Seeing Glory

2 Corinthians 3: Seeing Clearly

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“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB

For 4000 years the gospel remained veiled behind promises, laws, symbols, and prophecies. At times, the chosen people looked into a world blanketed in a fog wondering when the glory of the Lord would appear. Where was God—When Egypt enslaved them? When their babies were murdered? When their bellies were empty? When armies surrounded them? When they were led away from their homes?

He was always their but hidden behind a veil of unbelief.

“But their minds were hardened;

for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant

the same veil remains unlifted,

because it is removed in Christ.”

2 Corinthians 3:14

A song from my teen years comes to mind as I read this—“I Can See Clearly Now,” written by Johnny Nash. If you want to hear it google it by title. I like the version sung by Jimmy Cliff. It’s not a religious song but its poetic message describes what happens when the veil of unbelief is lifted in Christ.  We become the person seeing clearly God’s image and—

“being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…”

This transformation begins when the veil of unbelief gives way to saving faith. In that moment, the glory of God opens our blinded spiritual eyes to the glory of Jesus Christ in us.

“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come …

Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth …

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the exellencies of him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light …

Let your light shine before men in such a way

that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24;1 Peter 2:9; Matthew 5:16;NASB)

This is the glory of Christ we bear now. Each step of transformation takes us closer to the final image of Christ which will be fully realized when we see Him.

  • “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is …
  • As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly …
  • For our conversation[citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working where by he is able even to subdue all things unto himself …
  • Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
  • And all flesh will see it together;
  • For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 3:20,21;Isaiah 40:5; KJV)

Israel’s unbelief became our salvation. But our salvation has become Israel’s and all the world’s hope. For, in God’s wisdom, He has chosen us to bear the light of His glory to all as we are transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ. Christ came bearing the glory of the Father. Christ in us continues that work through us—His chosen vessels.

For Thought: What runs through your mind when you read you are chosen of God to bear His glory, His light into a dark world?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, by your power and wisdom, you have made us vessels of honor for your glory. May we remember each day you have made us in your likeness of righteousness, holiness, and truth. May we walk in the newness of life you have given us and proclaim your name to your glory. That others may see your glory, and the veil of unbelief be lifted from their eyes.

The Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3: The Glory of the Lord

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The early morning fog veiled the view from her window. The sun hid behind the gray curtain. It mirrored the heartache of the young woman’s soul. Why did it have to be this way? A tear slid down her cheek. She shut her eyes. Where are you, God? All who have suffered life’s hard challenges can identify with the young woman. What keeps us going forward? This week’s scripture holds our hope, our strength to continue.

This Week’s Scripture:

“But we all,

with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror

the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image

from glory to glory,

just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB

A hint of light filtered through the young woman’s closed eyes. She glanced towards the morning sky. The sun had risen above the treetops lifting the fog and chasing away the mist. Surrounded by wispy gray clouds a blue lake illuminated the sun’s brightness, it’s glory ignited hope in her heart.

For Thought: Where do you look for hope when life’s hard challenges overwhelm you?

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we have seen your glory, your beauty, your goodness in the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When pushed to the limit, help us remember to look to you who are limitless in glory, power, and strength and know you are working your glory in us and through us.

Victory In Jesus

2 Corinthians 2: Praise, Promise, Prayerbloggratitude-1201944_960_720

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)

I have a bit of a competitive nature when it comes to games—I like to win. But then who doesn’t? Actually, I like to play and have fun, winning just makes it more fun. I don’t think I’ve met a person who wants to lose. Knowing this, I don’t understand why more people don’t choose to follow God—

“Who always lead us in His triumph in Christ …”

Life is no game but a battle and the stakes are high. Apart from Christ we lose. In Christ we win. That is the,

“simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

(2 Corinthians 11:3)

God’s Promises to those who are In Christ:

“God … always leads us in His triumph in Christ.”

Even when the battle of life appears to bring defeat, we can stand strong in God’s word, knowing He will bring us to victory.

“Just as it is written,

‘FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG’ WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’

But in all these things

we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor any other created things,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord…

 For whatever is born of God

overcomes the world;

and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

And who is the one who overcomes the world,

but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

(Romans 8:36-39;1 John 5:4-5, NASB)

Our Praise to God:

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

For the LORD most high is terrible;

he is a great King over all the earth.

