September 3

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“When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:5-6 NLT).

From: September 3, 2018

Paul told the Corinthians that the encouragement that Titus brought from his visit with them filled him with great joy. In the midst of both external and internal conflict in Macedonia, news of the Corinthians’ repentance and love for him, was just the medicine he needed.
Paul attributed this encouraging news to the Lord, who is the God of encouragement. God doesn’t always relieve the conflict, but at just the right time, when our discouragement seems too great to bear, He sends encouragement.
Have you ever “faced conflict from every direction?” Voices on the outside, tearing your down? Voices on the inside that you can’t escape, keeping you from sleep, so that you get no rest? Anyone in ministry for any length of time has experienced “battles on the outside and fear on the inside.” Yet, the Lord is faithful. He sends encouragement to those who are discouraged. God sends a Titus at just the right time, so that we don’t give up.
Do you need a visit from one of God’s encouragers? Or is God calling you to be a “Titus,” to go and encourage a discouraged brother or sister today? There is great power in godly encouragement.

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding” (Psalm 47:6-7 NKJV).

From: September 3, 2017

Five times the psalmist calls for praises to be sung to God. Four times, perhaps to move us to passionate intensity. But with the fifth, to “understanding.” The Hebrew word translated “understanding,” is the word “maskil,” which could also be translated “with skill,” or “with a didactic psalm.” The psalmist encouraged praise that engaged both heart and head. Worship, like love, is to be offered to God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

“Let not your mouth lead you into sin” (Ecclesiastes 5:6 ESV)

From: September 3, 2016

How many times has your mouth led you into sin? How quickly it seems to speak without thinking. It makes promises it can’t keep and it offers opinions on things of which it has no knowledge. It exaggerates for pride’s sake and denies to avoid accountability. It is, as James has said, “an unruly evil” (James 3:8). So Solomon warns not to be “rash with your mouth,” especially as you open it to make promises to God. Better not to vow, than to vow and not keep it. Better to be quiet, letting your words be few, than to be a fool with many words. Why let your mouth lead? It will nearly always lead you into sin. Instead, let the Spirit lead. Let His words fill your mouth.

“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:1-2 NKJV)

From: September 3, 2015

This psalm calls all peoples of the world to recognize God as King. It is a call to worship the Lord Most High. He is not just the king of Israel, but over all nations. There is no one higher nor mightier than He. There may be rebellion in the world today against the great King, but His triumph is assured and those who oppose Him are destined to fall. For whom do you offer your worship of clapping and shouting?

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NLT)

From: September 3, 2014

Paul’s warning does not mean separatism. He is not advising that we avoid unbelievers. In the previous chapter, Paul had just written about being entrusted with the “message of reconciliation,” so this requires engaging with lost people. What he is warning against is being partners with them. This should inform our plans for marriage, for church membership and other forms of partnership. Believers should not date or marry unbelievers. Churches should require belief before membership. Even business partnerships should be carefully considered. Successful partnerships have unity of vision and belief. When believers partner with unbelievers, this disunity of belief eventually leads to discord. Save yourself the pain and follow Paul’s advice.