Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, December 16, 2016

2 Corinthians 1:12-23 (Lesson 03)



Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                     Published weekly on Friday

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:3-4)

2 Corinthians 1:12-23                                                        Lesson 03          

When the calendar reveals there’s only two weeks before Christmas, then you can expect an announcement from me letting you know this will be the last Bible lesson of 2016.   As per our custom, the next lesson will be published on the first Friday of 2017.

HBS voluntarily “steps back” during the Christmas holiday so that y’all can focus your attention on your families, your friends, and the reason for the season, Jesus Christ.  Without a doubt Santa and his reindeer get all the air-time from Thanksgiving onward, but Truth-be-told, a Child born in a manger in Bethlehem, Ephrathah changed the world forever (Micah 5:2)!

Christmas time is a special time of year, i.e. love is in the air!  HBS wants everyone to take advantage of the opportunities this presents; spread some cheer.

If you know someone who is alone this holiday, invite them over for a meal, or just spend some time with them; comfort them in their hour of need.

Carrying a grudge against someone?  Let go of your resentment toward them; forgive them and break free of the prison of animosity you’re building for yourself.

Know someone who needs Jesus?  Invite them to attend church with you this week or next; they may accept your invitation.  God performs miracles year-round but especially at Christmas time.  I’m a miracle for once I was blind but now I see.
We wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas, June & Gary
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The section we are about to study this week begins with Paul defending his integrity.  Paul’s change in plans about visiting Corinth caused even more discord amongst the Believers there; some of them brought charges of irresponsibility and cowardice against him.  A minority of the Corinthians were going around saying Paul wouldn’t dare come to Corinth to face those who questioned his apostleship.  Then the Petrine Jewish representatives were saying harmful things about his character and reputation, hinting at fraud where the Judean collection was concerned.  They questioned his sincerity, when he refused to accept compensation from the Believers for his service.  They even attacked him personally noting his “humble” appearance and his simplicity of speech (2 Corinthians 10:10).  They went so far as to question his sanity at one point (2 Corinthians 5:13).

Now Paul was already overwhelmed with the concerns of this church, the other churches he ministered to, and the issues he was dealing with in Ephesus, so rather than harass him further with more bad news, Titus chose to reveal the bad news in Corinth to our Apostle Paul gradually.  This may account for the lack of definite arrangement or outline in this letter.  As I pointed out in the introductory lesson, this letter from Paul responds to a variety of important topics, but lacks the formal arrangement we’ve grown accustomed to.  2 Corinthians comes across as “disorganized” in its response to these subjects.  However, one fact stands tall 2 Corinthians is unique in that you won’t find Paul pouring out his heart in love or so many touching passages to any other church as we have here.

People ask, “Was the church in Corinth worth it?”  I respond to this question with a question of my own.  “When Jesus Christ chose to die on the Cross for the sins of all were we worth it?”  The answer is undeniably, “Yes.”

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Please open your Bible at 2 Corinthians 1:12

Our Apostle Paul’s Integrity

Starting with verses 12-14, we’re looking at three things primarily:  Paul’s conscience, his godly sincerity, and the grace of God. 

2 Corinthians 1

12: For our proud confidence is this:  the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

13: For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand, and I hope you will understand until the end;

14: just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are yours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

This isn’t the only place in Paul’s writings where he mentions how he strove to have a clear conscience.  You may be able to discern how important this was in his ministry.  He could look members of the Sanhedrin in the eye and with conviction say, Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day (Acts 23:1). 

Paul’s comment didn’t sit well with the Jewish high priest whose conscience had already been “seared with a hot iron” that he commanded those standing beside him (i.e. Paul) to strike him on the mouth (Acts 23:2; 1 Timothy 4:2). 

What does this mean for you and me?  Each and every Believer’s conscience (and not just some) needs to be more and more formed by the Word of God and the Spirit of God and not by the opinions of man or the world (1 Timothy 3:9).  It’s not the responsibility of your church leader to enlighten you; this task rests upon your shoulders.   God will judge Believers by the light they have, but all Believers need to be increasingly open to what the Scriptures say (and I contend, “What the Bible does not say”) and the Spirit for more and more light in order to continue to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

In last week’s lesson I tried to point out in this life we’ll never reach a point where we know all there is to know about the Lord – or this book we call the Bible.  If you ever hear someone say they do know it all.  Turn around and move away from that individual because he or she is trying to sell you something you don’t need…  In this context, the end time judgment is in view, i.e. the Bema Seat Judgment (2 Corinthians 1:13-14).  Paul’s motives and actions were severely criticized by a minority of false teachers at Corinth (chapters 10-13).  One group of opponents was localized with expressed divided loyalties (1 Corinthians 1:12).  The other group was likely made up of Petrine, Jewish false teachers from out of town, meddling in his affairs.   