He shall subdue the people under us

and the nations under our feet …

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

For God the King of all the earth:

sing ye praises with understanding.”

(Psalm 47: 1-3,6-7, KJV)

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying,

‘The kingdom of the world

has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ;

and He will reign forever and ever …

We give Thee thanks,

O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast,

because Thou hast taken Thy great power

and hast begun to reign.’”

(Revelation 11:15,17, NASB)

Right now, we look with eyes of faith to the fullness of Christ’s triumph. We have read the end of the book—He wins! And so do we who are His—Hallelujah! Until then—

We offer our sacrifice of thanksgiving, Our Prayer:

To Him who—“manifests through us the sweet aroma

of the knowledge of Him in every place.”

Heavenly Father, for all your wonderous works, we offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, living out the sweet aroma—an acceptable sacrifice—of Christ in us through the giving of ourselves to you.

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,

acceptable to God,

which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Romans 12:1, NASB

May we, “Through Him then …

continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,

that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

Hebrews 13:15, NASB

That wherever we go we will cause,

“They name to be remembered in all generations;

Therefore the peoples will give Thee thanks forever and ever.”

Psalm 45:17(NASB)

For Thought: Christ has won the war of life and death. Don’t be found fighting a lost cause. Stand in the victory He has already won. Where will you stand when the victory is fully realized?

If Only…

This post, If Only, posted on Theology of a Newfoundland Housewife, is an good example of our need to carry the fragrance of Christ to others. Se sure to check our her site. It’s a good follow up to my post today, “You Are Adequate”

Theology of a Newfoundland Housewife

Do you have regrets about some things, and have thoughts that begin with : ‘If only…’ ?

Mike was sitting in front of his small red house ten days ago , looking extremely dejected. We know that he has a chronic challenge with substance abuse. Beneath our village’s charming exterior, we deal with the unfortunate reality of much addiction.

We got to know Mike better last summer because when our lawnmower broke, he used to walk his mower over, from across the village, and cut our grass. He wouldn’t accept payment, but we made lunch for him.

I felt an intense desire to talk to Mike when I saw him sitting outside looking so forlorn, and I told my husband that we should go over to speak with him right away. He insisted, though, that we shop first, and then bring a pizza for Mike.

When we returned to Mike’s…

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You Are Adequate

2 Corinthians 2: Are You Adequate?

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“But thanks be to God,

who always leads us in His triumph in Christ,

and manifests through us the sweet aroma

of the knowledge of Him in every place.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)

Last Wednesday’s post, “Comfort” introduced you to a man who refused the sweet aroma of Christ. As far as I know, he perished in death’s stench. To him my words and life proved to be,

a fragrance of Christ to God … an aroma from death to death …” (16)

But there is another who lived in his house.

The phone rang. “Donna?” A breathless pause filled the receiver before the laboring voice continued. “Can you come help me? My oxygen isn’t working.”

“Sure, I’ll be right over.” With a quick prayer I walked next door and entered being sure to breath through my mouth. It was better to taste the smell than breath it in. I only knew to call her Granny. At 67 years of age she lived in the body of one bearing 107 years. A hard life covered her flesh. And she lived with the burden of her son abusing her grandchildren and she was powerless to prevent it. The aroma of death surrounded her. But her story didn’t end there.

“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

to the one,

an aroma from death to death,

to the other,

an aroma from life to life.

And who is adequate for these things? “

2 Corinthians 2:14-16(NASB)

After 12 years of the children living in unimaginable circumstances, The Department of Children and Family Services removed them from the home and arrested their father. He dropped dead 2 months later and 30 minutes after being released. His release came because authorities failed to charge him. During that time Granny was hospitalized.

A stirring in my heart urged me to visit her in the hospital. I didn’t want to go. The Holy Spirit would not let go. Peace alluded me as I tried to ignore the prompting. Finally, I went.

The hospital bed swallowed the frail frame of a woman. A nurse stood to one side checking ivs. The figure lay lifeless, eyes shut, breaths labored.

“Can she hear me?”

The nurse nodded and said, “If you touch her hand she seems to respond to touch.”

I laid my hand over hers and prayed silently to know what to say. Then I began to tell her of God’s love and that’s when the Lord spoke to my heart. “It’s not about what you’re saying to her but what I’m saying to her.”

