Friday, August 4, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - August 4, 2017

Today's Reading:

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:13

2 Kings 17-18

Micah 7

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In our reading from 2 Corinthians, there are a couple of key concepts that I wish to focus upon. They are found in verses 14, 17 and 20 of 2 Corinthians 5, as follows:
2 Corinthians 5:14; 17; 20 "For the love of Christ constraineth us... Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new... Now then we are ambassadors for Christ..."
In these passages, we find the key to living the new Life, in Messiah. We cannot go chasing after our old fleshly desires - for the love of Christ constrains us and old things are passed away. In love for Him and in gratitude for His Gifts, we become missionaries - ministers of the Gospel - or, as Paul put it "ambassadors for Christ." This is our new calling and purpose.
In our family worship times, we have been so blessed to be reading David and Jason Benham's book titled, Whatever the Cost: Facing your Fears, Dying to Your Dreams, and Living Powerfully. In the chapter we read for today, I was amazed to see how many of the Benham brothers' points of wisdom were in alignment with the principles of 2 Corinthians 5. 

Because it was a blessing to me, and I believe it will also bless you, I will share with you a few of the powerful points of wisdom which the Benham brothers' shared in chapter 7 (which is chapter my family and I finished reading today). I think you will find that these points of wisdom powerfully illustrate what it means to be constrained by the love of Christ, be a new creature in Him, and to live as ambassadors of our Heavenly Father.

  • "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit," (John 12:24). When you let go of what's in your hand, God will give you what's in His Hand (Whatever the Cost, p 51).
  • When we focus on being faithful to what God has given us to do in the present, we can trust He will orchestrate what He wants for us in the future. We don't have to worry about the future - we just have to be faithful in the present (Whatever the Cost, p 55).
  • We often spend life chasing success but not stopping to define it. Yet what we call the journey, God calls success. As a Christian, success is not a destination-it's the journey. When you go through the trials of life and remain true to God, you are a living example of success, regardless of your destination (Whatever the Cost, p 57).
  • When God gives you something (a ministry, time, talents, possessions, etc), you must hold it with an open hand. Otherwise, if He decides to remove it, He'll have to pry your fingers loose. Holding your dreams with an open hand requires that you focus on the God of the dream and not the dream that God gives, (Whatever the Cost, p 58).
  • Dying to our dreams is only possible when we focus on the Person of God and  not the purposes, promises, or platforms He gives us. By focusing on the Person, we sit loose to how, when, and where His purposes, promises, or platforms are given or taken from us. This gives us the ability to live powerfully for God, especially through trials
    (Whatever the Cost, p 59).
  • The same boiling water that hardens the egg softens the carrot. It's not the water that makes the difference - it's the substance of what's in the water. As a Christian, your life will harden some people and soften others. You don't have to worry which one it is - you just stay hot for Christ and let Him take care of the rest. (Whatever the Cost, pp 61-62).
  • One of the biggest dangers for men is to find their identities in what they do as opposed to who they are. hen what you do defines you, then your career longings will naturally pull you away from God and from those He's given to your care. But as Christians we can rest in the fact that we are not defined by the jobs we hold in our hands - we are defined by the One Who holds us in His Hand (Whatever the Cost, p 65).