Self-examination

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 13:5-14 Prompted by troublemakers, the Corinthian Christians put Paul’s appointment by God under the microscope. In response, Paul challenged them to look beyond him and at themselves as well. “Test yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” Undoubtedly, not everyone was enthused with this challenge. Probing someone else is easy sport, but examining one’s self requires courageous discipline. Seeing the speck in another’s soul seems easy and obvious, but seeing the major flaw in …

Veiled Strength

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 How often people look at strength but label it weakness. A man chooses to walk away from a fight and is perceived to be feeble. Another chooses to be patient and gentle instead of rude and is characterized as a pushover. The truth is: restraint and self-control demand great strength. In Corinth, Paul’s critics thought him to be weak. What they saw was a preacher, who by his own admission, said, “I came to you …

Not for the Money

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 12:11-21 “They’re in it for the money.” That is the accusation commonly used to cast suspicion upon another’s reputation. It is particularly effective when used against people who should be doing what they’re doing for reasons more noble than worldly profit. Even worldly eyes become narrow with distrust when someone suggests that money is the motivator behind words and deeds of kindness. Little wonder then that the false apostles in Corinth used this method of arousing …

Thorns of Blessing

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Sometimes we pray one way, but God answers in another way. Sometimes we long to have a certain “thorn” removed from our lives, but God decides that it is better for us to keep it. Even Paul experienced this. When Satan plagued his life with a thorn of difficulty, he pleaded with God three times to remove this painful problem, but God ruled that the “thorn” needed to stay. To his credit, Paul understood why …

A Time to Boast

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 Almost no one likes boasters. Their never- ending claims of superiority annoy even tolerant and patient people. Certainly, their boasting is offensive to God who openly has declared opposition to the proud and favor to the humble. In spite of this, Paul felt the need to do a little boasting. False teachers were masquerading as true apostles. For the sake of the church, it was important that their boasting be silenced by Paul’s integrity. Were …

Good Jealousy

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 Normally we think of jealousy as a bad thing. One person feels that another is threatening his position or relationships. Soon anger, distrust, and resentment overwhelm him. Such was the case with Saul and David. Saul was on the throne but he viewed the talent and popularity of David as a threat to his position as king. Jealousy soon consumed his mind. As bad as it can be, jealousy also can be good. The godly …