I’d forgotten what a rich book 2 Corinthians is. There is so much to be found in this brief letter. This is the fourth time I’ve read it this year, and still it seems new. Which, of course, is why we need to eat of the bread of the Word daily. Just like yesterday’s breakfast doesn’t sustain me today, the last time I read this book won’t sustain me now. I need to replenish the Word in my life constantly.
for we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)
How easy it is for me to get my eyes on the "facts" that are before me and forget the big picture that God my Father has before Him. I am called to walk by faith, trusting in the promises of God. I can believe Him, not just believe in Him.
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor 5:17)
I am now what God made me to be. I am a new creature. Still, the old Robin (the person I was before I came to Christ) is still hanging around, expressing herself in corrupting deeds (like when I am short tempered with the people I love). I must "put on" the new nature. I must cultivate it and nurture it. I must decide to grow in Christ, to mature. I must reject the old self, the old nature, like I would reject an old, ratty pantsuit.
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Cor 7:9-10)
Being sorry just because I got caught changes nothing. Being sorrowful enough to change my ways (which is what repentance means) is a good sorrow. The former kind of sorrow makes me morose or depressed or angry or petulant. The latter kind of sorrow has no regret. It brings joy.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; (2 Cor 9:8)
This verse follows the one that says God loves a cheerful giver. I have seen the truth of this played out in my life so many times. When I give God the first fruits of my labors (and of my life), He gives me an abundance in return. And the more I give to others the more I seem to have to give to others. It’s an amazing truth from God’s word.
Thank You, Lord, that I live in a country where I can freely read and study Your word every day. Let me never take that freedom lightly. Amen.