Friday, December 31, 2010


2 Corinthians 4
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  2 Corinthians 4:7


In my kitchen, there is a variety of containers made from various materials-plastic, metal, wooden, glass, china. There is a beautiful clear crystal candy dish and picher, hand cut from Yugoslavia, which my husband brought back from a mission trip to Bosnia. Those would be considered the most valuable of all. However, to me, the most valuable container, is an old, yellow glass bowl in which my mother often made homemade biscuits, cookies, and cakes. While the outside of the bowl is deteriorating in attractiveness, it still holds value to me. So it is with us. Our bodies are aging and losing strength (verse 16). It is when we allow God to fill us with His Spirit and renew our inner self that people will see a treasure of immeasurable worth, as God does.

Our key scripture uses the term "earthen vessels."

In the Liberty Bible Commentary, Falwell stated:
An earthenware jar is a brittle one. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect. Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us. (verse 7)

In Romans 7:18, Paul  reminds us "For I know that in me(that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."

Kruse said," God chose to put His light and glory in the everyday dishes, not in the fine china."

"Who's worthy to be a "container" for God's light and glory? We are all just clay pots holding an unspeakably great treasure! Why does God put such a great treasure in such weak vessels? So the greatness of the power may be of God and not of us.
In the story of Gideon, it was the breaking of vessels that made the light shine forth and bring victory to God's people. (Judges 7:20) In the rest of the chapter, Paul will show how God "breaks" His clay pots so the excellence of the power may be of God and not us, "David Guzik said in his commentary.

Blackaby states in Experiencing God Day-By-Day:
"Knowing God and having Him reside within you is a treasure of infinite value. Your relationship with God places an immeasurable value on your life. The treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge are available to you through Christ (Col.2:2-3). His love now fills you. His incomprehensible peace surrounds your heart and mind (Phil.4:7). When Jesus dwells in your life, everything available to Christ dwells within you (Eph. 3:19).
The contents of the earthen vessels, not the containers themselves, were of great value. The jars would become chipped and broken and would deteriorate over time, but nobody thought of the jar-they were interested in its contents. Paul noted that our great possession is that which God has placed within us. When people focus on us they see a frail, imperfect, and deteriorating vessel. Nothing that comes from our flesh is worthy of praise.
Don't focus on outward appearances and phusical strength, for those deteriorate. Rather, allow the Holy Spirti to convince you of the infinite treasure that is within you because of God's presence."

I am only like an everyday dish, made of clay, that wants the Lord to use for His glory.
How about you?


Verses 8-10 say,"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

A.W.Tozer is quoted having said,"It's doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply."
An unknown person once said,"When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible person and crushes him."

I looked up the meaning of some of the words in the above verses in the King James Dictionary:
troubled-disturbed, agitated, afflicted
distressed-suffering great pain or torture, harassed
perplexed-embarrarassed, puzzled
despair-hopeless state
persecuted-harassed by troubles or punishments unjustly inflicted
forsaken-deserted, left, abandoned
cast down-to throw down, fling or send; to drive from
destroyed-demolished, ruined, devoured swept away

So I thought that by inserting the definitions into the passage, it would better help me understand. Fill in your name if you are feeling this way.

Linda is disturbed or agitated everywhere she turns,  but not tortured; Linda is embarrassed or puzzled by this situation, but not hopeless; Linda is harassed by troubles unjustly inflicted, but not deserted; Linda is being driven from what she wants or desires; but not demolished, ruined.

Why? Maybe because of someone else's sins, things are happening to me; maybe my witness upsets someone and they want to get rid of it. Who knows why things happen? The Lord Who is Sovereign does. But because of Jesus living in me, I have hope that this situation will turn out for my good and His glory. I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk along. (Isn't there a song that says that?)
What little I suffer for the Lord in comparison to what Paul suffered!

Verse 17 tells us, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."


Realize although I'm made of clay, God is working to make me fine china.

Be encouraged that this too shall pass, endure with faith in Jesus.

Wishing you a very happy New Year as we continue to travel on this country road of faith together.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lift the Veil

2 Corinthians 3
But whenever a man turn to the Lord, the veil, is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:16


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. (verse 3)

In this chapter, Paul is contrasting the Old covenant with the New Covenant in verse 6-11. Here is what he said:

 Old Covenant/New Covenant:
Old Testament/New Testament
                 kills/gives life
(Reference: Liberty Bible Commentary)

Our new relationship between God and man is created by Christ.
He is the fulfillment of the law.
He has provided salvation for us Gentiles.

I for one am glad.


When I got married, I wore a veil covering my face during the exchange of our vows. I was Miss Linda. After the ceremony, my new husband lifted the veil and we were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Jesus did the same thing with the veil of my heart when He saved me.

Moses put a veil over his face because it shone. (Exodus 34:33-35) He had been in the presence of the Lord, that's why it shone. No only did the veil conceal the brightness of the glory but it also concealed the end of it. Moses lifted the veil when he conversed with the Lord.

In Shepherd's Notes:
Paul went on to apply the idea of the veil to what happened when the people of Israel read the law in his own day. The lack of God's living presence in their hearts made them unable to see what God wanted to reveal This "veil" or obstacle is removed when people turn to the Lord Christ. Christ is present and acts in believers through the Spirit.

A person who "turns to" the Lord has the "veil" covering of his or her heart removed when they get saved.
Has this happened to you?


Share the One who is the New Covenant.

Help others get the veil of their heart lifted by coming to Christ as Savior.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


2 Corinthians 2
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance(savour-KJV) of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance (sweet savour-KJV) of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2Corinthians 2:14-15 NKJV


As a woman, I enjoy a variety of fragrances-flowers, perfumes, freshly baked goods, clean sheets, fresh air after a rain, and burning scented candles.
I've been accused of having the "nose of a bloodhound," which means my snout is sensitive to scents. I admit the size of it has its benefits. You see, I inherited both of my parents' noses-Dad's beak and Mom's  snout. I didn't have a chance, did I? Well, this is the way God made me, so that's that. (I try to take pictures head-on, not from the side view.)
Of course, there are benefits to having that kind of ability and there are disadvantages, too. I notice men's colognes, women's perfumes, babies' odors or lotions, Little Debbie plant baking goodies, smoke, candles burning, wet dogs, hay, cow pies, etc. How about you? Do you take the time to notice the scents around you?

Blackaby, in his devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day said:
Whenever the Romans won a major military victory they would celebrate with a spectacular parade. The commanding general would lead the procession in a magnificent chariot, followed by his soldiers, musicians, and other officials. Then, soldiers would lead the defeated enemies through the city in bondage. As a part of the celebration, the Romans would burn fragrances on altars, filling the entire city with a pleasant aroma. The special fragrance came to symbolize victory to anyone who smelled it.

Paul used this vivid imagery to describe the effect that Christians should have in the world. God permeates our lives with the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, our lives should demonstrate to others that Christ gives us victory over our sin. Your life ought to be convincing proof that God continues to work powerfully in the lives of His people.

"Aaron and the priests were anointed with oil poured over their heads; it ran down their beards and robes, so they were all over a perfume, a sweet smell and savour," said John Wesley.

Burnt offerings, during the Old Testament times,  were a sweet aroma to God.
"We are God's pleasing aroma-our heart, our attitudes, not meat, grain, or oil," said Morgen, a lady in my Bible study group.

