Galatians 1:1-5 Greetings Galatians

Paul prays for those he corrects; God’s grace and peace.

We have come to the book of Galatians. This is the one letter we have between Paul and the Galatian believers. In this letter Paul will focus on the fact that this body is being wrongly influenced to institute the practice of circumcision. But today we are going to focus on Paul’s greeting alone.

Paul’s first point to this group is to bring home to them how he received his calling as minister for Christ. He wasn’t called by any man to this position. He was called specifically by Jesus Himself. The same Jesus who God the Father raised from the dead. The same Jesus whom Paul was persecuting those who followed Him. Read more »

2 Corinthians 13:11-14 Farewell Brothers

Letter completed and sent with MUCH prayer!

Paul concludes of reprimand and love. We know this isn’t the last of his communication with this group of believers as the first part of this book actually came after our reading today. But this letter was difficult to write and therefore difficult to close on a positive note. Paul does it with love and a sincere hope of restoration.

Have you ever had to write a letter, email, or text that had a strong message? I have. I find myself rewriting it many times before I’m comfortable with the message I’m trying to convey. I wonder how many times Paul had to rewrite his thoughts. One of the hardest parts is trying to find a way to close out your thoughts without being condescending or going back on your original intent of the message. Read more »

2 Corinthians 13:1-10 Test Yourself

Who truly resides in your heart?

Paul is giving one final warning to those who still have not repented. This is their last chance to do what God has called for; to turn from their sin and follow Him.

Sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality were specifically mentioned in the last reading; chp. 12 v. 21. These were sins Paul dealt with in his earlier letter of 1 Corinthians also. Many had repented but a large portion hadn’t. They were also not leaving the church. They wanted both; the pleasures of sin and the fellowship of the saints. This was not only reprehensible but also dangerous for the body itself.

Paul called for each person to “test yourselves” to see where their hearty really stood. If they truly had Jesus living in them then they would choose to honor Him and turn from their sin. If they didn’t have Jesus in their hearts then their sin would win. Those who failed this test HAD to leave the fellowship of believers. Read more »

2 Corinthians 12:11-21 I Seek You

If that is what it takes to get you to listen…

Paul is fed up with having to put forth his resume to regain the ground taken by the false “super-apostles.” He has gone toe to toe with them in every aspect and come out on top. But all of that means nothing to him. His only aim is to restore this body of believers to right standing in Christ.

Everything Paul has done in his ministry has proven he is a true apostle. The signs and wonders God has provided throughout his ministry are just the icing on the cake. Paul’s determination to walk as Jesus did and preach Jesus only are his foundation. He cares nothing for tallying up the costs along the way. But for this group he was willing to do it; if for no other reason than to get their attention. Read more »

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Strength in Weakness

He knows when to carry me and when to hold my hand

Paul is still scrolling through his resume and comparing his experiences with those of the false teachers. Today’s comparison is interesting and intriguing.

Paul’s first words in our reading set a very important tone for his readers. “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it” (verse 1a). His boasting isn’t for himself or for his own glory. It is merely to illuminate the differences between his journey and that of those who are taking advantage of this body of believers. He is not seeking some kind of kudos from this group, only their open eyes.

When “boasting” about the vision Paul doesn’t even say it was his vision. I thought that was interesting and at first wondered if maybe he was referencing another person’s vision. But when he refers to the “thorn in the flesh” he claims it as his own and its purpose was “to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations” (verse 7). Read more »