If you’ll recall, back in 1 Corinthians 4:1-3 Paul had this to say about being judged by men:  …it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court…  The marks of Paul’s good conscience and of his spiritual integrity were his simplicity and godly sincerity.  Paul was blessed with a keen intellect, yet his preaching was not “with earthly wisdom” but “by the grace of God.”  This is how he conducted himself not only in the world, but more abundantly toward them (v12). 

The Greek word for sincerity (v1) is Eilikrineis, (pronounced: i-lik-ree-nace’), Adjective, Strong’s Greek # 1506, meaning, Pure, uncontaminated; literally, to judge in the sunlight.  It’s interesting how this phrase-in-a-word became one of the four Greek terms used for sincerity.   

The Greeks produced many beautiful urns, vases, bowls, and pitchers with colored designs that would glisten from the coats of lacquer that covered them.  Every now and then, however, the lacquer, or even the vessel itself, would develop a flaw.  You can call this a crack too either word works.  Now a cracked urn won’t hold wine or olive oil very well, so it isn’t worth much if anything at all.  But instead of discarding these flawed items some unprincipled dealers would fill the crack with colored wax to match the surrounding color.  The defect would become virtually undetectable – unless you held the vessel up to the sunlight!  Thus Eilikrinei became one of the Greek words for sincerity, for knowledgeable buyers would hold any vessel up to the sunlight to ensure that it was flawless or sincere.     

But there is more to this passage.  Paul solemnly declares here that he had lived in the world and among the Corinthian Believers “not in fleshly wisdom,” but in “godly sincerity.”  Paul must mean to be judged “in the sunlight of God’s scrutiny.”  How appropriate then for the Believers who live in this world, and especially amongst other Believers, in simplicity and godly sincerity” or “without wax,” “until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart…” (1 Corinthians 4:5). 

In verse 13, Paul is saying he meant what he said; he was referring to what he wrote to them in his first letter when he declared, “For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand.” Obviously, they had read what he had written and that was exactly what he had meant.  Paul doesn’t alter his message like the men who study worldly wisdom.  There was no “craftiness” in his writings – no hidden meanings.  The letter had been one of rebuke and warning, but it had also been written out of much “affection and anguish of his heart,” and “with many tears,” and with an “abundance of love” (2 Corinthians 2:4). 

Some of the members of the church in Corinth had accepted his letter as written and they began to make changes straight away, but some others were offended at his reproof and perverted its meaning.  Some even charged him with loose talk, declaring that his expressed desire to visit them was all a bluff and a deceit, that he had no intention of coming, but had merely threatened them to gain their obedience.  But, how wrong they were!  A careful study of 1 Corinthians reveals Paul as writing with the calm confidence of one who lived and labored in the presence of God. 

Moving down to verse 14a, I note a touch of sadness in these words, “just as you also partially did understand us…  For those of you who use the KJV Bible the passage reads:  As also ye have acknowledged us in part.  Now when you only have a part of something, no matter what it is, what’s missing?  The other part, right?  The entire assembly at Corinth had received the same message from Paul, but it’s clear from the Corinthian letters that not all the Believers acknowledged Paul as God’s called and appointed apostle of grace.  What’s even sadder is that this is typical of God’s church in the 21st century which also only “in part” acknowledges Paul’s distinctive ministry as God’s apostle for the present dispensation of grace.  But, even though he was only acknowledged partially, he says of that part:  that we are your reason to be proud as you also are yours in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

If he was their rejoicing, they were certainly his.  It was Paul’s deep and constant joy that when finally called to be with Christ at the Rapture, these Believers would be right there alongside him, as demonstration of the riches of God’s Grace. 

Let’s go to verses 15-20:

2 Corinthians 1

15: In this confidence I intended at first to come to you, so that you might twice receive a blessing;

16: that is, to pass your way into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and by you to be helped on my journey to Judea.

17: Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I?  Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?

18: But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.

19: For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us – by me and Silvanus (a.k.a. Silas) and Timothy – was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.

