Today I want to meditate with you on the words from John 8:12 (NIV):
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Here, Jesus himselfs, confirms again how important it is to follow Him. This was not to boast about himself, but to tell us how the way is to God. It is only through Jesus. Jesus, as the Son of God, was destined by His Father (God) to be between God and us (so not the Pope). Also when we want to stop living in sin,then it is only by Jesus that we will be able. He is the light and will show us what is right and wrong. If we follow Jesus than we will always be in he light.
Today I want to meditate with you on our Bible study of the book 2 Corinthians 7 (NIV):
In this chapter we will discuss the following:
Paul’s joy over the church’s repentance
The opening of this letter/chapter begins with something allo fus need to follow: “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from anything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence of God.”
The opening of this chapter shows us that we need to be different than from the world. Before we God we need to make sure that we are pure and for this reason we need to examine our lives and determinewhich things contaminate our body and spirit. On my site I have written a few blogs regarding music and the satanic influence in them. This is a very good example what we need to do to purify our bodies. If we determine that for example a certain music (genre) has bad influences, then we need to stop listening it. If we have a nice statue, but after some research you find out that this is actually a ‘god’ in another culture or religion, get rid of it. But even we need to check our way of talking, do we gossip and all those kinds of well need to be part of this purification process.
Paul’s joy over the church repentance
Paul’s letter to the chruch of Corinhians was because there was a problem there in God’s eye. This letter was sent to them to let them know that 1) it was not to hurt them, and to let them know the good things that they have done. And that is very good and important that they have repented those sins. It was noted by God that they had deep sorrow. If you truly want to be forgiven by God for a certain sin, then asking forgiveness will not suffice if it is not supported by sorrow in our heart. Actually asking forgiveness from God, while you don’t even feel sorrow in your heart, then it is (to me) an insult to God. Do you really have the arrogance to think that God can’t see what is actually in your heart?
That is good and important that we also uplift each other, becomes evident in this chapter. Paul’s shares his great joy for their sorrow and repentance. I also believe it is very important not be only busy by condeming each other or confronting each others with our sins, but that we also take great care that we also motivate the other when you see the progress in succesfully stopping a sin. Just saying that someone has sinned is not enough as Christians. Don’t judge the person for sinning, but without any condemnation and help the person to succesfully stay away from that sin and congratulate/motivate the other, when he or she is making progress.
Today we will be meditating on the words from 2 Corinthians 6 (NIV). In this chapter we will be talking on the following subjects:
Warning against idolatry
Never take God’s grace to lightly. It is not something we are entitled to, but that God decides out of His love to give us that grace.
As a Christian we should not lay any stumbling blocks in anybody’s way. If we would do so, then it would reflect bad on ourselves and also on Christians as a whole. Why would you discredit yourself in such a way (or all Christians for that matter)?
As Christians we should commend our selves in every way: in great endurance, in troubles, hardships and distressses, in beatings, imprisonments and riots, in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger, in purity, understanding, patience and kindness, in the Holy Spirit and sincere love.
See how as Christians we have to understand that we also have to learn to act in a positive way even in the toughest of moments. This chapter shows us that even Paul had to endure hardships because He was serving God and was still expected to behave in a good way. As Christians we must understand that hardships will be part of life and that a time of hardships we still have to behave as Children of God.
Warning against idolatry
We should never allow ourselves to be to connected with unbelievers. As a Christian we need to follow God and as such it should be evident that in a lot of subjects we will oppose the opinions and rules of this world. We should not allow ourselves to connect with people serving other Gods. Because how can you serve God and also be together with people that serve other gods (of course God is the only God).
Today I want to meditate with you on the words from Revelation 3:21 (NIV):
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
I believe the discussion that the disciples of Jesus was very wrong and disrepectful. First of all it was very disrespectful to me, because they were following Jesus to spread His gospel and what were they occupying themselves with? What position they would have in Heaven. I believe that any place in Heaven is an honor in itself. But also the whole term ‘position’ is something very worldly. IN this world we are always busy to get a better position (e.g in work). And itself it is not wrong. You want to have a promotion, because you want to develop yourself, or the higher pay will make sure that you can provide better for your family. But when it is only to have that position for other people than it is wrong.
However, it can hear you thinking. Alex, but you are now talking about a verse that states that we have a right to sit on His throne. Very true, but see that God tells us that we can all sit with Him on His throne. Why? Because we are His children and we share in all His victories. Because He fights for us and therefore we have part in his victory.
Today we will meditate on the words from Romans 1:17 (NIV):
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
There is a direct link between righteousness and faith. They cannot be separatred from each other. We need faith to be righteous and we need to be righteous to have faith. If we want to be righteous, then we need to have faith all that God has told us in the Bible is true. If you want to have faith, then first you also need to be righteous. If you are not righteous, how can you have true faith?
