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Category Archives: 2 Corinthians

“Trading My Sorrows (Yes, Lord)”

Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord, Amen

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord, Amen
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord, Amen

Though sorrow may last for the night
Joy comes with the morning

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Darrell Evans

Dear God, I was reading 2 Corinthians 4 this morning and I came across verses 8-9: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” Of course, it made me think of this song.

I’m living in great…well, let’s just say I’m very perplexed. And I’ll confess that it has occasionally driven me to despair. But my faith in you always draws me back. And now I can see a lot of providence in the last 8 days of my life. I see all providence. Not that I think some of the things I want to happen will imminently happen now. I don’t expect that at all. But I’m a little less perplexed today than I was eight days ago.

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I am pressed by certain things, but certainly not crushed. I am struck down by some, but you have sustained me, frankly unreasonably well. I have even been persecuted by some, but I don’t feel abandoned by you. On the contrary. I feel like you are involved in the minuteness of my life that astonishes me. Absolutely astonishes me. So I worship you this morning. I absolutely worship you. And as I go through a sad funeral today, I know you offer hope. Offer your hope through me and those here who are your ambassadors. Show me how to love in your name.

I pray all of this in the name of the Triune God,

Amen

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2022 in 2 Corinthians, Hymns and Songs

 

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2 Corinthians 10:17-18

As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the .” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Dear God, this is a great trap for me. First, I tend to get way too much credit for the work others do. I lead an organization that does “good” work in the community. It’s a nonprofit that helps others. But the truth is that it’s the staff that really makes a difference on the front lines. Second, there’s a part of me that really loves it when people praise me and are impressed with me. I have to be very conscious of this.

Then there are the things that go well that are my responsibility. I really want to thump my chest and take credit for those things, but I always try to quickly remember that I haven’t really done anything that special and it just seems to be your blessing that propels us forward. Whether it’s fundraising where I am, or even the projects I do outside of work, there are times when good things just happen and I have to remember to not only give you the glory internally, but also give you the glory to others as well.

Of course, there are also the areas of my life that appear to be abject failures. I don’t understand what is going on in those areas, but I am praying to you about them and counting on you to either redeem them or use them to mold me and the others involved into the people you need us to be.

Father, to you be the glory. I give you my utmost for your highest. Holy Spirit, please give me the strength I need to give my utmost today.

Jesus, thank you for enabling me to bring all of this to the Father,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2022 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Dear God, I was talking with a retired man last night who is putting some of his energy into nonprofit work in his retirement. He is on the board of a nonprofit and has been giving both his money and his background/experience to the organization. I spoke to another man who is still working but is doing the same thing. He is an attorney who has given a lot of free legal counsel to a nonprofit for which he is on the board.

I’m thinking about these two men because of the idea of sowing and giving back. We did not discuss their faith, but I don’t think either of them are really people of faith, but as good humans they still know the intrinsic fulfillment and joy that come from giving of themselves–giving from their surplus.

Frankly, I feel like I get too much credit from others for the work I do. I feel like I leave a lot of seeds that you’ve given me unsown. The New Testament reading today from the Catholic Church is from John’s Gospel where Jesus is talking about a grain of wheat is nothing until it dies and becomes more wheat (John 12). You have given me a lot of grain and I don’t guess I will ever perfectly sow it all in this world. I just hope I can get better and better about sowing more and more.

Father, Holy Spirit, make this another day of representing you, loving you, and worshipping you. Live through me. Love through me. And as I’m on vacation, restore me. Do the same for my wife as well.

I pray this through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2022 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Dear God, I ran into an old friend two nights ago. I hadn’t seen him in several years. The thing that made it awkward was that he had heard about me around town and some of the projects I’ve helped with and really heaped a lot of praise on me. It caught me by surprise and I didn’t know how to respond. It made me very uncomfortable.

Earlier that day, I had preached at a local church. Normally, my insecure spirit longs for praise. I want to hear how “great” I was from the people who were there. This time, however, I found myself being uncomfortable with the compliments. Frankly, I think part of that discomfort was the fact that I wasn’t pleased with the job I did, but part of it was that I just wanted the Holy Spirit work through me. That’s what I kept praying for.

I’m not saying I’ve arrived at this new super spiritual level or anything, and I’m not saying I don’t like or need affirmations. To quote the song “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman: “I won’t lie it feels alright to see my name in lights. We all need an atta boy or atta girl.” I just don’t seem to need or long for them in this moment like I used to. Have your successfully broken something in me? I hope so. Could my insecurity flare up five minutes from bow and I could be right back where is started? Absolutely.

Father, to quote the chorus of “Legacy” as my prayer to you: “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to you? I want to make a mark on things. I want to leave an offering. A child of mercy and Grace who blessed your name unapologetically, and leave that kind of legacy.”

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2021 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. ” Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.
2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

Dear God, this passage makes me think of the part of the Lord’s Prayer that asks you to not lead me into temptation. At some point, I have to make a decision to keep myself out of temptation. I need to identify the things that bring out the worst in me and determine that I will avoid them.

In my sermon yesterday, I talked about the importance of seeing you as my daily bread. That’s all part of this too. I think I’ve always interpreted the part of the Lord’s Prayers about daily bread as you providing for our needs, but I also think it’s about me pursuing you each day as well. Seeking your presence. Listening for your voice. Reading your word and contemplating it in my heart.

