Category Archives: 08 – 2 Corinthians

Led Astray From Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – Psalm 124; 2 Corinthians 11-13

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

 

As we discussed yesterday, the people in Corinth were being led astray from Jesus Christ.  False teachers had come in preaching a false gospel and shook the faith of the Corinthians.  Paul was worried for them.  He loved the Corinthians and did not want to see them fall away from their faith by following the wrong leaders.  He compares what is going on with the false apostles to what happened when Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he worried that the Corinthians would be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

When people first accept Christ, they experience this sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ that Paul describes.  When the Holy Spirit moves a person to begin a personal relationship with Jesus, he or she decides to put Jesus first in everything.  After the “bloom is off the rose” though, sometimes things change.  Sometimes, when hard times hit, people can be led astray.  Sometimes other things come up in life that take over the position of importance that was once reserved for Christ.  When a new believer turns to Christ, the enemy will do whatever he can to try to lead them back away from Him.

Jesus wants to be first in our lives.  He wants to come before everything else in our hearts.  When we put other things before Jesus, we are not truly honoring what He did for us the way we should.  It is an easy temptation in this world to get caught up in other things.  People can easily put money, work, school, relationships, addictions, and sin before Jesus.  Before long, people can begin spending less and less time with Him.  Prayers turn into an afterthought – something we do quickly right before we go to sleep.  Reading the Bible slows down and eventually stops altogether.  The person who was once “on fire” for the Lord is suddenly only lukewarm and then eventually ice-cold.  It is a real danger, and it happens a lot.

Daily devotion to Jesus Christ can keep us from being led astray.  Everyday, we should spend time thinking about what Jesus did for us.  Remember the joy you felt when you first encountered the living God?  Think of that joy daily.  Think about the changes He has made in your life.  Praise Him daily for His greatness.  Make reading the Bible and prayer a priority, scheduling a time and place daily to spend with the Lord.  Ask God for His help in putting Him first above everything else in your life.  When you sin, immediately confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness.  Trust in the Lord in all that you do, and never forget His enormous sacrifice for you.  Remember that the Holy Spirit is living inside of you and enables you to obey, and then rest in your new identity in Christ.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Comparing Ourselves to God’s Standards


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Corinthians 7-10

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 10:12-18

 

In Paul’s fourth letter to the Corinthians (captured in Scripture as 2 Corinthians), he spent some time in chapter 10 defending his authority and his ministry.  Other false teachers had come along and tried to lead the Corinthians away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These false teachers attacked Paul and spent a lot of time trying to get the Corinthians to follow their teachings instead of the true teachings of Christ.  The false teachers were boasting about their own accomplishments and comparing themselves to Paul and with other teachers to try to gain credibility.  In today’s key passage, Paul says that comparing ourselves to other people is dangerous and that we are better off comparing ourselves to God’s standards.  In addition, instead of boasting about our own accomplishments, we should boast about what God has done through us.

What happens when we try to compare ourselves to others?  The first problem we encounter is when we find that others have things we do not have.  When we compare ourselves to others and find that they have more (possessions, money, spiritual gifts, etc.), we usually find ourselves being jealous.  This jealousy leads to ungratefulness for all of the things that God has given us.  Obviously, this is dangerous.  The second problem we encounter is when we find we have more than others do.  When we compare ourselves to others and find that we have more (possessions, money, spiritual gifts, etc.) we could begin to feel prideful – obviously another dangerous place to be.  As you can see, either way you go, comparing ourselves to others can lead to sin.

What if instead of comparing ourselves to others, we compare ourselves to God’s standards?  Keep in mind that God’s standard is perfection, which is pretty difficult.  As a simple way to illustrate this, take a look at the Ten Commandments.  When was the last time you violated one of these?  By God’s standard, anyone who violated a single one of these commandments would be forever separated from him.  That is, until Jesus Christ came along.  Jesus Christ allowed us to bridge the gap between God and us.  God knew that none of us could be perfect, so He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins.  He had to make this sacrifice for us because He knew we could never live up to His perfect standards.  When you think of it like this, it makes it pretty hard to feel ungrateful about what He did for us, and it also makes it pretty hard to feel prideful for what we have done compared to what He did.  Instead of worrying about what others have or do not have, ask yourself how you compare to what God wants and how your life compares to Jesus Christ.  If we ask ourselves these questions daily, we will yearn to grow in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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We Are New Creations in Christ


