Our Goal is to Please Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:6-9 – Words of inspiration and comfort.

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”

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The Widow with Two Coins – 10 Points for Bible Study

  1. The Temple Treasury located in the court of women, contained 13 trumpet-shaped receptacles for contributions brought by worshipers. Key Scriptures & NIV Study Note- Mark 12:41
  2. The widow, though extremely poor is described as one of the most greathearted people in the Bible. She dropped two copper coins,  worth less than a penny. into the temple treasury. Key Scriptures & NIV Study Notes, W.O.B. pg 205
  3. Jesus had earlier cleansed the temple of money changers (those who changed other coins to Jewish shekels) as he opposed the buying and selling inside of the temple. Matthew 21:12-13. W.O.B. pg 206
  4. The teachings of Jesus is an emphasis in the book of Mark. Jesus models a lesson of giving  in this display by the widow for his disciples. Mark 12:43 “Calling his disciples to him…”; NIV Introduction to Mark
  5. The widow gave more than the rest and put in all she had willingly and lovingly.  Mark 12:43-44.  Willingness is advised by Peter to the elders of the church when he writes to them about being willing shepherds of God’s flock,  eager to serve and not greedy for money. 1 Peter 5:2, W.O.B. pg 206  
  6. The others gave out of their wealth but the widow gave out of her poverty. Her giving was a matter of attitude; it was not the amount that mattered but that she gave ALL she had to live on. Luke 21:4; Guidelines for Giving, BibleGateway
  7. When we are concerned about the amount we give to the Church, to the poor or to a cause; what we give pales in comparison to what our Lord Jesus Christ gave to and for us. 2 Cor 8:9; 10 Essential Truths about Christian Giving, Ligon Duncan III, Crosswalk
  8. Money is the root of all evil is the misquoted statement of Paul who wrote to Timothy. Paul correctly stated the love of money is the root of all evil.  Money is the root of no evil, nor is it an evil of any kind. Its the love of it that brings the concern.   1 Tim 6:9-10; Clarke’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:10 
  9. Giving to the needy is not something that requires announcements, trumpets and fanfare. Matthew 6:2
  10. The lure of money can be quite enticing to all including Christians. It can block us from an intimate relationship with our Lord & Savior but Jesus reminds us in        Luke 16:13 “…You can not serve both God and Money”.

 

Resources

Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E Syswerda; Zondervan, 2002

NIV Study Bible; Zondervan

http://www.biblegateway.com/…/commentaries/; Guidelines for Giving, BibleGateway, IVP New Testament Commentaries

www.biblestudytools.com/bible…/christian-…; 10 Essential Truths about Christian Giving, Crosswalk: Bible Study Tools; Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III

http://www.godvine.com › Online Bible › 1 Timothy › 1 Timothy 6; Clarke’s Commentary

God is Real

God is Real. In our attempts to understand God, define God, make our worship of God meaningful to us, make God relevant to our individual problems and prove God’s existence, we lose the true meaning of his infinite goodness and control. He is and we will never fully understand. We live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV)

Competence Through Christ – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

2 Corinthians 3: 4-6 (NIV)

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

One of the many messages that I have received from study of scripture is that as we grow into mature Christians we become as Paul states “ministers of a new covenant”, made competent by God. From this original posting and even up to now, I sometimes feel quite the opposite of competent, very immature and lacking confidence. These negative thoughts and feelings are heightened by the belief systems of others. I read a chapter in a book by Jetola Anderson entitled Presumed Incompetent in which she depicted a black woman wearing a suit getting on a plane who was assumed by some as being the flight attendant.

As a woman and African-American I too have had a large share of other’s assumptions and presumed incompetence. There are times when I do feel confident, valued and competent but what I am learning is that relying on my own skills and talents will only take me so far.  The assumptions that others make about my abilities, the erroneous presumptions by others are also traps that take me away from the real mission. Jetola Anderson suggested surrounding oneself with positive people, uplifting literature and I wholeheartedly agree. To become ministers of this new covenant I have to surround myself with God the Father, Jesus our Lord, and the Holy Spirit and to do this by reading the word of God. It’s here that I am learning that it’s not about my abilities, talents or skills. Boasting, getting or receiving recommendations or praise are not the important factors. Recognizing that my competence comes from God, that the Holy Spirit has enabled me and “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”; Philippians 4:13. My mission is to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.

At my church (Pinellas Community Church), we have a card that I think states how the mission can be put into practice. It reads: “Dear Lord, Today as I go about my everyday life, help me see how my passion, for You can make an impact for good.”

Originally posted June 2010

God’s love for us never gives out!

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, power is made perfect in weakness” I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

In all circumstance, victorious or adverse, remember that God’s Grace is all we need. God’s ultimate purpose will always win out, but God’s love for us never gives out.

A Prayer for Strength

Dear God, Sometimes it seems like as soon as you provide a major victory in my life, there is often an immediate flood of frustrating situations. It is as if something wants to stop me from giving you the praise you deserve. May I always be reminded that as I put more of my trust in you, challenges will arrive. May I also remember that the challenges are not the people or the personalities that they exhibit. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). May I always look for your blessings to be bestowed through these trying situations.  “For just as the sufferings of Christ flows into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:5 ). May I gain more strength from you as I go through the troubles into another victory. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.