If we are to truly appreciate the fact that we are ETERNAL,as the Bible teaches, then our perspective on life would change/the way we live would change,& our concern for the people around us would change-especially the people we love the most.Truly Knowing that this life has ETERNAL IMPACT,and that everyone is going to spend ETERNITY in Heaven with The Lord,or in Hell away from The Lord...our lives should be different from the lives of those that do not have this Knowledge of ETERNAL TRUTHS,and our concerns should be different also! This is what Paul talks about in 2Cor5:16-21(“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”).Instead,our lives are usually not that different from the worlds,& our concerns about life and the lives of those around us are much like everyone else’s...instead of being different because of the realities of ETERNITY that the Bible teaches!Especially the horrible state of life without the Gospel of Christ being a personal life changing TRUTH in our life,& the lives of the people around us.The Gospel of Christ is not meant to be “fire insurance” that protects us from Hell...,but a life changing TRUTH that makes us a “new creation”(2Cor5:27).Dear Jesus,these verses beg me to survey my life to see where I am being made a “new creation” by Your Gospel,& where I am not?Lord...,forgive me for where I am not,& May Your Spirit & Your Word identify those areas & make those areas a “new creation” in me...so I may truly become “new” in all of me...and be the true Ambassador for Christ that these verses in 2Corinthians call me to be.
Why we “lose heart” can be from many reasons,but the Bible says that these all boil down to our lacking an Eternal Perspective for life...and therefore we see/realize only the “transient” of life,which is loaded with all sorts of discouraging and disheartening things(2Corinthians4:16-18,”So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”).Our Discouragements and Defeats come when we lose sight of the FACT that we ARE Eternal...that we do have ETERNITY in our future!This means that the “transiency” we are experiencing now does have purpose...boiled down to the Eternal Purposes for the Life we are living!At the top of “the list” is to know the ONE that gave us life,and to know “the what’s&why’s” about our life...things that only the ONE that creates&gives life can know!Because there is an enemy of God that desire to steal us away from knowing these truths,one of the enemy’s primary tactics is to fool us into being unaware of the Eternal Truths of life!This is THE REASON that the enemies of God connive to lessen the SIGNIFICANCE of Gods Word-every letter of IT being The Word of God!These enemies come up with “myriads of strategies” to gather dust on Bibles...to the extremes of removing God’s Word entirely from significance in our lives in one way or another...or ultimately denying the RELEVANCY of God’s Word for our lives....and even the AUTHENTICITY of God’s Word!Either way,the enemies of God will overwhelm us with “the transiencies” of life,and/or lies about Eternity!The only way we can defend ourselves against these ploys is to seek to know the Truths about LIFE & it’s “what’s&why’s”! (the difference between Life & LIFE is that Life is limited to the here and now/transient,& LIFE is the here and now AND INTO ETERNITY!).To escape from the ploys of the enemies of LIFE that threaten to reduce us to nothing but the traps of “transiency”...their is only one TRUE WAY...seeking to know and follow the AUTHOR AND CREATOR of LIFE through Christ, and HIS answers for all the “what’s&why’s”! HE has given us HIS Word&His Spirit which have all the answers to the “what’s&why’s” for LIFE,and instructions/lessons to lead us into the realms of living our Lives with the significances of LIFE!Significances that lift us from the Discouragements&Disheartenments that Life lived “transiently” will bring.Living Life from the perspective of Eternity/God’s Plan for Life will give us LIFE that lives above and beyond the discouragement & disheartening that transiencies undoubtedly bring!Dear Lord Jesus,so much of my life is lived with little to no appreciation for the fact that ETERNITY is real,and that I have ETERNITY in my future!Help me to be more and more aware and appreciative of ETERNITY in my life as I go through every moment of every day...& may this lift me above the things that seek to discourage me and make me disheartened.May Your Word & Spirit lead me to the JOY & PEACE You desire me to have in all of Life for my LIFE!
We who are Christians by placing our trust in Christ to save us from the penalties of sin...,once we sincerely/earnestly ask Christ to save us He places His Spirit into our hearts to become THE life giving power/force in our lives.God’s purpose for placing His Spirit into our lives is multifaceted,with every facet of purpose being for not only our personal best interests,but to also eternally benefit those that we come into contact with every day,especially those closest to us!He places His Spirit of “all surpassing power” into our lives!(2Corinthians4:7,”But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”).Whether or not this “all surpassing power” becomes a life changing power(for our benefit as well as those around us)or is up to us!When a turbocharger is placed in an engine,there are internal changes necessary for the engine to withstand the added stresses of the additional power enabled by the turbocharger.When Jesus places His Spirit in our lives, He gives us the strength&resilience necessary to withstand the added stresses of His “all surpassing power” in our life!(2Corinthians4:8”We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed;perplexed,but not in despair;persecuted,but not abandoned;struck down,but not destroyed.”).So,we have,by His Grace,all the strength&resilience needed to have the changes occur in our lives that eternally benefit ourselves personally,and those around us...the changes that change us from dead men&women walking into men&women ALIVE in Christ!(Ephesians2:1-10,”And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), ..... we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”).Herein lies the next part of the “turbocharger analogy”->the internal changes must be made in our our lives so that we may realize the “all surpassing power”of His (Ephesians2:1-10,”Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”),the changes Ephesians mentions must occur in our lives,or we will never realize the “all surpassing power” in our lives!This is why many Christians will say they are not experiencing any of the promises of God-like the Peace&Joy&Resilience that surpasses all understanding in the middle of chaos as 2Corinthians4:8 testifies to.When we do not seek to follow God’s instructions for change in our lives for “the turbocharger”,we will not experience “it’s power”,nor will those around us see anything “eternally remarkable” from us!Now the final part of the “turbocharger analogy”->in order for the “all surpassing power” of the turbocharger to be realized by the engine,the engine cannot be at idle,nor even just “put-putting” around!It must be “revved up” to a minimum revolutions per minute,or the turbocharger is never allowed to give its power boost to the engine.In our lives we must rev up our seeking AND following Christ,or our lives will not personally experience and/or be changed by His “all surpassing power”,nor will the lives of those around us benefit from His “all surpassing power”emanating from our lives!Dear Jesus,I pray for Your HELP in making the internal changes to my life so Your Spirit’s Power may be realized more in my life today than yesterday...and that Your Spirit’s Presence in my life make me increasingly enthusiastic about seeking You AND following You...every moment of today,& all my days to come!