Is my life a sweet scent, fragrance,  to God? Or is it stinky with sin, a smelly odor?


Verses 10b-11 (NLT) say, "And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ's authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
The  KJV uses the phrase "lest Satan should get an advantage of us." (verse 11)

This man, the offender, did a hideous sin, but truly repented of it. Paul told the church to forgive him and receive him back into the church so Satan did not gain him. The offender had said some offensive things about Paul, either directly or indirectly, but Paul forgave the man.

David Guzik said,"Don't be ignorant of Satan's schemes. He can transform himself into an angel of light. He destroys souls. He ruins churches."

In Luke 17:3, NAS, Jesus said, "If your brother sins, rebuke him; And if he repents, forgive him."

There we have it. Plain and simple. In his first letter, Paul told the Corinthian church to love, now he tells them to forgive. Should I do less? I know it's a hard thing. When people tell lies about me, do spiteful things, hurt me in other ways, it isn't easy to forgive. Only with the forgiveness of God can I forgive others. As I keep sinning, I keep needing His forgiveness. With God's love I can love them. It's our choice.


Let my life be a sweet fragrance, with the love and forgiveness of Jesus in my heart to share with others.

Forgive and keep on forgiving.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


2 Corinthians 1
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The city of Corinth was in Greece. It had two seaports. The city's location made it a crossroads for travel and commerce and contributed to its prosperity. Ship captains would often haul overland their cargo to the opposite side in order to avoid the rough, stormy sea.

Corinth was also known for hosting athletic events known as the Isthmian games. Every two years these event took place. Huge crowds provided great financial rewards.

This is the same church to whom Paul wrote the first apistle. Sources say that two other letters written to the same church had been lost, so this is actually the fourth letter Paul wrote to the Corinthian church. This church had some problems, which Paul addressed in the previous letter-divisions, immoral practices, a group flaunting spiritual gifts, a legalistic group, and others offering false teachings about the Resurrection. They were a multiethnic church made up of Greeks, Romans, and Jews, plus social classes of rich, poor, and slaves. Thus, it was a troubled congregation. Paul wrote this letter at a time when relations between him and the church at Corinth were strained.
(Resource: Shepherd's Notes)

Apparently, Paul's ministry, apostleship, and message were challenged. A group of false apostles were trying to influence the congregation to turn from Paul's teachings.

Titus met Paul in Macedonia with the report of the Corinthian church's warm acceptance of Paul's letter and eagerness to see him. The majority had repented of their rebellion against Paul, which was a relief and joyful news for him. (2 Cor.7:5-16)   (Resource: John MacArthur's The MacArthur Bible Handbook)

Paul wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia and sent it to Corinth by Titus. The 1 Corinthians letter was written while Paul was in Ephesus and carried by Titus, also.

Shepherd's Notes says,"Several relevant topics surface in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians:
suffering, ministry, leadership and authority, the nature of the gospel, and Christian giving."

Now that we have this background, let's get into the Word.


Have you experienced a time in your life when you needed to be comforted? If we have lived very long, we all have. It may have been as a child whenever we got hurt and our parent comforted us. It may have been during the loss of a parent, the loss of a job, or a friend's hurtful words. The list can go on, can't it? Where did we turn for comfort? Was it the Lord Jesus? Was it a spouse, a parent, or a friend? After my mother passed away, I turned to the Word for strength and comfort, then to others.

In The Experiencing God Study Bible, a side note states, "God is the source of grace, peace, mercy, compassion, and comfort. (verses 2-4)

In verse 3, Paul describes the Father as the "God of all comfort." What does that mean to us?

David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible tells us,"all comfort in the Greek is paraklesis.  In the New Testament, it means greater than soothing sympathy. It has the idea of strengthening, of helping, of making strong. God in every aspect of His being is full of comfort, strength, and help for us. One great purpose of God in comforting us is so that we can bring comfort to others. God's comfort can be given and received through others. Pride often keeps us from revealing our needs to others, so we never receive the comfort God would give us through them."
Webster's Dictionary says the meaning of comfort is "console."

Shepherd's Notes states,"He is the God of all comfort, which means that His comfort meets every need. Those with troubled hearts may find strength in Him."

How wonderful it is that I have a Savior who can comfort me, no matter what my need. All I need to do is just turn to Him.
Then He wants me to comfort others in the same situation.

Verses 4-5 in NLT state, "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ."

In verse 4, in place of the words tribulation (KJV) or trouble (NLT), other versions use the words affliction (NAS), sorrow (Williams), suffering (Beck).

Hebrews 2:18 states, "Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are baeing tested."
To me, it sounds like whether  my burden is large or small, God is there for me.


Verse 12, NLT, states, "We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity (KJV says simplicity and godly sincerity) in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.

The Greek word for simplicity means singleness; the virtue of one free from pretense and hypocrisy; not self-seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity. (King James Dictionary)
Sincerity has the same word in the Greek and its meaning.

Webster's Dictionary refers simplicity to the condition of being simple. Simple means elementary, not complicated; plain, not elaborate; pure, absolute; humble.

With those definitions, I can admit that my mind is simplictic, if there is such a word (probably it in misspelled). I like to live a plain life, trying not to pretend to be something I'm not. If I'm not happy, I'm not happy, so why pretend?

So Paul tells me that  in all my dealings, I am to be without pretense and hypocrisy, to be honest and sincere, showing God's holiness.
In other words, don't say one thing and do or be another.


Seek God's comfort because it is available.

Be simple and sincere.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Summary of 1 Corinthians

Summary of 1 Corinthians          

Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth in order to inform them of spiritual truths, to deal with problems in the church, and to offer principles for living in a pagan society. Their society had idol worship and sexual immorlity rampid. Paul touched on matters concerning: divisions, leadership, immorality, marriage, food offered to idols, orderly worship, spiritual gifts, and the Resurrection. (from Shepherd's Notes)

Here are some verses that are golden nuggets which I have highlighted in my Bible:
  • 1:8-9 (NLT) He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1:23 (NLT) So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it's all nonsense.
  • 1:31 (NLT) If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.
  • 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither haave entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (quoted form Is. 64:4)
  • 2:16 (NLT) "Who can know the Lord's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?" But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (quoted from Is. 40:13)
  • 3:16 (KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
  • 4:2 (KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
  • 6:19-20 (KJV) What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
  • 7:17 (NLT) Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. 
  • 8:6 (KJV) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
  • 8:9 (KJV) But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
  • 8:12 (NLT) And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 
  • 9:22 (NLT) To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
  • 10:12-13 (KJV) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 
  • 10:24 (NLT) Don't be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
  • 10:31 NLT) So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
  • 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 
  • 14:1 (NLT) Let love be your highest goal!
  • 15:52 (KJV) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 
  • 15:33b (NLT) bad company corrupts good character.
  • 16:13-14 (NLT) Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 
Did you catch the theme? Love.
Love God.
Love each other.
Love the brethren. 
Whatever we do, do it because we are motivated by love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Because of Love

1 Corinthians 16
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NAS


What a blessing you are to me! I want to take this time and say thank you to ya'll who have been walking with me on this country road of faith as we read through the New Testament. You have certainly encouraged me with your comments and faithful reading. I am growing in faith as I dig deeper into God's Word. I hope you are too.

