Morning Musings: Proverbs 21:26

“All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.”  (ESV)

Being righteous doesn’t mean being perfect.  That is certainly the goal, but the two aren’t the same thing.  The righteous person still has desires for all kinds of different things, many of them things which are not good for them.  As Solomon writes here, he craves and craves all day long.  What the righteous person does do is deny those cravings for the sake of others.  He learns to say no to what he wants in order that he might be able to give to those around him.  She is in control of her desires in order leverage her resources for the benefit of people who do not have similar access to them. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 7:10

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

One of the phrases people sometimes use in a moment of exasperation is, “Good grief!”  Charlie Brown is particularly famous for saying this.  But, if you’re at all like me, you’ve always kind of wondered at this phrase because grief isn’t good.  Right?  No one wants to grieve and when we are it means something has gone wrong, doesn’t it?  Well…not necessarily. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, 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.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

If we let them, the troubles of this world will completely overwhelm us and leave us unable to pursue the path of Jesus with anything resembling the commitment we need in order to gain the benefits from it.  Problems in our marriages, problems with our kids, troubles at work, hardships at school, financial challenges, family issues, interpersonal doubts, and so on can fill our field of view until we don’t see anything else.  They become the lens through which we see everything else.  Depression (not clinical), discouragement, and malaise become our constant companions. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise.  We are treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When it comes to sharing the Gospel with the world around us, our goal should be to make certain that the only offensive thing about us is our message, the Gospel itself.  Everything else about us should be a gigantic yes to the world.  Or, as Paul puts it here, we commend ourselves in every way. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 4:4

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Now, this idea would no doubt be pretty offensive and off-putting to have as our lead when we share the Gospel with someone else: “You’re not going to really understand what I’m about to tell you, but that’s okay because the Devil has probably blinded your mind to it.”  But it is something that is pretty important for us to keep firmly in mind as we do. Read the rest…