ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
SOLITARINESS OF GOD This attribute of God is easy to overlook. Let’s think about it again today. There was a time when creation, even heaven, didn’t exist, but God’s glory did because He is from everlasting. There was a time when neither angels, nor humans were praising Him and He was still altogether wonderful. He is self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-satisfied. He was under no compulsion to create out of necessity or deficiency. He created all things simply to display His glory. God could have chosen not to create and He still would be The Perfect One.
In the beginning, God (Genesis 1:1)
Praise God for His Solitariness
Praise Him because he is the beginning. All that is good and beautiful begins with him. Remember that you were made for Him. He does not exist to satisfy you. Praise him because he is completely happy and satisfied in his mere existence. He has always been and will always be without need or want. Praise Him.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Ask God to encourage and strengthen Jason and Lisa as they prepare to return to the work God has called them to overseas.
- Ask God to speak to you as you read the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 11 English Standard Version
Paul and the False Apostles
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would[a] but as a fool. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
How do you “ID” your “ideas”? What does it mean to take thoughts captive to Christ? It is not some super spiritual process, not some kind of incantation, it is an ongoing act of the will. God has given us powerful choices in regards to the thoughts that we allow to remain and rule in our minds. We have to see our thoughts like semi-trained or untrained dogs. They must be leashed and when necessary, that leash must be shortened. Or another analogy is a gate guard on a military installation. Those guards are armed and check IDs to see if a person has legal access to the base. If not, the guard turns the person away, or in extreme cases, takes them captive. We must treat our thoughts with this kind of rigorous examination. It’s not that every stray thought should cause panic. Weird things pop into everyone’s minds from time to time. I am talking about the persistent, and wrong thinking that we allow to take hold in our heads. This will cause us great harm. Good thoughts, on the other hand, will bring great good to our lives as they shape our hearts and habits. Intentionally, and persistently, take hold of those good thoughts. Not just “happy” thoughts, or “positive” thinking…those are fine but they are more by products of good thinking than actual good thinking itself. Good thinking is rooted in the truth of God in the gospel.