From 2Corinthians 2:14 through the next chapters the core of Paul’s Faith & His relationship w The Lord-> the WHY/the REASONS that Paul has such a close walk with the Lord,& the WHY/the REASONS that his life is so effective to those around him for the sake of The Gospel,are described/painted for us to see & know!N 2Cor2:14-17 He says,”But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”The “triumphal entry” is a reference to the spiritual warfare that Paul and other faithful spiritual warriors (the “us”) have been through & are n the middle of,& the fact that as we follow The Lord/as we live depending on the Lord,he ALWAYS leads us n a “triumphal procession”!And then Paul establishes the perspective for what the “triumph” looks like->”the aroma of the knowledge of him(Christ) everywhere”!Paul is saying that if we are truly one of the “us” he is talking about,then our lives will have an “aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” as we live/work/play/travel,etc.Paul also addresses what this is and what it is not when he says-“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”N Paul’s time as in our time there are those that know what the Bible says,and they misuse it for there own purposes,and for building their own kingdoms of a sort instead of having God’s Word transform them into “men of sincerity,as commissioned by God” so that “in the sight of God” their lives “speak in Christ”!In other words,true spiritual warriors will have lives that are being filled and molded by “the knowledge of him” in their whole lives & not just their minds-> their lives are “doing the talking” about WHO their Lord is/WHO they are following...and this becomes the “aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing....”.A true warrior described n these verses is aware that he/she has been “commissioned by God” to have their lives “speak in Christ”,& Christ then “always leads us in triumphal procession,& through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of HIM everywhere.”Dear Jesus, these verses make me realize how far from being a true spiritual warrior I am...,& that I need Your help in transforming my life to become a more pleasing aroma of Who You are,& what Your Gospel offers for everyone.May Your Word and Your Spirit press in on my life and transform me into becoming one of the ones included in the “us” Paul is talking about.
When our lives are challenged in any way,of course we pray for The Lord to guide us through these &/or plead with Him to give us victory that is huge so our lives might be a miraculous exhibition of His Mighty Power...and we should as Philippians4:6 says.”do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”.But 2Cor1:3-7 says there is much more that we need to be praying about/for in and through challenging times.In fact these verses in 2Cor imply that there may be much more significance in/through tough challenges for us if we have the perspective of 2Cor1:3-7 on our hearts as we pray through life’s most difficult challenges->2Cor1:3-7”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”These verses say that God has blessings of COMFORT in the middle of challenges...blessings that once in our lives,they will benefit those around us for the sake of others coming to have the same comfort in trusting The Lord! A COMFORT that is a miraculous exhibition of God’s Presence miraculously comforting us in/through the UNCOMFORTABLE things bad enough to be called afflictions(a cause of persistent pain or distress/something that causes pain or suffering).In the middle of afflictions Paul is saying that our perspective should be on how these things may be opportunities for our lives to reflect something supernatural->a comfort/a peace that surpasses all understanding! Interesting that the very next verse,after Phillipians4:6 mentioned above the Bible says the same thing->”And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”This peace/comfort is the only promise of the prayer of Phillipians4:6!There are absolutely many times in the Bible and in the lives of faithful believers that God also brings other blessings through these prayers.But the only promise in the verses from Philippians,& what 2Cor1:3-7 talks about...is the peace that surpasses all understanding->the comfort that only The God of Eternity can offer!And this comfort is what 2Cor1:3-7 describes as a significant opportunity for those around us to see what only Christ can provide for those who fully trust Him(2Cor1:5,For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”)....maybe even one of the best/more significant opportunities for those around us to have an up close and personal firsthand experience with The Lord is as they share in our comfort/our peace that surpasses all understanding!So,as we pray about life’s challenges we should not say “amen” before we make sure we pray for the comfort that God promises in the middle of them!And then,”look for the comfort”,because God promises it to us! Dear Lord,I stop short in my prayers so many times...stopping short of praying about the comfort You promise,& thereby miss so much more that You desire for me,& for those around me.Help me,through Your Spirit, to change this in my prayer life as well as my living in and through every day You give me.