Like Paul, I want  "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you" and "my love be with you all in Christ Jesus." (verses 23-24)

Paul cared deeply about the people in the churches he established,  to whom he wrote his letters, 13 as I recall. He wanted to encourage and teach them in their Christian walk by faith. On the next posting, we will review and summarize the first letter to the Corinthian church.


Verses 13 and 14 jumped out at me as I read the final chapter in this book. Paul is still instructing and encouraging, even at the end of his letter.

The Shepherd's Notes says this:

1. "Be on your guard, watch ye"
    It means to "stay awake, be alert."  We might ask, "For what?"
    First, we should be watching for the Lord's return, then for the enemy's working (1Peter 5:8)
    and destructive influences (Acts 20:29-31).

2. "Stand firm in the faith"
    Believers were to stand firm in Christ as opposed to falling.
3. "Be men of courage; be strong"
    Psalm 31:24 says,"Be strong (of good courage) and take heart (and He will strengthen your heart), all you
    who hope in the Lord." (KJV )
    It means to conduct oneself in a courageous way.

4. "Do everything in love"
    Echoing his theme of chapter 13, Paul's exhortation to the Corinthians focuses on their relationships.
    "Everything" would include all Paul had discussed in his letter.

Falwell tells us in Liberty Bible Commentary:
Don't be unsettled in your mind. Don't be afraid to be firm in your convictions. Be courageous. Be strong. Characteristic of Paul, he sees the Christian life as though he were in the arena. Faith, conviction, and courage are the essential ingredients for success and victory.  So that his readers do not understand his words to legitimize a careless and uncaring attitude, Paul moderates his advice with "Let all your things be done with charity."

May I add some thoughts: Always be watching because temptation is behind the door, ready to stick out a foot, causing us to stumble and fall into sin. Stay strong in our faith in our Lord Jesus, praying, reading His Word and obeying it faithfully daily.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12: 13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man."
Jesus tells us what the greatest commandments are in Matthew 22:37-39, "Love God and love our neighbor."

You know what? I just had a thought come to me-If we did all things with love as the motive behind it, how much conflict would be spared? Ouch.
Jesus came because He loved us and wanted to be the sacrifice for our sins so we would not have to pay for them ourselves. What love!
Because I love, people I will...
Because I love, Jesus I will...


Share grace and love during this season of Christmas.

Be watchful, standing firm in faith, courageous in sharing the gospel, and do everthing in love.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas tomorrow and keep Christ as the reason for the season.
Love to you and your family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


1 Corinthians 15
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!
1 Corinthians 15:51 NLT


When my son was a young boy, he played with a toy called a "Transformer." How do I describe it? It was made of plastic, movable parts. The toy could start out as a person, then could be changed into a car. I think they make the same toy today, some 20 years later. In our key Scripture, Paul says we will be transformed,
changed (King James Version).

I had to look up the meaning of the word transformed in the King James Dictionary. It means changed in form or external appearance; metamorphosed; renewed.

Who will be transformed, changed? Matthew Henry said," Saints ( believers, I say) will be changed at our Lord Jesus' second coming."

When will this happen? It will happen, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. (verse 52 NLT)

How will it occur? "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first," quoted from 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

What is going to happen? Verse 53 in KJV states," For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
In place of the word corruptible, NAS says perishable; NLT says dying bodies; Williams  says decaying body.
In the present form, our body is decaying and perishing, but it will be changed into a body which will not.
This body will not function in heaven, so it must be changed into a heavenly body, I think.

Philipppians 3:21a states,"Who (Lord Jesus Christ) shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body."

Am I ever ready for this new body! How about you? The older it gets, the more aches and pains it has, with new ones every morning. I'm glad Paul shared this wonderful secret. Oh, I may die before Christ returns, but that's okay. Jesus conquered the grave by rising on the third day!

In his devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, Blackaby states:
"Jesus conquered death completely; now He assured His followers that we, too, will share in His victory. Death can temporarily remove us from those we love, but it transfers us into the presence of the One who loves us most. Death will one day be the door by which you gain access to all that is yours in heaven."

Are we ready to be transformed? In a blink of an eye it will happen.

But while we remain here on earth, God wants us transformed. What transformed?
Romans 12:2 says," And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." NASB

Like the caterpillar is transformed, changed through a process, so are we to be changed. Our heart is to be changed daily, our mind is to be changed daily, by submitting unto God's soverignty, His will, His plan for our life. Singing His praises, thanking Him, confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness, reading His Word, saying yes to His Spirit's leading-that's how. Then our mind will be renewed from fleshly thoughts to spiritual thoughts.


Verse 58 says,"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

I had to look up the meaning of some words, you know. King James Dictionary reveals the meaning of stedfast as firmly fixed or established; constant, not fickle or wavering; steady. Webster's Dictionary didn't list the word unmoveable, but move means to change from one place or residence to another; be or set in motion.

I think Paul is telling me to have faith that is firmly fixed, not changing. Storms of life can't make it fickle, wavering, strong one day and weak another day. Keep doing the Lord's work. Labor done for Him will be rewarded.
Beware, bad company corrupts good character. (verse 33 NLT)


Seek God's transformation for my life.
Have firm faith.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


 1 Corinthians 14
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
1 Corinthians 14:3  NIV


It is my hope and purpose of this blog to strengthen the faith of beleivers, while encouraging them to stay faithful in serving God, and bringing comfort with the Word. It certainly has been for my life as I dig into the Scriptures. I hope it is for you, too. As in Titus 2:3, I am an older woman teaching younger women the "how to's" of the Word.

In this chapter, Paul is comparing the value of two spiritual gifts-prophecy and speaking in tongues.
Remember, spiritual gifts are given to believers, by the Holy Spirit, to be used in the church.

According to King James Dictionary, prophecy is a noun meaning a fortelling; prediction; a declaration of something to come; preaching; public interpretation of Scripture. The verb prophesy means, in scripture, to preach; to instruct in religious doctrines; to interpret or explain Scripture or religious subjects; to exhort.

Shepherd's Notes  states:
Paul tells us that prophecy is more important than speaking in tongues because it edifies the whole church, is understood by all, and inspires conviction, confession, and worship, and if from God through people to others. Whereas, speaking in tongues is self-edifying, needs to be interpreted to be understood, and is from people to God. Paul says he would rather that people have the gift of prophecy  than tongues.

Prophecy is for strengthening (to build up others), encouragement (a calling to one's aid, by the side), and comfort (a speaking closely to anyone).

King James Version of the Bible uses the words edification, exhortation, and comfort.

According to King James Dictionary:
Edification means to build up, in a moral and religious sense; improvement and progress of the mind, in knowledge in morals, or in faith and holiness.
Exhortation means the form of words intended to incite and encourage; advice; counsel.
Comfort means to strengthen, to cheer or enliven; a relief of pain.

The Word of God gives us strength, encouragement, and comfort as we read it. However, God knows we need the meat of the Word, so He gives us preachers.