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Corinthians 3-6

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

 

When I was a kid, I was really into baseball cards.  I would collect them and put them into protective sleeves, and I can still remember the joy and excitement that came with opening a new package of cards to see what was inside.  The best part was trading the cards with my friends.  We would gather around with our cards and try to come up with trades, each giving up something in order to get what we really wanted.  While the details of every trade were different, there was one similarity – in each trade, both parties were giving up something of value.  No one would trade a priceless card for a worthless one.  This system of trade is common in most things in this world.

The trade that Jesus Christ made for us on the cross was entirely different.  He traded something priceless for something worthless.  He traded his righteousness for our sins.  He gave us eternal life, while bearing the weight of all of our baggage and sinfulness.  This was more than just an exchange or a trade – this was a gift.

When we become believers in Christ, we also make a trade.  We trade in our old lives for new ones.  At conversion, we are not fixed, repaired, or rehabilitated.  We are made entirely new creations.  Think about that for a second – WE ARE ENTIRELY NEW CREATIONS.  All of the old things that we used to be are dead – we are reborn in Christ.  What does this mean?  Does this mean we should continue to do the things we always did?  No.  Does it mean we will find pleasure and peace in the things that used to bring us pleasure and peace?  No.  We are entirely new.  When the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, He changes things around.  He does a complete overhaul.  All of a sudden, the things we used to enjoy now cause us pain.  The shows and movies we used to watch now become unwatchable.  The activities we used to engage in now become unacceptable.  Some people see this as “rules” or as God limiting us, but that is not the case.  We are not changed to try to take anything away from us.  The Holy Spirit changes us to help us understand what real pleasure and peace are.  We die to our old selves daily not because we are forced to by a set of rules, but because we want to.  The Holy Spirit makes us want to.  Furthermore, not only does the Holy Spirit convict us into wanting to change our behaviors, He gives us the power to do it.

How have you changed since asking Jesus to come into your life?  Can you quantify it?  Is it tangible?  Do you see huge differences in how you were vs. how you are today?  More importantly, do others see differences in how you were vs. how you are today?  If the answer is no, then it might be time to reevaluate if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life.  Are you still living for things outside of Him?  Are you a new creation or are you still your old self that has just been fixed a little bit here and there?  Die to your old self and your old ways, and be reborn in Christ Jesus.  The day of salvation is today.  The time is now.  Let tomorrow be the first day living as a new creation in Jesus Christ.

 

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Correcting Other Christians


Daily Bible Reading – Job 41, 42; 2 Corinthians 1, 2

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 2:1-11

 

Living a Christian life does not happen in a vacuum.  We know from the Bible that God intends for us to live together in community with other Christians.  This fellowship not only helps us grow as followers of Jesus Christ, it also helps us reach others.  Unfortunately, in doing this we are sometimes faced with circumstances where one of the other believers we are “doing life with” starts to stray from the path.

The idea of having to confront another believer terrifies me.  Like most people, I do not really like confrontation, and I try to avoid it whenever possible.  For a long time, I believed that when I saw another Christian sinning I should not say anything.  After all, I figured it was not my job to confront him, and I was afraid that I would come off as judgmental, but there is a fundamental difference in judging someone and correcting them in love.  This revelation came to me when another believer confronted me for something I was doing.  At first, I was angry at being “called out”, but I soon came to realize that this man was coming to me out of his love for me.  He saw an error I was making, and cared enough about me to bring it to my attention.  Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”  When Paul had to correct the Corinthians in today’s key passage, he did it out of love.  Even though he had “great distress and anguish of heart“, he knew that if he truly loved them and cared about them he had to correct them.

