Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 1
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Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 1:8, 11
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life…. you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
Between writing these two letters to the believers in Corinth, Paul spent time in Asia Minor, a Roman province now known as Turkey. There he suffered much persecution as a result of his bold witness for Christ. He had spent at least three years in Corinth, establishing the Church. This very strong Apostle showed himself to also be very human. His need for the fellowship of those to whom he felt close is evident. He uses the word “comfort” six times, and the word “consolation” five times. As followers of Christ, we need each other so very much. I’ve chosen two key verses for today. They reveal Paul’s heart. He felt he could share his burdens and even his despair. He knew his Corinthian friends were praying for him and also supporting him so that he could spend full time preaching and teaching without stopping to make tents, as he had done when he planted the Church in Corinth. Other words which stand out are “faithful,” “promises,” “sealed” (denotes security), and “deposit” (indicates that the entire amount is to come). Paul is encouraged by the progress of the Church.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You are building Your Church. Grant, I pray, a gift of optimism to me concerning Your Church worldwide, as well as in my home church. Thank You that there are people who care about me and pray for me, as did the Corinthian people about Paul. Amen! As 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “Yes and in Him, Amen!”
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’m so very thankful for the notes I receive from you who read my blog. I’m greatly encouraged by you. I receive a call each week from the prayer co-ordinator in my local Church, so she can report in the bulletin on my health, and so people can pray for me. Norma-Jean and I have moved in the last two weeks into a small apartment. It makes sense at our age and considering my diagnosis. For many years we lived and worked on the farm where she was born. We sold that, having convinced ourselves that it was too much work at 67 & 64 years old. We moved to a smaller place, but still there was lots of work to do. Our arrangement was that Norma-Jean was in charge of the inside, and I was in charge of the outside, both at the farm and later, at our house. Now with an apartment, there are no outside things to be in charge of. I can relax in the knowledge that my wife is in charge of everything. There’s humour here, and I’m enjoying every minute of it! No snow to shovel, no grass to cut, no walls to paint. This blog, which I plan to do outside on the balcony when it warms up, God willing, is my outside work. I love it! As I look out the window, there must be a foot of wet heavy snow down there. My Dad, out shovelling snow at my age, sat down on the stairs, had a heart seizure, and left for Heaven, with his boots still on. I don’t find that story sad. He would’ve wanted to go that way rather than in bed. He was an optimistic man who knew his life was in God’s hands and timing. I’ve already lived two months longer than Dad, and without snow to shovel, and considering that I may be the most prayed for man in Canada, I’m confident of God’s healing and sustaining power for some time to come. Amen!
Yours for the comfort and consolation we have in Christ,