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2 Cor. 2:12-3:6 Devo – Day 3

By March 29, 2023Daily Devotional

Hearing God’s Voice from His Word

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.

Psalm of the Day

Psalm 29:3-9 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Read the Entire Psalm

The Voice of the Lord. God speaks and His words have impact. You may not hear an audible voice but He does speak. Ask Him to help you listen. Ask Him to speak to those around you. Praise Him that He is a God who speaks.

2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6 – New Living Translation
12 When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13 But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.

14 But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?

17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

3 Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 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.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Express thanksgiving to God.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
  • Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
    (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
  • Bring your personal requests to God.
    (Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
  • Pray for someone in your small group.
  • Join with others from River and those who do not know God. Ask God to give you opportunity to have gospel conversations and to build trust with those in your life who do not know God.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
The two most common barriers to investing in others in gospel ministry are:
1. I don’t have time.
2. I don’t feel able (capable, worthy, knowledgeable, etc.)
Both of those barriers can be addressed by some biblical reframing. In regards to the barriers of time and ability, it is most often our perception that needs to change the most. If we can creatively include investment in others in the things, we already do this gets at the time barrier. If we understand that God wants to work through our weakness not our strength this gets at the capability barrier. Some have said that the Great Commission is more “As you go, make disciples” than, “Go and make disciples.” To a degree, both perspectives are true. We are to “go”, we are to be intentional and since the gospel is to be integrated into our lives, we must learn to make Christ known in all of our “going.” The great Commission has also been called a “Co-mission.” This means it is not our mission it is God’s. We get to partner with him, thus it is “Co-mission.” He is the smarter, stronger, competent one in this mission. We simply have to be faithful to join him. We don’t need to have lots of answers or ability, we just need to obey him. He delights in using people who are weak.

Application: Think through the barriers of time and ability. How do they impact your gospel ministry to others? What needs to change in your perception of these barriers?