DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-07-23
WRITTEN AT: Orlando, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 4:13-16
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
APPLICATION: Paul realized that there were many in the church who attended in bodily form, but must have left their mind and spirit at home, because they appeared blinded to the truth he was preaching. In verse 4 of the same chapter we are looking at today, Paul shared that Satan, the earth’s ruler and instigator of all evil works and attitudes, deliberately blinded the eyes of his army and dulled their minds from hearing and accepting the truth of God’s Word. Friends, you may nod your head in agreement to that statement, but this is a truth that still impacts the world today, and it is the most discouraging thing for pastors and teachers of the Gospel to understand, accept and deal with as they make every effort to share the Word of God. Paul tried to clear up any misconceptions behind his reason to preach God’s Word. Today is no different, for we hear jokes and/or jeering about why God’s messengers do what God has ordained them to do. I was touched by this Scripture today, because it reminded me of why others, together with myself, feel inspired by God to share His Word. I believe that a clearer understanding of this will help each reader and listener to gain a new perspective on the preaching, teaching and sharing of God’s Word. One would think that pastors must tire of rejection and failure in reaching the people of their community. But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul identifies the reason, and exactly what it is that pastors are up against. The minds of the people are shut tight by the Evil One so that the truth is ignored, rejected and unclear. Yes, I am talking about people who we invite to join us in church, and also many who sit in our churches each week. Look around you this weekend while attending church, and pray that the Holy Spirit will impact each and every person present; that He will clear their minds from the celebrations of the previous night; cause their minds to not wander, but to listen closely to what God is saying through His messenger; stop judging the man in the pulpit, for he will stand before God and be held accountable even more than we will; pray for God’s messenger so that he will set aside any personal agendas and stick to what God is directing Him to share from His Word; Stop comparing self to anyone else here on earth, and allow God to help you compare your life-decisions to the instructions carefully written in His Word. Friends, the adversary is deliberate in shutting your mind and eyes to the things of God. He’s more powerful than you are, but not near as powerful as our God is, so ask God to protect you and guide you as you aim to learn and apply more of Him and His Word to your life. Please consider praying for the above even before you go to church. Don’t allow Satan to have his way. In verse 13, Paul likened himself to the Psalmist who said in Psalm 116, that because he believes in the almighty, all-powerful God of this universe, he therefore speaks on His behalf. Our pastors can only survive with this kind of determination, for all of the above things that I mentioned surely comes to mind as they stand before us and look at the blank steers and the lack of attention. Pray that your pastor will assume the determination of Paul who in vs 16, said that he will not give up, for although his outer body is deteriorating, yet his mind and soul is strengthened and encouraged every day by the Master. Friends, I believe that the reason they preach, is to follow the voice of the Master in trying to save the lost in our churches and communities. They will look into God’s eyes one day, just like you will. I pray that because they know how much God knows about them, they will say without doubt or question that they have done their best and preached the Word as It was given to them by the Holy Spirit. Pray for your pastor, and pray that God will draw you closer to Himself every time you’re under the teaching and conviction of the Holy Spirit through your pastor.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Never give up! Our spirits are being renewed every day!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, on behalf of those who stand to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please allow me to give thanks for their commitment and for their fight against the Evil One who is constantly trying to shut them down. Please Lord, touch the hearts of those who come unprepared to try and worship you together with other believers. Open their eyes to the need to draw close to You and receive Your power to prevent the forces of evil from consuming their hearts and minds. May they find strength from Almighty God because of their submission and closeness to You, and may their dependence on You create a heart that depends on You in all things. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!