2 Corinthians

Not an end in itself

2 Corin 1;4

Comfort from God is not an end in itself.  It’s purpose is that believers also might be comforters.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 1:4.

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The aroma of death and of life

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Paul used the style of Hebrew superlatives to emphasize the twofold effect of gospel preaching.  To some, the message brings eternal life and ultimate glorification.  To others, it is a stumbling stone of offense that brings eternal death.  No one in his own strength is adequate or competent to serve God in the ways and with the power that Paul has been describing.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 2:16.

The Fragrance of His Knowledge

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Paul was grateful for the privilege of being used as an influence for Christ wherever he went.  Every believer is transformed and called by the Lord to be an influence for His gospel throughout the world.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 2:14.

Preparedness

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What makes an effective servant of Christ is not natural abilities, creativity, or human initiative, but total dependence on Him for both direction and adequacy.  God uses those who are weak, humble, submissive, and obedient so that He alone gets the glory.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 1, 2018.

Made Perfect in Weakness

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In reading in the Bible in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 about something that tormented Paul, we see that although God did not remove Paul’s physical affliction, He promised to demonstrate His power in Paul.  The fact that God’s power shows up in weak people should give us courage.  When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that leads to pride.

We must rely on God for our effectiveness rather than our own energy, effort, or talent.  Our weakness not only helps develop Christian character, it also deepens our worship; in admitting our weakness, we affirm God’s strength.  When we are weak, and when we allow God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger that we could ever be on our own.  We must depend on God-only His power makes us effective for Him and does work that has lasting value.  We must daily be mindful that God is our source for every need.

Give us this day

our daily bread.

Matthew 6:11

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, May 14. Tyndale House Publishers (2003).

Aim

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Satan tries to trick us into thinking that life can be divided into two separate parts:  the secular, which is separate from the Lord, and the spiritual.  That’s a lie.  As God’s children, we are spiritual beings, and every area of our life is to be an expression of that divine relationship.  Whether employment, family role, ministry, or leisure pursuits, our every involvement connects into God’s purpose for our life and must please Him.

Portions of commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 12, 2017.