Comfort In Mourning…

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*Billy Graham’s Daily Devotion*

2nd Corinthians: 1
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians
2 Corinthians, like 1 Corinthians, is intensely personal. It was written from Macedonia a year or so after the first letter (so around 56-57), addressed once again to the troubled believers of Corinth.This time around, the problems are not so much the Corinthians’ own behavior and their own questions, but the presence of troublemakers who put themselves forward as authorities in place of Paul. In chapters 1–7 it seems that a single person was causing trouble in the community; in chapters 10–13 it is a whole group of “false shlichim.” The false shlichim were proclaiming a message that was not the Good News. On top of that, they claimed that a “real shaliach” would have charisma, a “take-charge” attitude. He would be a man who saw visions and performed miracles. The application is not hard to see for believers today. Not only do we have to understand the content of the Good News in order to proclaim it (in contrast to the teaching of the false shlichim), but we also need to be the kind of people God wants to use to proclaim that message—not eloquent, good-looking, flashy superstars, but devoted people who have real problems and real weaknesses. For this reason Paul speaks of believers as having a treasure in fragile jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (4:7). In fact, Paul says that “if I must boast, I will boast of my weakness” (11:30), because God’s power is shown through human weakness. After all, it was the same with Yeshua Himself: “For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives through the power of God.” (13:4). The Jewish people should be no strangers to this idea. Every year at Passover, we celebrate how God’s power was used to deliver His weak, downtrodden people. We see that Yeshua became weak even to the point of death, but through that weakness God showed His power in the resurrection. Today that power enables His people to live transformed lives and even transform the world around them.
Greetings
1 Paul, a emissary of Messiah Yeshua through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s community at Corinth, with all the kedoshim who are throughout Achaia: 2 Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Encouragement Through Hardships
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement. 4 He encourages us in every trouble, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any trouble, through the very encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Messiah overflow into us, so also through Messiah our encouragement overflows. 6 If we are suffering hardship, it is for your encouragement and salvation. Or if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which produces in you the patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. 7 Our hope for you is firm, since we know that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also in our encouragement. 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our trouble that happened in Asia. We were under great pressure—so far beyond our strength that we despaired even of living. 9 In fact, we had within ourselves the death sentence—so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. 10 He who rescued us from so great a danger of death will continue to rescue us—we have set our hope on Him that He will rescue us again. 11 You also are helping by your prayer for us, so that from many people thanks may be given on our behalf for the gracious gift given us through the help of many. 12 For our reason for boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world, and most especially toward you, with simplicity and godly sincerity—not by human wisdom but by the grace of God. 13 For we write nothing to you other than what you can read and understand—and I hope you will understand in full 14 just as you understood us in part, so that we are your reason for boasting just as you also are ours in the Day of our Lord Yeshua.
Paul’s Change of Plans
15 Because of this confidence, I was planning to come to you first, so that you might have a second benefit—16 to pass by you on my way to Macedonia and again from Macedonia to come back to you, and to be helped by you on my journey to Judea. 17 So when I was planning to do this, I didn’t do so lightly, did I? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh—so it might be with me “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18 But as God is faithful, our message to you is not both “Yes” and “No. 19 For Ben-Elohim—Yeshua the Messiah, who was proclaimed among you by us, by myself and Silvanus and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No.” Rather, in Him it has always been “Yes. 20 For in Him all the promises of God are “Yes.” Therefore also through Him is the “Amen” by us, to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who establishes us with you in Messiah. He anointed us, 22 set His seal on us, and gave us the Ruach in our hearts as a pledge. 23 But I call God as my witness—to spare you, I didn’t come to Corinth again. 24 Not that we lord it over you in matters of faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy—for in the faith you are standing firm.

{Tree Of Life Bible~2nd Corinthians 1:1-24}

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