Again, Shepherd's Notes says:
Paul equipped his readers with three basic principles that he applied to their worship and service:
1. "All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church." (verse 26)
2. "God is not a God of disorder, but of peace." (verse 33)
3. "Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." (verse 40)

(In regard to the gift of speaking in tongues, which can be controversial: it is Spirit-inspired utterance that is
not intelligible. It is a form of ecstatic utterance. It is not the ability to speak in foreign languages. Reference:Shepherd's Notes) Paul's guidelines are given in verses 27-28, where an interpreter is needed.


Now, ladies, I know that Scripture about "women keeping silent in church"  is in this chapter. What does it mean? Is it applicable today? I've been researching the writings of various ministers of the Word. Here's what I found:

Jerry Falwell said in Liberty Bible Commentary:
Obviously, this must be interpreted in light of 11:5 where it is clear that Paul understood that women were permitted to prophesy and to pray in public worship so long as they were properly dressed. The expression may have reference to speaking in tongues. That is, they were denied the privilege of exercising the gift of tongues in the assembly. Alternatively, it may have reference to what follows. (verse 35) Women were not allowed to disrupt the service by asking questions and talking while the service was going on. Certainly, they were not to speak out in tongues either. Public worship was to be reflective of the  One to whom it was directed, thus it was to be beautiful and harmonious.

John Gill said,"Men, not women, were directed to preach and teach. Women, in public assemblies/the church, were not to speak with tongues, nor prophesy, or preach, or teach the Word. All speaking is not prohibited for women; they might speak their experiences to the church, or give an account of the work of God upon their souls; they might speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; or speak as an evidence in any case at a church meeting; but not in such sort, as carried in it direction, instruction, government, and authority. Women came to hear, men came to teach-in churches of Christ."

David Guzik told us,"Men and women sat in different groups at church (in Paul's day). Among Corinthian Christians, there seems to have been the problem of momen chattering or disrupting the meetings with questions. Don't disrupt the meeting. Ask your questions at home.

John Wesley taught, "Unless they (women) are under an extraordinary impulse of the Spirit, they were not permitted to speak, by way of teaching in public assemblies."

My pastor has taught that this verse was in reference to speaking in tongues that was not permitted by women in church services. I want to obey the Word and please God, be in subjection and under the authority of my husband.


Help strengthen, encourage, and comfort others with the Word of God.

Listen more and  speak less.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where is Love?

1 Corinthians 13
And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).
1 Corinthians 13:13


This is the week of Christmas. Most everyone is busy with last minute shopping. Where is love? When I go shopping, do I see people loving each other, or do I see rudeness, selfishness?

Where is love? Yes, I see it in  people who stop in the isles, taking time to talk with people they know and care about, maybe haven't seen in a while. Even in the parking lot this occurs. Other times, they speak briefly or wave, and then hurry about their business.

Where is love? I see it in people helping each other, holding the door open, letting others in front of them in line, smiles, a nod of the head, a hug. I see it in Christmas lights at night, read it in Christmas cards, taste it in Christmas candy, find it in children, family, and friends.

Where is love? I hear it in the Christmas carols, greetings of "Merry Christmas."

Where is love? It's found in Luke chapter 2- when God came down to earth to be born and live as a man, then gave Himself as the "Sacrificial Lamb" for you and me.  I find love in my heart as the Holy Spirit fills me. I find it in  1 Corinthians 13.

Where do you find love?

Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, says:

Life is all about love. Because God is love, the most important lesson He wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like Him, so love is the foundation of every command He has given us
(Galatians 5:14)

Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else. Why?
1. Life without love is really worthless. Verse 3 in  The Message states: "No matter what I say, what I
    believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love." In Matthew 16:18, Jesus summarized what matters
    most to God, "love God and love people."
2. Love will last forever. (verse 13) Love is a legacy. How you treated other people, not your wealth or
    accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.
3. We will be evaluated on our love. In heaven, God won't ask about your career, bank account, or
     hobbies. Instead, He will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need.
     What we do to the least, we do to Jesus. (Matt. 25:40)
     The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6 NIV)

How do I express love?
The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them. The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back. Your time is your life. That's why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. The best time to love is now.

With what or whom do I need to start spending more time? What do I need to cut out of my schedule to make it possible?


Shepherd's Notes states:
Love is active, not static. Love is something people do.
What does love do? Love is patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, always protects, trusts, hopes, persevers.
What does love not do?It does not envy, boast, isn't proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. (verses 4, 6, 7)

Love never fails, even though prophecies, tongues, knowledge will because they are temporal, not eternal.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (verse 7 NKJV)

Falwell tells us in Liberty Bible Commentary:
Love bears all things, covers all things; believes all things, not gullible, but believes well of others unless convinced otherwise; hopes all things, rather than a negative and ciritical spirit, it is always positive and hopeful; endures all things, sustains the assults of an enemy. Love alone abides. Its clearest expression is to be seen on Golgotha's hill.

Blackaby states, in the devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day:
Love has no limits. "All things" means everything is included. Love assumes the best about others-an offense was unintentional, harm is forgiven unconditionally. You practice  the same unconditional  love toward others that Christ gives to you.

Where is love? Do others find it in me? Do they see the love of God in me through patience, kindness, truth, hope, perseverence?
Do I bear, believe, hope, endure everything for the glory of God?
Help me Lord!


I need to learn to let it go, laying it at the foot of the cross, letting Jesus handle situations.

Spend more time showing love to others.

Bear, believe, hope, endure whatever.

Love, and love some more.

Monday, December 20, 2010


1 Corinthians 12
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 
1Corinthians 12:7  NAS


As believers are saved by grace, so also are they equipped by grace to serve. Spiritual gifts are bestowed by the Holy Spirit upon every believer.  They are given to individual members for the good of the entire congregation. They equip members of the church to function as the body of Christ in a community. Only the Holy Spirit can give these gifts.

In this chapter, Paul lists 9 spiritual gifts:
  • wisdom
  • knowledge
  • faith
  • gifts of healing
  • working of miracles
  • prophecy
  • the ability to distinguish between spirits
  • tongues
  • interpretation of tongues
Other spiritual gifts are listed in other passages by Paul, found in 1 Cor.12:28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11. (Reference: Shepherd's Notes)

Blackaby states in his devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day:

The (Holy) Spirit will manifest Himself through your life, not for your good alone, but for the benefit of those around you. The Spirit will lead you to a church body where He can minister through you to each person in that body. (verse 18) God does not add you to a church body so you can be an observer. The Spirit has an assignment for you within the body, and He will equip you by His presence for this work. What an exciting commission from God!
How is the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life benefiting those around you? God has equipped you with exactly what is needed for the edification of the body in which He has placed you.

Do I know what my spiritual gifts are? Am I using them for the encouragement of our church  members and for God's glory?


I was born into a family with one sister and brother. I married into my husband's family with three sisters and three brothers. Those families talked to each other, loved each other, and did things together.Not only am I a member of the family into which I was born, the family into which I married, but I am a member of God's family and a local church family, also.

Am I encouraging others to join God's family and my church family? Am I helping other members grow in faith and obedience to God's Word?

The following is from Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life:
You were formed for God's family. God wants a family, and He created you to be a part of it. This is His purpose for your life, which He planned before you were born. (Eph. 1:5, Heb. 2:10a)

When we place our faith in Christ, God becomes our Father, we become His children, other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church becomes our spiritual family.

Ephensians 2:19B (Living Bible) says, "You are members of God's very own family, citizens of God's country, and you belong in God's household with every other Christian.