20: For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

In verse 15, we see Paul acknowledging that he previously had planned to “visit” the saints in Corinth before going into Macedonia, so that they might twice receive a blessing.  Now, as to the ruckus Paul’s change of plans brought about in Corinth, did Paul make his plans “”according to the flesh,” did he appear to be “indecisive,” or “did he make light” of his decision to change his travel plans?  Was Paul guilty of any of these things as some of the folks in Corinth claimed?  I’m not seeing it.  What I do see is his yes means yes and his no means no (v17). 

What the Corinthians aren’t acknowledging is the important circumstances, including their sad spiritual state, which prevented Paul from coming to them sooner (1 Corinthians 4:21).  Again, he said he did not make his plans “according to the flesh,” which meant he would not come to them to stand beside them just to prove his own integrity.  He sought God’s will, for He alone knows the end from the beginning and leads His children one step at a time.  God never needs to change His mind, but His children may want to.

Paul named Silas and Timothy in this passage for they had faithfully labored among them, and declares that he and they had not preached to them a yes and no gospel, but a very positive one, one that was centered in Christ Jesus, who is the yes and Amen, i.e. so be it of all God’s promises (v20). 

Let’s go to verses 21-24:

2 Corinthians 1

21: Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,

22: who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

23: But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth.

24: Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

In verse 21 Paul is saying the One who establishes us (every Believer) in Christ, is God.  It is He who anoints us or consecrates us to His Service (Romans 12:1-2).  Furthermore, God also has sealed us by giving the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge or down payment on the heavenly promises that are to come.  God has placed His stamp of approval, His seal of acceptance on every Believer, our faults notwithstanding, so that we all may join with our Apostle Paul in saying, “God is the one that justifies; who is the one that condemns?  (Romans 8:1, 33-34; Ephesians 1:13-14)

It is against this backdrop that Paul makes this statement, “But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth (v23).  Paul wasn’t seeking retribution against those who smeared his good name and character in Corinth, clearly.  Instead of taking the fleshly approach to problem solving, Paul calls upon God in a prayer to confirm to these Corinthians the validity of his defense. 

Careful study of this section will reveal that Paul had chosen not to exercise his apostolic authority over this church, but to promote their greatest welfare instead.  Had the former been the case, he would have arrived on the scene wielding a disciplinary rod as required.  But it was by faith (alone) that they must stand, not by apostolic decree.  For you see standing for God and His expressed will, His revealed truths, by faith (alone), does indeed bring with it the greatest spiritual blessing. 

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved



Friday, December 9, 2016

2 Corinthians 1 (v3-11) (Lesson 2)



Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:3-4)

Established November 2008                                                     Published weekly on Friday

2 Corinthians 1:3-11                                                              Lesson 02          

Welcome to Home Bible Study©

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

The “word of God” here is the written or the spoken word of God and not the books you find up and down the Religion section in your neighborhood bookstore.  The Bible is known as “the living word” because it accomplishes God’s will here on earth (Isaiah 55:11), whether it is read, preached, or studied.  The Bible is unlike other published books, whatever emotional or social effects they may produce, in that it brings about lasting supernatural change within an individual, “ so faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).

I’ve been teaching the Bible for more than 20 years, yet I can still say I learn something new every time I pick up this book to study it.  Since this works for me, I know it can work for you.  Thus my goal, and my prayer, is that each one of comes away from these Bible lessons learning at least “one” new thing from God’s Word every week.

If you’re a true Believer, God’s wonderful plan for your life has already happened in the spiritual sense.  Now it’s just waiting to take place in the physical sense, therefore, “Stand and consider the wonders of God” (Job 37:14b).

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Why does God allow suffering

Everyone at one time or another has wondered or asked the question, “Why does God permit suffering?”  Bad things happen to both the saved and the unsaved; this is a fact (Matthew 5:45).  Even if you and your family escape tragedy or severe illness, there are still those burdens or pressures in life to bear.  Perhaps, you or someone you know is dealing with one of more of these social ills: an addiction, bullies, divorce, a job loss, insecurity, loneliness, physical abuse, rejection (of some sort), sexual abuse, etc.  Let’s not leave out the ultimate tragedy, which no one escapes, and that would be death.  We all enter this world with our departure date already scheduled; we just aren’t aware of how and when. 

This isn’t the way God planned it folks it came to be this way because the first man exercised his free will or his God-given ability to make choices.  In the beginning, God created a perfect world and made both the man and the woman perfect creations before placing them in it.  The origin of suffering dates back to the Garden of Eden experience after Adam willfully chose to disobey God’s single commandment not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2, 3).  Everything changed after that.