Father, I offer all of me to you today. Please let your kingdom come onto the earth and your will be done on earth through my life. Forgive me of my sins. Help me to learn more and more what it means to forgive others as you forgive me and to do it. Give me my daily bread today as I commit to coming to you for my daily bread. Help me to see temptation and reject it. You are a glorious, amazing, power, and wonderful God. The kingdoms of this earth and, of course, in heaven are yours, now and forever.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2021 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

12 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I[a] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Dear God, humility is an important thing. And I’ll confess that I struggle with it. In my small town, I’m in a position where a lot of people look up to me. I get too much credit for being nice, and sometimes I start to buy into my own reputation. But there are certainly things you have put into my life to humble me. My wife humbles me. My children humble me. My sin humbles me. The trick is to remember these things, shun the glory that falsely comes my way because anything good in my life is from you. You are the reason anything good comes out of me.

Father, I worship you for what you do and for what you forgive in me. I worship you for giving me so much, and I worship you for giving me struggles. I worship you because you are a great God, and I am but a vapor. I worship you because I owe you everything and you owe me nothing–yet you love me anyway.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2021 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 11:1-3

I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me. For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.
2 Corinthians 11:1-3

Dear God, my first though when I read this passage this morning was to wonder how a church, any church, or even the church where I attend would respond to your criticism. How are we failing you and what would be our response if someone like Paul came to us in your name and laid into us like this? The odds are that our corporate response wouldn’t be very good. We would likely be defensive and throw Paul’s letter away. Which brings up a question I’ve never once considered before: How do we still have this letter today? Why was it not destroyed before it could be canonized? I guess we know at least one key person took it to heart and preserved it.

Anyway, back on topic. My next question was to personalize it more. How would I respond to a prophet of you coming to me with criticism? My initial thought is, “It depends on who the person is.” There are some people from whom I can hear criticism and some I cannot. I’m less likely to hear criticism from my family of origin than I am from a close friend or even members of the board of directors where I work. But then I start to try to discern what types of criticism would you have for me. If I ask the question internally, what do I hear the Holy Spirit telling me?

Father, as a church, give us ears to hear and humility to accept your rebukes. And as for me, give me ears to hear and the willingness to sacrifice whatever you are calling me to sacrifice so that I might not waste the precious, short life you’ve given to me.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2021 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 5:18

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.

2 Corinthians 5:18

Dear God, the “task of reconciling people to [you].” That is my task. If I am reconciled to you, then that is step one. Step two is about reconciling other people to you. Is there anything more important? Even in my relationships with my wife and children, should the primary thought for them be to ensure they are reconciled to you?

Scale of 1 to 10, I would say I am at a 2 in fulfilling this task. At work, there are a couple of things that kind of hang over my head that are out there that I know I have to deal with. I call the “little clouds.” This one, in terms of my overall life, should probably be more of a “little cloud” than I perceive it to be. As I asked earlier, is there anything more important I should be doing, and why doesn’t it bother me that I am not doing it.

Father, help men to know how to present you in such a way to others that they want to be reconciled to you and that they will know how to do it. Help me to be fully reconciled to you myself. I give you my worship. I give you my praise. Now, help me to do the task you have given me to do.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 3:6-18

He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

2 Corinthians 3:6-18

Dear God, it seems like I say this all of the time, but I really underestimate the Holy Spirit, and I really don’t think about or lean on the Holy Spirit enough. In all of the arguments over the law vs grace and all of that, the thing I tend to forget is letting go of all of that and just leaning on the presence, comfort, and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Even now, as I sit here this evening and type this prayer to you, how much am I talking to the Father in heaven and ignoring the Father’s Holy Spirit living in me. Are my prayers focused up or in? When I pray for my friends/family who are facing serious challenges, or when I pray for myself and the decisions or circumstances facing me, why do I forget about the counselor and comforter that Jesus sent us after he ascended to heaven?]

Father (and Holy Spirit), help me to be so in tune with you in every moment that your glory will shine off of me. If people around me see my life as “goals,” then let them see the path to the shine they see on me be a relationship with you. Be glorified in their lives. Be glorified through me. Use my life as you will–for your glory and not mine.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2020 in 2 Corinthians

 

2 Corinthians 10:12-18

12 Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!

13 We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. 14 We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ.

15 Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended. 16 Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else’s territory. 17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”[c]

18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
2 Corinthians 10:12-18

Dear God, when I really sit and still myself before you, the limits of who I am–who I truly am–come crashing down upon me. I am a broken human who is so grateful to have a God that loves him. I am keenly aware that You are the potter and I am the clay. Yes, there are times when I want people to adore me. I want to be appreciated and admired. I want to be acknowledged, not for anything in particular, but for who I am. I would love to have a spider looking out for me like Wilbur did in Charlotte’s Web, promoting me and telling people that I am:

  • “Some [man]”
  • “Terrific”
  • “Radiant”
  • “Humble”

I have to say, my wife would be very proud of me for making a Charlotte’s Web reference. She loves that book. But the thing is, Wilbur was better than me because he wasn’t really trying to be anything. He was truly humble, and that humility radiated into radiance and terrific-ness.

In this passage, Paul seems to have had his fill of arrogance from others and accusations of arrogance. I really like the part where he says they are boasting by comparing themselves to themselves, “using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!”

Father, in this moment, I just want to worship you. I want to give you all of the glory and be content with sitting in your shadow. I want to be at peace with my life, regardless of the circumstances. I want to somehow transcend looking at the world through my own eyes, but seeing not only the visible world with your eyes, but also the powers and principalities that you see that I cannot. I’ll never do anything of that if I try to boast or bring glory to myself. It never works that way. It didn’t work that way for Wilbur and it won’t work that way for me. Help me to love. Help me to love you and love others beyond any love I receive from others in return.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2020 in 2 Corinthians, Uncategorized

 

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