The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up together.

For the organs of your body to fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to your body. The same is true for you as a part of Christ's Body. You were created for a specific role, but you will miss this purpose if you're not attached to a living, local church.

Why you need the church:
1. A church family identifies you as a genuine believer. (John 13:35)
2. A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation. (verse 25 and 26)
3. A church family helps you develop spiritual muscles. (Eph.4:16b)
4. The Body of Christ needs you. (verse 7)
5. You will share in Christ's mission in the world. (1 Cor. 10:12)
6. A church family will help keep you from backsliding. (Heb.3:13; 13:17; James 5:19)

God created the church to meet your five deepest needs:
  • a purpose to live for
  • people to live with
  • principles to live by
  • a profession to live out
  • power to live on.

Why is it important to join a local church family? Because it proves you are committed to your spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory. You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.

Don't be a "bunny believer" who hops around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment.

Are you a member of a local Christ believing church? Do I encourage other believers to join a church?
How faithful am I to my church, to my fellow members?


Stay faithful to my local church.

Find out my spiritual gifts and use them for my Lord and church.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hair, the Long and Short of It

1 Corinthians 11
But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
1Corinthians 11:15


I'm not the kind of female who spends hours fixing my hair. I never have been. On the other hand, I don't like it to be disorderly either. During the summer, I would "wash and wear", so to speak, pulling my hair up in a clip, letting it dry naturally. Thus it grew long. However, now that winter is here, long hair meant spending 20 minutes blow drying it. I didn' like doing that three times a week, though my schedule is flexable.
I decided to have my hair cut, medium length, and styled. It certainly is not short, exposing my ears. I want to look feminine, not like a male. (Hubby does approve of this.)

Background on the culture in Corinth:
Jerry Falwell said, in Liberty Bible Commentary:
In Corinth, it was not uncommon for prostitutes to shave their heads and don blonde wigs, thus signifying their availability to the men in the streets. Just as no respectable Christian woman would go out in public dressed as a prostitute, it is equally important that she not participate in public worship without proper dress.

So why did Paul address the issue of women and long hair? Having researched this chapter, here's what I found:
Shepherd's Notes  states:
The Jewish custom for all women was to show modesty and virtue by covering their heads with a veil when they went outside their homes. The veiling of a woman's head was not a new concept for the Corinthians. In Jewish synagogues it was required, and in Greek sanctuaries woemn were also to be veiled. It is likely that the women in the Corinthian congregation were simply reflecting the more daring styles of the day.
The principle here is that Christians must be sensitive to the cultures in which they live and not needlessly flout local customs unless there is some moral reason to do so.

In verse 3, Paul gives the order of authority: God, Christ, man, woman.
Paul points out some notable statements concerning women/wives:
  • Man is the head of the woman. (verse 3) (The wife submits to her husbands authority as head of the family, to his decisions.)
  • She dishonors her head, the husband, if the wife prays or prophesies (worship) uncovered. (verse 5)
  • She was created from man, from Adam's rib. (verse 8)
  • She is the glory of man, gives him honor. (verse 7)
  • She was created as a help meet for her husband. (verse 9 refers to Genesis 2:18)
  • Her long hair is her glory and her covering. (verse 15)

Falwell said, "Paul is talking about differentiating between the sexes. (verses 13-15) In the natural order of things, it only seems appropriate to cover a woman's head and here her ultimate covering is her hair The Scripture does not dictated "spirituality" by the length of one's hair. The real issue here is submission to divine authority. Therefore, every aspect of the believer's life should reflect his obedience and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ and divinely established authority."

Paul talks about how to appear in public worship-men with uncovered heads and women with covered heads.Although Paul emphasized Christian freedom meaning they no longer had to observe the old Jewish customs, but did it include women no longer had to wear a veil during worship?
To sum it up, Paul says the woman's hair is given her for a covering, veil. (verse 15) There we have it ladies.
We don't need to wear a veil, hat, or scarf, when we wear our hair long as a covering during worship.

Of course, the question then is, "How long is long?"  Paul doesn't signify that. What's important is that people can distinguish us as a woman, not a man. To me, my hair is long enough if it acts as a veil whenever I pray, bowing my head.
This can be a controversial subject, I realize. Our society is different from that of the Corinthians. So maybe each of us need to seek the Lord and how to please Him concerning this matter.


Verse 31 states,"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

Isn't that the truth? I tend to think I'm okay, acceptable, so I don't need to be judged. When in fact, I sin daily and am in need of repentance and forgiveness. But I do need self-examination. Christ and his Word are my standards for me to use as my comparison, of which I fall short every time.


As a wife, honor my husband and the Lord Jesus by submitting to them.

Do a spiritual exam daily.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


1 Corinthians 10
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13


Especially around Christmas time, I hear a lot of ladies talking about the temptation of chocolate. Personally, it does not tempt me to eat it. That's because I don't like chocolate. Yes, you read it correctly. Because I don't like chocolate, it does not tempt me. I know, my husband has already told me how "weird" I am. It's not that I didn't have chocolate available whenever a child, because I did. Mom baked those yucky chocolate cakes and made homemade fudge. Oh, I can take it or leave it, mostly leave it. (Of course that leaves more for hubby, except now our granddaughter likes it, too.)

 I now do a psychological thing on myself-to satisfy my sweet tooth's, I just  take a bite of a piece of chocolate candy, shake my head in disgust, and that ends that sweet desire. (By the way, my children were grown before they experienced chocolate pudding and pie. One of my children does not like it either. Can you guess which one? Nope, it's our son. His birthday cakes were always strawberry. Funny, huh?)

Lest you get me wrong, other foods tempt me-pies, cobblers, ice cream, Dr. Pepper, butterscotch and peanut butter fudge, mmm, sweet stuff. So I battle with the temptation of foods just like you do. (See, I am normal.) Other things, not just food, tempt me though, which at times lead to my yielding and sinning. Can Paul can help us out in that department? Yes.

Paul tells us that temptaion is a common thing; we all experience it. We all face similar problems, trials, tests. It helps to know we're all in the same boat. The good news is that God is faithful. He won't allow us to be tempted "above" what we can stand. Since He made us, God knows exactly what we can take.

Jerry Falwell said in Liberty Bible Commentary,
"If God did not know that you could take it, He would not have allowed you to suffer it.  In fact, He will provide a way of escape for us. In the Greek, it is a nautical term. The idea is not that He will enable us to escape temptation, but that He will enable us to land safely on the other side victoriously. Often the only escape is to endure." So when the lucious piece of cake, a cookie, pride, grumbling, gosip, is tempting me to partake, I don't have to indulge. I can leave it alone, with God's help.
Paul says in verse 6," These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did." NLT
He was talking about the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, warning us. Stay away from those things that tempt me to fall into sin.
I'm looking forward to reading Lysa TerKurst's new book, Made to Crave, which comes out in January.


James 1:12 (Living Bible) states," Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him."

The bottom line is, "How do I resist temptation?" I found some help; read on sister.

Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, said:
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice. While temptation is Satan's primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you. Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ. God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you're tempted to express the exact opposite quality!
Galatians 5:22-23)
How does temptation work?
1. Satan identifies a desire inside of you. Temptation always starts in your mind, not in circumstances.
    (see Mark 7:21-23, James 4:1)
2. Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about sin. (see Hebrews 3:12)
3. Step three is deception. Satan is incapable of telling the truth and is called the "father of lies." (John 8:44)
    "It's only a little sin." But a little sin, like being a little pregnant: It will eventually show itself.
4. Step four is disobedience. You finally act on the thought you've been toying with in your mind. 
    (see James 1:14-16)

Understanding how temptation works is in itself helpful, but there are specific steps you need to take to overcome it:
1. Refuse to be intimidated. It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation only becomes a sin when you give in
    to it. Martin Luther said, "You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from
    building a nest in your hair." Lust is a choice to commit in your mind what you'd like to do with your body.
    The moment you became God's child, Satan, like a mobster hit man, put out a "contract" on you. You are
    his enemy, and he's plotting your downfall.

2. Recognize your pattern of temptation and be prepared for it. There are certain situations that make
    you more vulnerable to temptation than others. These situations are unique to your weaknesses, and you
    need to identify them because Satan surely knows them! He knows exactly what trips you up, and he is
    constantly working to get you into those circumstances.  Ask yourself, "When am I most tempted?"
    "Where am I most tempted?" " Who is with me?"

3. Request God's help.  Heaven has a twenty-four hour emergency hot line. God wants you to ask him for
    assistance in overcoming temptation. He says,"Call on me in times of trouble. I will rescue you, and you
    will honor me." Ps. 50:15
    I call this a "microwave" prayer because it is quick and to the point: Help! SOS! Mayday! When
    temptation strikes, you don't have to have a long conversation with God, you simply cry out. Ask Him
    for the power to do the right thing and then expect Him to provide it. Instead of giving in or giving up, look
    up to God, expect Him to help you.

Sounds advice I can take to the bank, so to speak. I don't have to yield to the temptations. God provides a way of escape.


Identify those things which tempt me to fall into sin. Turn from them.

Prepare for temptation with prayer and Scriptures. Ask God for help.

Repent when I fail and sin; honor God when I resist.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


1 Corinthians 9
I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  1 Corinthians 9:22b


Paul was a Jew who preached Christ to the Jews, as the fulfillment of the law; he sought to convert the Gentiles to faith in Christ. He preached on the uneducated ones level where they could understand about salvation and the Christian living, though Paul was highly educated for his day.(Paul was part of the Sanhedrin counsel.)  He knew how to live on almost nothing or with everything. (Phil.4:12)
Paul was all things to all men. He was whatever he needed to be in order to reach the lost with the gospel.
Can I say the same things? Am I willing to endure the "whatever" is needed in order to reach others with the gospel? Wow!

Matthew Henry tell us that Paul did not despise the Gentiles nor judged them, but converted them. He was a Jew, but not a stumbling-block in their way. Paul denied himself for their sakes, that he might insinuate into their affections, and gain their souls. He would not sin against God to save the soul of his neighbor, but he would very cheerfully and readily deny himself.

Denying self. I've heard that before.
In Mark 8:34b, Jesus stated,"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
Jesus summed it up, how to be His follower, didn't He? Linda, put your wants, desires, and plans aside, crucifying them, then live as Jesus lived. Am I willing, daily?

Falwell explains in Liberty Bible Commentary:
Paul was willing to concede Christian liberties at all points if in the process, the gospel is preached, and the lost are won to Christ. This implies a willingness to do more, not less than the law required. It certainly does  not condone sinful activity and compromise in order to "win" some.


I have never won a contest where a crown was received by the winner. My sister was high school football homecoming queen and received a crown. I wonder if she still has it, or if it has  perished with time.

In verses 24-27, Paul uses the example of running a race to receive a corruptible (perishable) crown as the winner. He tells us that as Christians, we will obtain an incorruptible (imperishable) crown that is eternal.

Jerry Falwell said,"The Isthmian games were an athletic event known to all of Paul's readers, held on alternate summers within the vicinity of Corinth It was an event not to be missed  by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece."

Sounds like these games were as popular to the Corinthians as the Razorback football, basketball, and baseball games are in my state.

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states:
Paul lived a purpose-driven life. He said, "I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step." (NLT verse 26) His only reason for living was to fulfill the purposes God had for him. He said, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phil. 1:21 NIV) Paul was not afraid of either living or dying. Either way, he would fulfill God's purposes. He couldn't lose! When fulfilling your purposes seems tough, don't give in to discouragement. Remember your reward, which will last forever. The Bible says, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Cor. 4:17 NIV)

Blackaby said, in his devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day:
"Atheletes are willing to push themselves harder and longer and farther than anyone else. They strive to bring their bodies and minds completely under control so that they excel and receive a prize. Others go home to relax, but athletes continue to train.
If an athlete can be motivated to make incredible sacrifices for a perishable reward, how much more ought Christians to strive for an imperishable one? Are you striving to bring your body into subjection for the glory of God? Are you training your mind to think the thoughts of God rather than thoughts of the world? Are you disciplining your life in prayer? "

Am I surrendering my body and mind unto the Lord for His use and glory?


Deny self, live for Jesus.

Remember that faithfulness and obedience will receive a crown.

Work for Jesus out of love, not for the crown.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


1 Corinthians 8
But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.  1 Corinthians 8:3 NLT


After living away from my hometown 17 years, we moved back to it. That was 13 years ago. There have been times that I would recognize a familiar face at a ballgame or in a local store, but recall that person's name. My how everyone changes throughout the years. I'm delighted that God recognizes me. Even when my times of communicating with Him were far and few between, He was faithful. He doesn't forget me.

"The true knowledge of God does not come about through the acquisition of cognitive data concerning Him. It comes through loving Him," Jerry Falwell said in Liberty Bible Commentary.

Oh, how I love Jesus.


Verses 12-13 say,"But when ye sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

Paul addresses the topic of eating meat offered to idols as a sacrifice. Some of the Corinthian belivers thought it was all right, while some thought it was sinful. Remember there was a lot of false idol worship in Corinth.

"If you, being a 'stronger brother' should entice another brother to sin, then in effect, ye sin against Christ. This truth is derived from two facts. First, the most immediate, the stronger brother has enticed a weaker brother to sin against the Savior who died for him. Secondly, Jesus said in Mattherw 25:40, 'inasmuch as ye have dome it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'
The conclusion of the matter is love. In order to avoid offending a brother, Paul would permanently exclude the eating of meat from his diet."
"The decision to follow the path of love rests with Paul, not with the weak. The strong are to yield to love's appeal voluntarily, not because the weak demand it, leagalists always demand subjection to their laws,"
from Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

So whether it concerns eating, drinking, clothing, words, or actions, I need to watch out that I don't cause a weaker believer to stumble and fall into sin because of me. Because of love I will abstain from such things.


Remember that God loves me and recognizes me.

Love my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Don't use my freedom that may cause them to stumble into sin.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Going Home

1 Corinthians 7
And they use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
1 Corinthians 7:31


It was late, the night of August 23, 1997. I was standing beside her hospital bed when my mother said, "Tomorrow I'm going home." My rebuttle was, "No Mom, you're going to have surgery tonight and will stay in the hospital." Little did I know at the time that she spoke the truth. Within a few hours,  the next morning, Mom did go home, not to her little house on the country road, but to her eternal home in heaven. To which home was she referring that night? I'll ask her one day.