But God didn’t change.  No-siree; God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!  I mention this because people want to lay the blame for suffering at the feet of God.  They go on to say He doesn’t care about us down here, since He allows suffering on this planet.   My response to that mindset is those who have this attitude should spend some time reading and studying this book before making such a hasty and ignorant statement.  For it was in Jesus Christ that God showed his true attitude toward human suffering.  He once and for all demonstrated He does care about us by sending His own Son to this earth not just to visit but to die for the sins of every person who ever lived.  Jesus lived; agonized, and died by the rules of this life, the same ones we live and suffer by.  He was fully God and fully Man.  Therefore, God actually came in the flesh to suffer right along with us.  It was the greatest example of God’s love possible.  Jesus Christ himself said it: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13; Romans 5:8).

Less than 24 hours after saying this, Jesus, as God incarnate, gave up His life willingly.
He literally suffered and died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15).  He didn’t ask or demand that people change, i.e. stop sinning before he went to the Cross to die.  He died, in their place, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  He removed every sin from every man, woman, and child and made the way of salvation open for those who would believe the gospel.   The Apostle John witnessed the death of God in the flesh.  The sacrifice of Jesus Christ exemplified love and John expressed it eloquently:  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

In the crucifixion, God put to rest, for all time, any notion that He doesn’t care about us and the passage we’re currently studying indicates He means to comfort us during our suffering.  We recently completed our study of the resurrection of the dead at the Rapture.   In the future resurrection of the righteous, God will give each Believer an immortal body and make their lives suffering-free.  Everyone who has suffered and is currently suffering will suffer no more.  Until then, as long as humans live in a fallen world and as long as we continue to make mistakes, there will be suffering.

What are the causes of suffering

Sinful people cause some suffering directly (addictions, anger, cheating, crime, divorce, drugs, lying, etc.

Sin causes suffering indirectly (because of sinful practices this world is corrupted, deteriorating, painful, evil – Genesis 3:14-19, 4:1-15; Romans 8:20-27)

This means God is NOT the cause of suffering; He is the author of good (James 1:13-17).

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Please open your Bible at 2 Corinthians 1:3
  
Our Apostle Paul reveals four distinct purposes for those daily trials or pressures we all encounter as Believers and why in verses 3-11.   

2 Corinthians 1

Let’s look at verses 3-5:

Receiving God’s Comfort

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 will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

The term comfort, Paraklesis, in the Greek language, (pronounced:  par-ak’-lay-sis), Noun, Feminine; Strong’s Greek #3874, and in its different forms is used ten times in this section; it’s the key term throughout the entire passage.  It also appears in chapters 1-9 twenty-five times, therefore, we should get a handle on its meaning before proceeding.  The word means to call alongside.  It was often used in a judicial sense of an advocate; one who rendered legal aid, comfort, and guidance.  In this context it is used in the sense of encouragement and consolation and it refers to God the Father. 

God didn’t instigate suffering on this planet or in our lives, but since the fall of man He wills for us to experience tribulation, i.e. Thlipsis or affliction, distress, and oppression so that we can know Him better.  Now, that concept may sound a bit off center to some folks, but if you take the time to carefully consider it, you’ll come to understand the fact that we could not truly appreciate Him as the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” without being delivered from our suffering.  As Believers, following Jesus Christ daily, we are called to become acquainted with our Savior’s sufferings, so that we can experience the blessing of His comfort: that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippian 3:10-11). 

In verses 3-11, our Apostle Paul is going to reveal four distinct purposes for those daily trials or pressures we all encounter as Believers and why. 

In verses 8-10, Paul wants these Corinthians to know (and us too) that when they are burdened excessively they should not rely on themselves or their own strength to deliver them out of it.

Trust in God’s Comfort

For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope.  And He will yet deliver us,

I like to point out from time to time that the Bible doesn’t tell us everything that we would like to know, but it does tell us EVERYTHING that we need to know, AMEN.  Here, Paul doesn’t give us the details about the affliction(s) he was facing in Ephesus, but from a reader’s perspective it certainly looks dire.  It was some type or types of persecution and it may have included an illness made worse by Paul’s missionary work.  After some Bible review, I’ve found a few likely possibilities:

Jewish opposition or “wild beasts” in Ephesus (1 Cor 15:32)
Suffering 39 stripes after being brought before a Jewish court (2 Cor 11:24)
The riot at Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41)
A particular persecution shortly before Paul left for Troas (Acts 20:19; 1 Cor 16:9)
Some type of recurring illness (2 Cor 12:7-10)

In the midst of these tribulations, Paul’s said, we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; meaning, Paul and his co-workers feared for their lives.  These threats were that great!  But here’s the thing we need to take away from this passage, especially when we find ourselves in the midst of some tribulation that’s about to bring us to the brink of despair.  Paul’s response, as well as his coworkers, to this threat was not to trust in ourselves, to weather the storms, a.k.a. trials of life, but in God who raises the dead.  It was God who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. 

