August 29

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“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5 NLT).

From: August 29, 2018

NOT SELF-CONFIDENCE BUT CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Paul did not want the Corinthian believers to think that his confidence came from any strengths or abilities of his own, but that it came from confidence in God. Paul claimed no self-sufficiency, no self-confidence and no self-empowerment. His calling, message, and authority all came from and continued to be empowered by the Lord. Although Paul claimed the Corinthians as his “letters of recommendation” (2 Cor. 3:1), he wanted to make it clear that the true author was God Himself, and Paul, merely the pen in God’s hand.
 
Our modern emphasis on self-esteem and self-confidence find little basis in biblical Christianity. In fact, God often allows circumstances to come our way that tear down our self-confidence, so that we might learn to place our confidence in God alone. Didn’t old Paul have to experience blindness on the road to Damascus before he could truly see?
 
When we esteem Christ above all others, especially ourselves, we find our true identity and value in Him. And when we put our confidence in God alone, we find ourselves qualified for any task or role that He calls us to fulfill.

“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NKJV).

From: August 29, 2017

The apostle Paul said that he did not need letters or “epistles” of commendation from the believers in Corinth because they were his living “epistles.” They were walking testaments of the gospel of Christ that was “ministered” to them through him. So, Christ was the author and Paul the amanuensis and the Holy Spirit the “ink” by which the gospel was written on their hearts. This is a beautiful picture of discipleship and its fruit.
 
You may say that you have not written any books, nor had any written about you. Yet, if you are involved in giving the gospel out to others, they have become your “epistles.” If you are involved in life on life discipleship, your disciples are your living legacy.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV)

From: August 29, 2016

The Spirit is both “of the Lord” and is the Lord. This is the paradox of the Trinity. So, the one who turns to the Lord has indeed turned to the Spirit. And where the Spirit is, “there is freedom.” Freedom from what, to do what? Certainly not freedom to do whatever we want. This would not be freedom, but slavery to the very sinful flesh which already rules human hearts. No, the one who turns to the Lord has been set free from the letter of the law that kills, to the Spirit which gives life (2 Cor. 3:6). And they have been given the freedom to understand and follow the Word of God according to the Spirit’s wisdom and power. This is true freedom. The bonds of condemnation are removed from our wrists and the veil that blinds us to spiritual understanding is removed from our eyes. We are free to no longer be slaves, but children of God.

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1 NKJV)

From: August 29, 2015

Job made a “covenant with his eyes” that is a much needed one for today. His covenant (pledge, sacred promise) was with God and with his wife, that his eyes belonged to God and to his wife alone. He had predetermined what he would allow his eyes to gaze upon and what he wouldn’t. Looking upon a “young woman” was not allowed. Why? Because he had made a covenant that restricted his vision. He would not let his eyes linger on a young woman, therefore avoiding the temptation to covet or lust after her. It is an accepted fact that men are more susceptible to visual stimulus than women. Yet, both should make a covenant with their eyes that protects them from temptation.

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:1)

From: August 29, 2012

Job’s “eye covenant” is needed today more than ever. In our sex-saturated culture, young men are constantly bombarded with images that warp their view of women. And young women are damaged by our culture’s over-sexualized view of beauty. We’ve lost the idea of “pretty.” We teach our little girls to be “hot” and “sexy,” then wonder why they struggle with low self-image. We need an “image covenant” that aligns with God’s design for human sexuality.

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me” (Psalm 43:3)

From: August 29, 2011

Light to help us see what’s ahead and to find the path you desire for me. Truth to help us know what is masquerading as good, when it’s really falsehood and temptation. These are found in your Word. May your Word speak to us as we read it today. Lord, shine and speak.