to the general experience of “light affliction” and as we complete reading his Lamentations today we note his lament; “…the joy of our hearts has ceased” [Lamentations 5:15] Yet Paul did not “lose heart” – he could write, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair … struck down, but not destroyed” [2 Corinthians 4:8-9] May we “not lose heart” no matter what tribulations may yet come in these “last days.” 
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- DC


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Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:15 AM

04 September 2017
 
2 Kings 9
Lamentations 5
2 Corinthians 3; 4 
 
"THE THINGS THAT ARE UNSEEN ARE ETERNAL"
 
2 Corinthians 4 ends with the above triumphant statement. Paul is reassured and reassures others who possess "the same spirit of faith" [2 Corinthians 4:13], triumphantly stating that - "knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence." [2 Corinthians 4:14]. Let us make sure we can say the same - because we have embraced the same wondrous faith that Paul had ­ and wrote about.
 
In the 1st Century spearheaded by the faith and efforts of Paul - and this "spirit of faith" began to spread to "more and more people … to the glory of God." [2 Corinthians 4:15] And now it has spread to us! But so many are blind to it ­ until there is very little glory for God! It is to the "glory of God" that some still read his word day by day! Do let us hope that there be a positive answer to the question Jesus asked, "… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" [Luke 18:8].
 
Over the centuries many have been the afflictions that have often occurred to those who followed in the footsteps of Paul, although few have suffered them to the same extent. How wonderfully positive Paul was! What an example for all who tried to follow in his footsteps! Let us take right into our hearts the way his chapter today ends!
 
"… our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 
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- DC





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