In our Bible study on 2 Corinthians we will now meditate on chapter 5. In this chapter we will discuss on the following topics:
Awaiting the new body
The ministry of reconciliation
Awaiting the new body
Paul start this chapter by reminding us on the temporary state of this world and our own bodies. We should never get to attached to either of them. Because there will come a time that your time on earth (or even the time of this world) is over. Do you really want to focus on this body and world and run the risk not entering heaven?
Again we are ask to focus on the fact that we should not focus on what we can see, but on what we cannot see. Because the part which we cannot see is actually where God is at work. And the part that we can see is actually quite deceiving. What seems to be reality in this world, will often be prove to be nothing. God can change anything He desires. Do you not know of the stories were a rich person thinks he is on top of the world, to find him a while later in poverty? Or the otherway around.
We need to focus our time on earth to pleasure God, because wether you like it or not (or if you want to believe it or not) we all will have to come before His throne and undergo His judgment. And at that moment you wil wish that you did your best to pleasure Him and serve Him.
The ministry of reconciliation
This deals with all that changed when Jesus died at the cross for our sins. Because all this is from God, who reconciled Himself through Christ not counting people’s sins against them. And He has commited to us the message of reconciliation. This should make you happy as it shows that God does not condone sin, but after Jesus dying on the cross, we can now come to God through faith and when we ask forgiveness with a repentant heart, then we shall receive it.
Today we will meditate on the words from James 1:27 (NIV):
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
This verse to me shows that God has a very different understanding of the concept of religion. We see it mainly as the rules that apply to our chosen faith system. However, if we read this verse then we see that God only accepts one sort of religion as pure and faultless. God asks from us to look after orphans and widows. This means that we actually have an obligation to also look out for our brothers and sisters that are in any kind of distress. We cannot (especially as Christians) think that we are good Christians when we obey all our own created set of rules that we have made our religion and on the other hand don’t do anything to help others that are in need. That we now live in a time where it is forced to accept it, doesn’t mean that we can accept it. Being a Christian means that we should not conform to this world even if it will lead to us being outcast or worse.
Today I will do a Bible Study with you on the book of Corinthians – Chapter 4 (NIV):
The subjects of this chapter are:
Present weakness and ressurection life
Present weakness and resurrecction life
Paul begins to let us be aware that all that we have to thank God for all that we have and do not have the misinformed thought that what we have in life is by our own acts. Paul also gives God the honor of the Ministry that he was having at that moment. Let us also always give God the praise and honor for providing all that He has provided in our lifes.
God expects us to be truthful also to ensure not that we are saved ourselves, but also that we do not sent a bad signal about Christians, the gospel and God Himself. We have an obligation to share the gospel, but know that God has put a veil on the gospel to certain unbelievers. I believe these are the unbelievers to whom God has done more then enough to let them know the gospel and they rejected it. This shows that we cannot simply reject God. He is more than willing to accept us with open arms, but if we are shared the gospel and still we decide to reject him over and over, then He will close our eyes and minds for the gospel.
But we read the beautiful part where God tells about the light in the darkness in our hearts. Why the darkness in our hearts? Are we not Christians? Yes, we are. But we are also born in a sinful world and as such our heart in nature is dark and we need God to bring light.
God continues this chapter by building us to be strong Christians by confirming that we are pressed from so many sides to the point of persecution. And especially that He will never abondon us! I really read and feel the love of God for us. I don’t even feel remotely worthy of His love, but still He loves me so much! This alone is so much reason for trying my best to life according to His will!
God is continiously at work in our body. Why? Because evil is also continiously working in our body and as I stated above, God never abondons us and never let us go through a trial alone!
The next part of which Paul speaks is the saying: “I believed, therefore I have spoken”. Since we have the same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you Himself.
He states that all that we are going through is actually for our benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we should never lose heart (e.g. be afraid). Paul continues to say that outwardly we are waisting away (our body is but temporarily), but inwardly we are being renewed every day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we need to focus on what is not seen instead of what is seen, since what is seen is only temporary, but what is seen is eternal.
This is a very powerful chapter of 2 Corinthians which to me deals with the importance of God in our lives especially in times of trials and tribulations. Always look to God and never to your current situation. It is temporary and God is eternal!
Today I want to meditate on the words from 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV):
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
This verse also deals with persevering. See how many times God tells us about how we need to learn to grow in persevering. This means that God does not promise anywhere that we will have it easy just because we are Christians. No, as long as we are on this earth we also need to learn how to withstand trials. My personal belief is that God put us on earth to see if we are truly willing to serve Him and are also worthy to go to Heaven.
Today I want to meditate with you on the words from James 1:2-4 (NIV):
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Personally, I find this quite a hard and confronting two verses. God actually expects us to enjoy it, when we are going through trials. To me there is not really anything I like about trials. But when we read the full two verses, then we see the reason why we have to be happy about it … and reading the full two verses I actually can say, looking back to prior trials, that afterwards I experienced joy. Not only I noticed how my faith became stronger, but also how, with God, I was able to persevere during that trial. God does everything for a reason and it will always be reasons to make you stronger and better.