You see, God intends for us Believers to learn to lean on Him; to trust Him to see us through our suffering.  When we reach the end of our rope, so to speak, we are more likely to recognize Him as the only One whose Grace is sufficient for our every need (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  When a person reaches the point where they express fear for their very life, as did Paul, this betrays the fact that they are completely overwhelmed.  But in the midst of this dread and uncertainty Paul and his co-workers found comfort when they trusted God for deliverance.

That last sentence brings us to verses 1:4, 6-7.  Here we learn God comforts us so that we, in turn, will be able to comfort those who are going through or have just come out of a similar trial. 

God Offers Believers Comfort

2 Corinthians 1

4: who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

6:  But if are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer,

7: and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

And then verse 11:

11:  you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many. 

Another one of Gods plans for suffering includes other Believers.  One important reason why God permits us to experience affliction is that it prepares us to minister to others who are undergoing similar difficulties in life.  Permit me to illustrate.  My first wife decided to end our marriage after 8 years. I tried to save the marriage, but it takes two.  Within a few months after our divorce she re-married - hence the reason for our hasty divorce.  If I had someone to talk to at that time who had “been there;” someone who had experienced the same emotions I was dealing with regularly such as deep sorrow, anger, and regret, I probably would have healed much faster.  Bottom line:  I did get over the pain of divorce and now I can help an individual who is struggling with the same affliction and needs comforting.  

God intends for every Believer to see affliction and comfort as a means of administering comfort to those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God – for their comfort and salvation.  One of the ways we can assist those who are suffering is by lifting them up to God in prayer (v11).

Receiving Comfort from Believers (See the same verses as above).

One thing life teaches us is this there’s always a flip-side.  Since God intends to use Believers to minister to others in their time of need, He also plans to use them to encourage Believers when they are down (2 Corinthians 12:26).  Here we find a sort of mutuality about the issue of suffering.  Although Paul’s suffering was directed at the Corinthian Church’s lack of spiritual growth and their worldliness, they contributed to his comfort by praying for him:  you also joining in helping us through your prayers.  Paul understood the value of intercessory prayer and was not shy about asking the Corinthians, despite their numerous spiritual problems, to pray for him.  Thus, these saints in Corinth were helping him a great deal, when they prayed for him.


Your salvation and mine is no guarantee of a pain-free life.  In fact, we are assured that following our Lord and Savior will involve a share of difficulty perhaps even tragedy.  However, we can be certain that God does not recklessly subject us to suffering. 
Tribulation in this life always has a purpose – in fact, several purposes.  Apart from suffering we could neither know the fullness of God’s good Grace; learn to trust Him completely; or minister to others in need as God desires. 

There’s a song called “Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson that will help me bring this lesson to a close – perhaps you’re already familiar with it. 

Here and now I'm in the fire
In above my head
Being held under the pressure
Don't know what'll be left
But it's here in the ashes
I'm finding treasure

He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in His timing
He's making diamonds out of us

I'll surrender to the power
Of being crushed by love
Till the beauty that was hidden
Isn't covered up
Oh it's not what I hoped for
It's something much better

He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in His timing
He's making diamonds out of us

Oh the joy of the Lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He's making diamonds

He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making us rise up from the dust
He is refining in His timing
He's making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

I won't be afraid to shine
I won't be afraid to shine
I won't be afraid to shine
Cause He's making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

Aren’t you constantly working with your children, trying to make them better than they are?  Well, God loves us too much to leave us the way He found us.  Being a new creation in Christ Jesus means the old sinful person you once were has gone you now have a renewed heart, but it also means you have a renewed mind.  The mind is actually the key to the Believer’s life.  The reason why non-believers don’t respond to God’s truths is because they can’t understand spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:14).  Therefore, we all need to accept the fact that God wants what’s best for us and we need to accept the tribulations in life for what they are and turn them into blessings; this is what the apostles did.  Someone once said to me, “Take the lemons you receive in life and make lemonade.  I rather like that expression because it fits.    

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved