August 28

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“We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.” (2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT).

From: August 28, 2018

PREACHING FOR GOD’S APPROVAL ALONE
The apostle Paul contrasted the authenticity and authority of his preaching team with those who preach for personal profit. The wealthy church of Corinth was apparently susceptible to the hucksters of that day. Paul wanted to protect them from these false teachers, who invariably show up to steal sheep when new believers are first coming to Christ and are most vulnerable to false teachings.
 
Hucksters seek to tickle their hearer’s ears that they might earn their approval and gain access to their wallets. Those who preach the Word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, do so for the approval of God alone, knowing that only God can save.

“My harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the voice of those who weep” (Job 30:31 NKJV).

From: August 28, 2017

The grief that covered Job like a cloud affected even his ear for music. The harp, a stringed instrument, was often employed by David to lighten the mood of King Saul. It was an instrument used in worship and in times of celebration. Yet, to Job’s ear, the vibration of the strings sounded mournful, vibrating at the frequency of his sorrowing soul. And the flute, a wind instrument, with its light, breathy lows and clear sparkling highs, was often heard accompanied by percussion at times of feasting. But to Job, the flute had become like a weeping human voice breathing out a dirge, perhaps reminding him of the times when his children enjoyed such feasts. Grief is like that. It darkens the sights and sounds of human perception, so that the spectrum of life’s color is reduced to gray.
 
The book of Job helps give vocabulary to our grief. But we must read to the end. For we are not to grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). Our hope is in Christ, the One who has defeated sin, death and the grave.
 
How does the music sound to you today?

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 ESV)

From: August 28, 2016

David addressed the spiritual emptiness of his own soul by expressing his feeling towards God. His soul’s thirst for God was just as real as a deer’s thirst for water. His psalms are like prayers recorded in a spiritual journal. They reveal the heart of the man that God Himself called a “man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). David knew that only God could satisfy his soul’s deep longing. Many today don’t recognize this need. Sure, they feel the spiritual emptiness, but they vainly attempt to fill it or medicate it with worldly things. Yet, only God will satisfy. As Augustine once said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11 NKJV)

From: August 28, 2015

A psalm for the soul. When you are discouraged and “cast down,” learn to encourage yourself in the Lord (1 Sam. 30:6). Bring your soul to the Lord. Instruct your soul to “hope in God” and “praise Him.” Have you not yet learned that a fresh encounter with God in Word and prayer will change the disposition of your soul and therefore your “countenance,” putting a smile in place of a frown? Reset your soul’s hope from its idols and put its hope in God. Worship works.

“When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me” (2 Corinthians 2:12 NLT)

From: August 28, 2014

Paul found an open door for the gospel in Troas (In modern Turkey, near the ancient ruins of Troy). What is this “door of opportunity?” It is when the Lord causes a certain people in a certain place at a certain time to be receptive to the gospel. We cannot open this door. But we can knock. If no one answers, we go to the next. Our calling is to let the gospel knock on as many doors as we can reach. And when the Lord opens a door, we enter and stay for as long as we’re welcome. Are you looking for open doors where the Lord is already at work causing gospel-receptivity?

“Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

From: August 28, 2012

This is a profound question: Do we “spread the the knowledge of Christ everywhere?” And the second: Are we like a “sweet perfume” as we do so? Do all of our relationships know of Christ because of us? Do we present Him in attractive ways? Does the fragrance of God’s love permeate where we pass? Are you yet so captivated by Christ that you live to tell everyone of Him in the most beautiful ways possible?