In his book, Who You Are When No One’s Looking, Pastor Bill Hybels discusses the “tough love” required to be a follower of Christ.  He lays out a four-point plan to dealing with confrontation.  Step one is clarifying the issue to really understand the problem.  Step two is cleansing your spirit to ensure we do not feel critical, angry, or judgmental before we confront someone.  In Matthew 7:3, Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”.  Cleansing the spirit allows us to avoid pointing out the speck in our brother’s eye if we have a plank in our own eye.  Step three is carefully selecting the time and place to talk with the believer.  Step four, probably the most important, is to pray to God for help.

By following these points, we can ensure that when we are forced to confront another believer, we do it correctly.  Obviously, the easiest thing to do it is to say nothing at all, but as we know, the easy thing is very rarely the right thing.  If you really love others more than yourself, sometimes it is necessary to correct another Christian.  When this time comes, remember to do it in love.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Examining Your Faith


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 13:5-14

Human beings are a naturally curious species.  Along with this curiosity comes a tendency to examine many different things during the course of our lives.  We examine our checkbooks regularly to make sure the balance is correct and to see where we are spending our money.  We take our automobiles to service centers periodically to get inspected to make sure there are no serious mechanical issues.  We go to the doctor for a physical to find out if we have any health issues.  When our children bring home a report card, we examine the grades to see where strengths and opportunities exist.  There are literally countless things that we choose to examine.  In today’s key passage, the apostle Paul mentions another thing we should spend time examining – our faith (Vs. 5)

So what does this look like?  How can we examine ourselves to see if we are really following Christ?  The first sign to look for is growth.  When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and He begins living inside of us, He starts making changes.  As my pastor likes to say, He starts “moving around the furniture”.  In this process of sanctification, we become more like Christ.  When we look at our faith today, we should be able to see that those changes are constantly occurring.  We should see motion in our faith as we grow in Christ.  If we are not maturing as Christians, then we must try to figure out what is going on.  The bottom line is that there are really only two options for how we are living – we are either growing closer to God or we are turning farther away from Him.  There is no middle ground.

When we look at ourselves honestly to determine if we are practicing what we preach, we can help keep ourselves on track and can quickly discover any wrong thinking or unintentional sin.  Keep in mind, though, that we cannot truly examine our own faith in a vacuum.  We should seek council from other believers who know us and love us to help us in our examination.  Even more importantly, we should seek God’s help in examining our faith.  We should ask God to point out the things in us that He wants to change.  Then we should have faith in Him to make us the people He wants us to be.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Finding Strength in Our Weaknesses


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 13; 1 Chronicles 2,3; 2 Corinthians 12

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

There are many times in the Bible when what we read seems to contradict what our earthly minds believe to be true.  Today’s key passage is a good example of this type of conflict.  The apostle Paul tells us that he has been given a “thorn” in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited.  While we do not know exactly what this “thorn” was because Paul never provided details, some Biblical scholars have theorized that it might have been a disease such as malaria or epilepsy, or perhaps a problem with his vision.  Whatever the case, we can be sure it was some sort of physical ailment that made Paul’s mission in life more difficult.  Three times Paul pleaded with God to take this “thorn” away from him, but each time God refused, telling Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (Vs. 9)  What Paul goes on to say in verse 10 is the part that seems to conflict with what we believe to be true based on our human knowledge.  He says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I love these examples when God takes our conventional earthly wisdom and turns it upside down.  Jesus said that whoever is first will be last and that the meek will inherit the earth and Paul said that when he is weak, then he is strong.  If you are wondering how this can be true, allow me to explain.  When we are strong, we tend to start to feel pride.  During our strongest moments, we feel like we can accomplish anything on our own, without any help.  While that might sound like a good thing, it is actually the opposite of what God wants for us.  God wants us not to try to accomplish things in our own strength, but to accomplish things through His strength.  He wants to be our source.  During our weakest moments, when things look dark and bleak, those are the times when we can turn to Him for strength.  More importantly, God’s strength is so much more than anything we can possibly muster on our own.  Therefore, when we are weak, we become strong because God gives us the strength we need to move forward.  When we tap into the power of Jesus Christ living through us, we become far more powerful than we can ever be on our own.  We can accomplish so much more than we could ever accomplish on our own.  When you are feeling your weakest, rejoice in knowing that you can find strength.  Rejoice in the knowledge that the power of Jesus Christ is available to you in your darkest hour.  Rejoice in knowing that when you are weak, then you are strong.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Serving God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 19-21; 2 Corinthians 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

As followers of Christ, we are all called to be His ministers in the world.  No matter what your job title is or what you do for a living, you have been called to be a full time servant of Jesus Christ.  The greatest decision you can ever make is the decision to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.  Perhaps the second greatest decision you can ever make is to choose to be His servant.  Have you made the decision to serve Christ in all that you do?  Do you have a burden for the lost and want to see others come to Christ?  If so, in today’s key passage Paul has a few tips for us in our service to Christ:

1. We have mercy – “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (vs. 1) Never forget that we have been given the right to minister for God not by our own actions but by God’s grace and mercy.

2. We need integrity – “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (vs. 2) When talking to others about Christ, never try to alter the message to fit what the audience wants to hear.  Our job is to simply speak the truth about God’s Word.

3. We have an enemy – “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (vss. 3-4) The “god of this age” is Satan, and he has blinded people to the truth of God’s Word.

4. We need a priority – “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (vss. 5-6) Our priority should never be to talk about what we have done.  Our priority is to keep the focus where it belongs – on Jesus Christ.

5. We are weak, but He is strong – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (vss. 7-9) Like jars made of clay, we are frail humans who are prone to sin and suffering.  Even though we are weak, God still uses us to reach the lost.  We cannot serve on our own, but God gives us the strength we need to keep going.

6. We must speak up – “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (vs. 13) It is not enough for us to simply know the Good News about Jesus Christ.  To reach the lost, we have to be willing to step out in faith and tell them about Him.

7. We have a reward – “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (vss. 17-18) We may face trials on this earth as we serve Him, but we will receive our reward in Heaven.

Are you ready to serve God?  Are you ready to step out in faith?  Pray to God today and tell Him that you are ready for Him to use you.  Tell Him you are ready to go wherever He leads.  Tell Him you are ready to do whatever He needs done.  Tell Him you are ready to make a difference for His Kingdom.  If you open yourself up to becoming His servant, He will blow you away with all that He can do in you and through you.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Overflowing Comfort


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 11,12; Psalm 50; 2 Corinthians 1

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

In the past, I have talked a lot about how God comforts us in our times of sorrow.  When we are suffering, God provides us with comfort in many ways.  We are comforted by His Word and by stories of the comfort He has provided for others during times of strife.  We are comforted by His promises to us of eternal protection.  We are comforted by the Holy Spirit living inside of us providing us with the encouragement to move forward.  There are countless ways in which He provides us with His comfort.  In today’s key passage, Paul touches on something a bit different, though.  Paul talks about why God comforts us.  Obviously, one reason God provides us with comfort in our times of need is because of His great love for us.  He does not want to see us suffer since we are His children.  However, there is another reason for His comfort that I would like us to really focus on today.  In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  See, God does not just comfort us for our own sake.  He comforts us for the sake of others.

As followers of Christ, we learn to love others unconditionally by focusing on the unconditional love God has for us.  Likewise, we can learn to comfort others by focusing on the comfort God provides to us.  One of the primary ways God comforts us is by using our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Have you ever noticed that when you are really down or things are going badly, another believer comes along and says just the right thing to make you feel better?  This is an example of God using His people to provide us comfort.  Have you ever been stuck in a bad mood but find your spirits lifted by a song on the radio?  This is another example of God using His people to provide us comfort.  God does this all the time, and the fact is that He wants to use YOU to help comfort someone else.  He provides you with comfort in your time of need to the point of overflowing so that the level of comfort you have received from Him can be shared with others.  When a person comes along and says the perfect thing that you need to hear in your time of distress, it is partly so that you will be able to say the perfect thing that someone else needs to hear in his time of distress.  Focus on the ways in which God has comforted you in the past.  Focus on what He has done to help you.  Then, when you see others in need of comfort, share your comfort with them.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Led Astray From Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – Psalm 124; 2 Corinthians 11-13

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

 

As we discussed yesterday, the people in Corinth were being led astray from Jesus Christ.  False teachers had come in preaching a false gospel and shook the faith of the Corinthians.  Paul was worried for them.  He loved the Corinthians and did not want to see them fall away from their faith by following the wrong leaders.  He compares what is going on with the false apostles to what happened when Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he worried that the Corinthians would be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

When people first accept Christ, they experience this sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ that Paul describes.  When the Holy Spirit moves a person to begin a personal relationship with Jesus, he or she decides to put Jesus first in everything.  After the “bloom is off the rose” though, sometimes things change.  Sometimes, when hard times hit, people can be led astray.  Sometimes other things come up in life that take over the position of importance that was once reserved for Christ.  When a new believer turns to Christ, the enemy will do whatever he can to try to lead them back away from Him.

Jesus wants to be first in our lives.  He wants to come before everything else in our hearts.  When we put other things before Jesus, we are not truly honoring what He did for us the way we should.  It is an easy temptation in this world to get caught up in other things.  People can easily put money, work, school, relationships, addictions, and sin before Jesus.  Before long, people can begin spending less and less time with Him.  Prayers turn into an afterthought – something we do quickly right before we go to sleep.  Reading the Bible slows down and eventually stops altogether.  The person who was once “on fire” for the Lord is suddenly only lukewarm and then eventually ice-cold.  It is a real danger, and it happens a lot.

Daily devotion to Jesus Christ can keep us from being led astray.  Everyday, we should spend time thinking about what Jesus did for us.  Remember the joy you felt when you first encountered the living God?  Think of that joy daily.  Think about the changes He has made in your life.  Praise Him daily for His greatness.  Make reading the Bible and prayer a priority, scheduling a time and place daily to spend with the Lord.  Ask God for His help in putting Him first above everything else in your life.  When you sin, immediately confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness.  Trust in the Lord in all that you do, and never forget His enormous sacrifice for you.  Remember that the Holy Spirit is living inside of you and enables you to obey, and then rest in your new identity in Christ.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Comparing Ourselves to God’s Standards


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Corinthians 7-10

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 10:12-18

 

In Paul’s fourth letter to the Corinthians (captured in Scripture as 2 Corinthians), he spent some time in chapter 10 defending his authority and his ministry.  Other false teachers had come along and tried to lead the Corinthians away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These false teachers attacked Paul and spent a lot of time trying to get the Corinthians to follow their teachings instead of the true teachings of Christ.  The false teachers were boasting about their own accomplishments and comparing themselves to Paul and with other teachers to try to gain credibility.  In today’s key passage, Paul says that comparing ourselves to other people is dangerous and that we are better off comparing ourselves to God’s standards.  In addition, instead of boasting about our own accomplishments, we should boast about what God has done through us.

What happens when we try to compare ourselves to others?  The first problem we encounter is when we find that others have things we do not have.  When we compare ourselves to others and find that they have more (possessions, money, spiritual gifts, etc.), we usually find ourselves being jealous.  This jealousy leads to ungratefulness for all of the things that God has given us.  Obviously, this is dangerous.  The second problem we encounter is when we find we have more than others do.  When we compare ourselves to others and find that we have more (possessions, money, spiritual gifts, etc.) we could begin to feel prideful – obviously another dangerous place to be.  As you can see, either way you go, comparing ourselves to others can lead to sin.

What if instead of comparing ourselves to others, we compare ourselves to God’s standards?  Keep in mind that God’s standard is perfection, which is pretty difficult.  As a simple way to illustrate this, take a look at the Ten Commandments.  When was the last time you violated one of these?  By God’s standard, anyone who violated a single one of these commandments would be forever separated from him.  That is, until Jesus Christ came along.  Jesus Christ allowed us to bridge the gap between God and us.  God knew that none of us could be perfect, so He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins.  He had to make this sacrifice for us because He knew we could never live up to His perfect standards.  When you think of it like this, it makes it pretty hard to feel ungrateful about what He did for us, and it also makes it pretty hard to feel prideful for what we have done compared to what He did.  Instead of worrying about what others have or do not have, ask yourself how you compare to what God wants and how your life compares to Jesus Christ.  If we ask ourselves these questions daily, we will yearn to grow in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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