In the NLT, verse 31 reads,"Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away."

Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, says:
Compared with other centuries, life has never been easier for much of the Western world. We are constantly entertained, amused, and catered to. With all the fascinating attractions, mesmerizing media, and enjoyable experiences available today, it's easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about. Only as we remember that life is a test, a trust, and a termporary assignment will the appeal of these things lose their grip on our lives. We are preparing for something even better.
"The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."
2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)
The fact that earth is not our ultimate home explains why, as followers of Jesus, we experience difficulty, sorrow, and rejection in this world. It also explains why some of God's promises seem unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered, and some circumstanses seem unfair. This is not the end of the story.
When life gets tough, when you're overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won't leave home-you'll go home.

Mom went home that morning, to her eternal home. Some day I will do the same and so will you. Are we prepared? The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.


Verse 17, NLT, says,"Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you."

Verse 35, NLT, states,"I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best with as few distractions as possible."

Jerry Falwell told us in Liberty Bible Commentary:
There is no special reason why a believer should change his occupation or position in life subsequent to being saved. When applied to marriage, this simply means that there is no reason why a believer should put away his unbelieving spouse.
But what of the situation where the unbeliever takes the initiative in dissolving the marriage? There is no conflict here between Paul's advice and that of the Lord in Matthew 5:32. The point is that the divine standard cannot be imposed upon the unregenerate. There is nothing the believer can do but submit to the divorce. Paul does not justify the divorce, even though the believing partner is free. Rather, there should be every possible effort on the part of the believer to avoid the separation if possible.

To sum it up, Paul says to the Christian, if you're single, it's better to stay single so you can spend more time serving the Lord and pleasing Him. If you can't stay single, that's okay, then marry. If you're married to an unbeliever who wants to stay married, then do it. That's okay, too. If the unbeliever wants a divorce, then  that's that, you're free.

Into which category do you fall? I'm married to a believer, and we're staying married. The main point I get from this chapter is to follow the Lord in whatever your situation.


Make sure I'm ready to go home, to meet Jesus.

In whatever marital situation, stay faithful to the Lord/ and spouse.

Friday, December 10, 2010


1 Corinthians 6
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:11


I can think of several things that I have "washed" lately-dirty dishes in the dishwasher, a gross shower curtain in the washing machine, a greasy stove. I can't say that I enjoyed washing them, but one thing I did enjoy washing and that was me. Actually, I had gone to the mall and stopped in a store which had sweet smelling bath perfumes. Girls, I fell in love with the newest scent and had to buy the whole set-body wash, perfume, and lotion. You guessed it. That shower was a long one, an enjoyable one, a relaxing one, with my new scent.  I was squeeky clean, but sweet smelling, too. I don't think that was what Paul was referring in the key verse. He was talking spiritually, not physically.

In David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible, he explains:
You were washed...sanctified...justified: God's great work for us in Jesus Christ is described in three terms.

1. You were washed: We are washed clean from sin by the mercy of God (Titus 3:5). We can have our sins
                                  washed way by calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). We are washed by the
                                  work of Jesus on the cross for us (Rev.1:5) and by the  Word of God (Eph.5:26).
2. You are sanctified: We are set apart, away from the world and unto God, by the work of Jesus on the
                                  cross (Heb.10:10), by God's Word (John 17:19), by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18), and
                                  by the Holy Spirit (Rom.15:16).
3. You are justified: We are declared "just" before the court of God; not merely "not guilty," but decalred to
                               be "just" before Him. We are justified by God's grace through the work of Jesus on the
                               cross (Rom 3:24), by faith and not by our own deeds (Rom 3:28).

God can take the kind of people described in verses 9-10 and make them into the kind of people described in verse 11! How great is the work of God in the life of the believer.

Thank the Lord that I'm washed in the blood of the Lamb!


Verses 19-20 say: "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

David Guzik tells us:
"This is a principle and a command for sexual purity among Christians: glorify God in your body.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. A temple is a place sacred to God, and pure from immorality.
Our bodies belong to God, and not to ourselves. They are His purchased possession. We don't have the right to pollute and abuse God's property. We have no right to be idle with, or wasteful of, what belongs to Him. Our bodies should be put to use glorifying God!
Because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we have God Himself living within us. This means we have a strength, a power, living within us to give us power over the sins of the flesh. We should expect sexual purity from Christians more than from those who are not, because they do not have God living within them as we do. "

Roman 12:1 says,"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 what we should think on-things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. I am daily having to retrain myself. The flesh wants to rule instead of my spirit.


Act like I'm washed, sanctified, and justified, then I will glorify God in my body.

Lord, help me rule my body, not the lusts of my flesh ruling me.

Make my life, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto You.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just a Pinch

1 Corinthians 5
So let us celebrate the festival, (Passover) not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.  NLT 1 Corinthians 5:8


The evening before Thanksgiving, I was preparing to make my usual homemade yeast rolls to put in the refrigerator in order for them to rise overnight. I noticed the yeast had an expired date on the package, making it a year old. Okay, I confess that it was last Thanksgiving since I last made any rolls.So I put on my coat, drove to the local grocery store and bought yeast. Then I continued the process. If I had used the old yeast, it would have been flat bread. Paul uses leaven to make an illustration in this chapter.

When leaven is used in the Bible, it refers to sin.  Shepherd's Notes says, "Leaven was a small portion of fermented dough used to ferment other dough." 

Paul is encouraging the Corinthan church to do a heart check using sincerity and truth, getting rid of sinful  ways.

 Webster's Dictionary defines sincere as being free from falsehood, pretense, or deceit. So Paul is  telling  me since my life is new in Christ, people should see sincerity and truthfulness in it. I can't pretend with Christ, since He sees my heart, but I can pretend to be Christ-like.

David Guzik describes sincerity and truth used here as "two strong guard-rails for the way of the Christian life."


There is a problem in the Corinthian church which Paul addresses in this chapter. A man in the church is sexually immoral (commiting incest with stepmother) and they all know it, but are prideful of their acceptance of this man and his sin. (Evidently the woman isn't a believer because she isn't mentioned here.) Paul tells the church to kick him out for their sake (so they don't do the same thing) and the salvation of the man.
He uses the illustration of leaven.

Verses 6-7 in NLT say,"Your boasting about this is terrible. Don't you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us."

David Guzik said,"Leaven mentioned was just yeast, but a pinch of dough left over from the previous batch, as in making of sourdough bread, in ancient times. It could make the new lump of dough rise and 'puff up.' It illustrates the work of sin and pride."

Shepherd's Notes states,"When a congregation, or the church at large, condones immorality, the moral fiber of the church is weakened. None escape is contamination. The whole lump is affected. No church or fellowship may celebrate deliverance from sin while sheltering sin among its members."

Now, that's a tall glass of tea.

Is the Lord telling me to be watchful of pride in my life? Is He saying to watch out with whom I  associate?
To not condone immorality? To be aware of just a pinch of sin? Don't let it grow into a whole batch.


Be sincere and truthful.

Don't let a pinch of sin grow into a whold batch; stay confessed up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


1 Corinthians 4
Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.    1 Corinthians 4:13


Soap scum, mildew, and yucky stuff seems to accummulate quickly in my shower. You know what I'm talking about, don't ya? Perhaps the reason for this is because we don't have a vent to remove the humidity from the bathroom. Anyway, I have to attack it once a month so nothing grows and carries me off. Scrubbing while on my hands and knees to remove all that scum built up isn't my idea of spending a fun morning. Although, after it's loosened, water washes it away. Then everything shines and is so squeaky clean that I can see myself in the fixtures. (Well, maybe not, but it sure does shine.)
I realize that's the way I need to come to Jesus-on my hands and knees, begging for forgiveness when I venture off into sin, resulting in scum in my life. Then He washes me clean again and I can shine for Him.

The New Living Translation uses the phrases " world's garbage" and "everybody's trash" in verse 13.
Mathew Henry says,"In the first age, Christians were considered dirt of the world that was to be swept away."

Psalm 118:29 says, "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."

1 John 1:9 states,"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

I sure don't like scum, either kind. Thank the Lord He removes it.


"Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful," says verses 1-2.

Shepherd's Notes Commentaries Series-I Corinthians says:
  • A steward was the "manager of a household, which often was a trusted slave put in charge of the whole household. The word emphasizes that one is entrusted with great responsibility and acountability." [A quote by Fritz Rienecker, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament]
  • Paul referred to leaders who are stewards and what has been entrusted, or what they are to administer.
  • The "secret things of God" granted to leaders are things that human wisdom cannot discover but can only be revealed by God.
Falwell said in Liberty Bible Commentary:
Stewards, in general, were slaves in the master's household who is entrusted with property. It stresses accouontability. He must render account for the manner in which he carries out his master's orders. It is sought for all stewards, that each one be found reliable and trustworthy.

As a steward, I want to be faithful with what responsibility God has given to me.

Verse 20 says,"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."

Is Paul saying that God's kingdom is not just "God talk", words, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit?
There's a difference in the Bible being "just another book" and a book inspired by His Holy Spirit.


Get the scum out of my life through confession to God.

Be a faithful steward of God.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


1 Corinthians 3
I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1 Corinthian 3:6-9


Co-workers. Certain people come to my mind whenever I say the word. How about you?
Down through the years I have had some very helpful, wonderful co-workers. But then, I have had some lousy ones too. You have probably had the same experiences. In this chapter, Paul is talking about being God's co-worker, following and serving Him. He is also talking about his fellow workers in the ministry-Apollos, Peter, Luke, etc. Let's see what Paul has to say about them.

In verse 9, Paul says we are laborers together with God. Its our responsibility to keep in living constant touch with God, and to see that we allow nothing to hinder our cooperation with Him. We are to be absolutely devoted to our co-Worker. We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything wherever He puts us. Our one great aim is to pour out a wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work.
(Resource:  My Utmost For His Highest, Daily Devotional Journal  by Oswald Chambers)

Each ones' work is important in the ministry as they use different spiritual gifts for God's glory. The emphasis
in on our being faithful to obey and not the success.  Am I a faithful servant of the Lord's?

Matthew Henry said,"We work under Him, with Him, and for Him (God).


Paul uses two metaphors here-an agricultural one and an architectural one.
First, Paul planted the Gospel seed and Apollos watered, teaching those believers in Corinth. It was God who gave the increase. God saves by His grace and grows people to spiritual maturity, yielding fruit.

David Guzik said,"We work with God in our "field." The work Paul did with God was to work "on" God's people. They were His "field." What's important is that God makes the seed grow. He gives the increase."

Am I planting seeds of the Good News, Jesus saves? Am I watering, encouraging faith in people? Am I trusting God to give the increase?

Second, Paul said we are God's building. Christ is the foundation of our Christian life. Our works build upon that foundation. They can be two different kinds-combustible and incombustible.

New Living Translation, verses 12-15 say, "Anyone who build on that foundation (Jesus Christ) may use a variety of materials-gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames."

What are these materials? I have read many commentaries on this chapter. They say these materials may be doctrines/ the law;  faith/ works; good/bad; tribulations, afflictions, trials.
I wonder if Paul is telling us that we are building our mansion in heaven, using these materials, laying the stones so to speak. Are the stones in the walls made of  gold, silver, and jewels our faith, obedience, worship, prayers, attitude, loving deeds done for our neighbors, deeds done for the glory of God, applying of God's Word in our life resulting in fruit of the Spirit,  those works that survive judgment? Are the other parts  the wood, hay, straw our selfish, sinful deeds done in the flesh, done for our glory, those works that burn up in the judgment? I don't have any Biblical basis, just wondering. Do you have any suggestions?

Hebrews 11:6a - "Without faith it is impossible to please Him."

1 Samuel 15:22b-23a-"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (submission), than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as (bad as) the sin of  witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (bad as worshiping idols)." (NLT in parenthesis)

1 Samuel 16:7b- "man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Jeremiah 17:26b-"bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord."

Hebrews 13:15- "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."

James 5:16b- "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Romans 14:23b-"whatsoever is not of faith is sin."


Be a co-worker with Christ.

Plant the seed of God's Word, then water It with love.

Keep Jesus as the foundation of my life.

Monday, December 6, 2010


1Corinthians 2
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1Cor.2:5


The other day I was getting ready for a trip to Alabama, doing the laundry, gathering things together, when I tripped over my suitcase and fell flat on the floor. The floor was cement, not carpeted, so I have bruises as evidence of my trip. That was not the trip I had on my mind that day, but it happened. I would lots rather stand than trip or fall. What about spiritually speaking?  Standing is definitely better than falling or tripping over temptations.

Paul says that my faith should not be based on the wisdom of man or the natural person. My faith  should stand in the power of God. How? By reading His Word and submitting to His Holy Spirit. Then I won't trip over temptations and fall into sin.
Also, if "Christ crucified" is what my Christian faith stands upon, then I won't fall for other doctrines or religious heresy.


In verse 9 Paul paraphrases Isaiah 64:4 saying,"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
(Instead of the word love, that scripture actually reads wait. )

There's a special blessing connected with waiting for the Lord. Men would rather work than wait. They also love legalism more than the holiness of waiting. (Bultema)

If spiritual things were detected by the senses, there would be no need for revelation. (Mathew Henry)

While it is true that we cannot comprehend the greatness of heaven, that isn't what Paul means, but the glorious thing is the gospel. (David Guzik)

Verse 9 says,"God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit."

Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13 in verse 16, "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that He may instruct him? "
His answer is, "But we have the mind of Christ."

David Guzik said,"God needs no counsel, no instruction, no teacher, and no one to show Him the way of understanding."

Paul says in verse 7,"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which
God ordained before the world unto our glory."

King James Dictionary defines wisdom as the right use or exercise of knowledge; discerning or judging what's most just, proper, and useful.

In this chapter we find the wisdom of God is:
  • a mystery, hidden (verse 7)
  • revealed by His Spirit (verse 9)
  • the deep things of God (verse 10)
  • freely given to us of God (verse 12)
  • not received nor known by the natural man (verse 14)
James 1:5 tells us how to get wisdom: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (KJV)
NLT says: "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

So I can have the wisdom of God if I ask Him for it. It is His Spirit revealing things to my spirit. I already have the revelation of Jesus Christ as my Savior.


Have standing faith in God's power.

Ask for wisdom from God.