Divine Weapons

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 10:1-18 By worldly standards, Paul was not an overly impressive figure. He practiced the meek and gentle manner of Jesus. He refused to use so- called “superior wisdom” to outwit lesser minds into accepting spiritual truth. Sometimes he appeared to be “timid.” As a result, the Apostle was criticized by those who thought that leaders need to be visibly aggressive and powerful. Paul’s response was that he did not wage war as the world does. The …

The Nature of the Harvest

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 9:10-15 Earlier in this chapter, Paul promised generous blessings for generous givers. The nature of these blessings is sometimes a matter of dispute. Some say that when Christians give of their money and lives to God, they will be blessed with more money and good health. Others argue that the promises of God about reaping generously refer to spiritual things alone. Both sides are right only in part. God generally does prosper the finances of those …

Sowing and Reaping

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:16-24 Reaping depends on sowing. The size of the harvest is influenced by effort. One farmer works to plant as many acres as possible. Another fritters away time and plants much less. The greater harvest will belong to the greater planter. The same, says Paul, is true in matters of the spirit. One man is diligent in his walk with Jesus Christ; another is complacent. The first devotes himself to prayer and study, gives of his …

In the Eyes of Others

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:16-24 Doing what is right “in the eyes of people” is seldom taught in the church. Instead, we emphasize Peter’s words in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than people!” Again, we recall Paul’s testimony in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, “We are not trying to please people.” In spite of these verses, however, the Apostle gives no green light for Christians to ignore valid opinions that the world has of them. On the contrary, Paul knew …

Passing the Test

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:8-15 How we give to God is a good test of how sincerely we love him. Many people reject such a statement and they take offense at it. But Paul speaks plainly in reference to giving, “I want to test the sincerity of your love.” The thought behind the Apostle’s challenge is that willingness to give indicates a person’s values and priorities. A man says he wants to lose weight. His sincerity is revealed in his …

Privileged to Give

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 Acquiring money is a favorite topic of talk. Less popular are the conversations about giving it away. Even Christians must be nudged regularly toward generosity. In the next two chapters, Paul addresses Christian stewardship. He begins by pointing to the churches in Macedonia. Out of their poverty they gave beyond their ability. In other words, these were not rich Christians giving big money. No, they were poor Christians giving sacrificially. The Macedonians did not wait …