The Lord was with us and in that moment I knew this woman who was perishing, now had received the fragrance of Christ—the aroma from life to life. Through the Spirit’s witness to mine, I knew I could tell her grandchildren their Granny would be in heaven and how they could see her again.

And who is adequate for these things? 

The apostle Paul tells us—

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves

to consider anything as coming from ourselves,

but our adequacy is from God,

who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant,

not of the letter, but of the Spirit;

for the letter kills,

but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 3:5-6

It was never about me but the fragrance of Christ, the aroma of life, He uses us to leave in another’s life.

Not everyone Paul went to received the fragrant word of the gospel to life, but they all had the opportunity. God has chosen us to carry the fragrance of Christ through the lives we live, and He makes us adequate for the task. Not everyone will receive the sweet aroma of life—but some will.

For Thought: Do you ever feel you are not enough for speaking the gospel to another? Or for a task the Lord has called you to? How can 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 help you?

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, as you have given us life in Christ, may we carry the sweet fragrance of life to all who will hear. May others see Jesus in us. May they know we have been with Him, that our lives bring no discredit to the ministry of the gospel. Help us be bold in love for you have made us adequate for the calling.

A Sweet Fragrance

2 Corinthians 2:14—A Sweet FragranceIMG_3495[1]

As soon as I opened the door, I knew what my husband had been doing while I was running errands. I took a deep breath and could taste the aroma filling our house. His sweet potato pineapple bread cooled on our kitchen counter. The bread’s distinct fragrance had imprinted itself in my mind and my taste buds. It left its knowledge in every room.

This Week’s Scripture:

“But thanks be to God,

who always leads us in His triumph in Christ,

and manifests through us

the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him

in every place.”

2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)

Wherever we go the sweet aroma of our being with Christ follows us. As we give ourselves to Him, our words leave others with a fragrance they can taste. Our lives carry His imprint leaving the knowledge of Him in everyplace.

For Thought: What is Christ’s imprint on His followers’ lives? What is the sweet fragrance?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us victory over this world through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, your Son. May we bear a true image of His love and grace wherever we go that others may come to know Him. Thank you, Jesus.


“Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960,1962, 1963, 1968, 1971,1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

The Lord’s Many Comforts

2 Corinthians 1: Praises, Promises, and Prayerblogpraise-1154566__340

The Praise:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies and God of all comfort …

The Promise:

 who comforts us in all our affliction …

The Prayer:

so that we will be able to comfort those

who are in any affliction

with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NASB 95)

Heavenly Father, as you have comforted us in all our need, may we comfort others through the abundant supply of grace, mercy, and love you have lavished on us.

Thinking on the many comforts of God, one scripture filled my mind. In this passage, we find how our heavenly Father has brought us comfort through Jesus Christ. My we meditate on its truths and share them with others.

Our Praises & Promises:

“Bless the LORD, O my soul;

And all that is within me,

bless His holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget none of His benefits;

  • Who pardons all your iniquities;
  • Who heals your diseases;
  • Who redeems your life from the pit;
  • Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
  • Who satisfies your years with good things,
  • So that your youth is renewed like the eagle …

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness …

  • As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us;
  • just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him…

But the lovingkindness of the LORD

is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him …”

(Psalm 103:1-5;8,12-13;17)

Our Prayer: Instead of writing a second prayer, I encourage you to go to your special place with the Lord, read the whole of Psalm 103 aloud to your heavenly Father, then write your own prayer. If you need His comfort today, tell Him. He will hear your cry.

For Thought: Paul called all his troubles in one place, “light affliction” even as he despaired of death. How could he do that? What did he focus on? How can this help you as you face life’s challenges?


In studying 2 Corinthians we note one avenue Paul found comfort came from knowing others prayed for Him. May it bring you comfort to know my readers are in my prayers often. Thank you, for stopping by.

Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3,4—Comfort Of God

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“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.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NASB 95)

He stood a few feet in front of me. His unshaven face mingled with a coating of grime from years of filth. The putrefied garbage filling the house had melted into his clothing. Years of suffering sin devouring his heart and flesh left him without a conscience. He suffered from sin’s slow death not knowing another stood by who had suffered all his affliction that he might know 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 …

  • “He was despised and forsaken of men,
  • A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
  • And like one from whom men hide their face.
  • He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
  • Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
  • And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

  • But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
  • He was crushed for our iniquities;
  • The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him.
  • And by His scourging we are healed …

the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted”

Isaiah 53:3-5,6b,7a

The prophet Isaiah described our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He became the man standing before me. I was once the man standing before me. Jesus took on himself our stench of sin in the weakness of flesh. He took on our suffering from sin. He took our death. He took our affliction that we might know His comfort from sin’s power, guilt, and penalty.

Jesus—“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same,

  • that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil,
  • and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives…

He had to be made like His brethren in all things,

  • that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,
  • to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered,

He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

Hebrews 2:14-15,17-18

The man stood between me and my door of escape. At that moment, I stood between him and his only hope of comfort—his door of escape from a life bathed in sin’s stench. That day he heard of the love of Christ, the comfort He offered from sin’s affliction of death. That day he walked into his house filled with filth. I walked out the door into a breath of fresh air. A few weeks later the man stood before God.

As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Corinthians, may we who have been cleansed from sin’s stench of death, remember,

“We are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God were entreating through us;

we beg you on behalf of Christ,

be reconciled to God.

He made Him who knew no sin

to be sin on our behalf,

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Our heavenly Father, the God of mercies and comfort waits to comfort us in all our affliction. Even as Christ’s suffering has purpose—to bring us comfort from sin—we take hope knowing our suffering has purpose. In our suffering, Jesus comforts us

“so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction

with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NASB 95)

For Thought: How has God used suffering in your life to comfort another? Do you find your suffering strengthening your relationship with God? How/why not?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, how great are your mercies toward us. You have taken our affliction of sin in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. May we share the comfort you have given us with those you put in our path.

When The Fire Keeps Burning

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4126

Have you known people who go from one trial into the next without a chance to take a breath? Maybe, you are one of those people. The pressures of life keep building into your chest and filling your mind until you feel like a pressure cooker—if it doesn’t find an outlet for the steam, it will blow its lid. Rest and time to gather strength don’t come until the fire goes out—but it never goes out. It only dims for a short while then heats back up.

The apostle Paul knew the feeling.

“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:” 2 Corinthians 1:8

This verse is an overview of Paul’s troubles. For specifics check out 4:8-10; 6:3-19; chapter 10 raises charges against Paul’s character. Then in 11:21-33 he lists another bevy of suffering. Yes, Paul knew what life under pressure was like. Yet, this is what he writes in—

This Week’s Scripture:

“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.”

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NASB 95)

For Thought: When you need someone to come alongside you in your trials, who do you call for comfort, consolation, or encouragement? Today, would be a good day to reach out to that person and say, “Thank you.” It could be they need some encouragement. While you’re at it, think of someone facing one trial after another and offer them an encouraging word.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the comfort you give us. Help us remember, when the pressures of life bear down on our spirit to look up to you. Help us remember when we are in the fire, you are there with us—and no matter how hot the fire, you won’t let it burn us, but will deliver us through it. Thank you, for coming alongside, for being our comforter, extending your tender mercies to us. Amen.

Rejoicing Always!

2 Corinthians Overview of Promises, Praise, and Prayerbloggratitude-1201944_960_720

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless in deed you fail the test?”

2 Corinthians 13:5(NASB95)

In this life we are asked to take numerous tests— a driver’s test, test for citizenship, or even a test insuring our health. This week in our highlighted scripture passage, the apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to take a test of greater importance than any test the world requires.  The Holy Spirit inspired Paul’s command to the Corinthians and left it for us to read and heed. Wednesday’s post, “What’s Your Answer?” presented the opportunity for us to test ourselves and know whether we are in the faith or not. If we passed the test, the final verse from our 2 Corinthians Overview contains a promise for us.

“Finally brethren rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

2 Corinthians 13:5,11

Our Promises:

“and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

The God of love—

“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish,

but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

the God of … peace—

“Therefore having been justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith

into this grace in which we stand;

and we exult in hope of the glory of God …

Romans 5:1,2 

“and the God of love and peace—

shall be with you—

“Jesus answered and said to him,

‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word:

and My Father will love him,

and We will come to him,

and make Our abode with him …

Let your character be free from the love of money,

being content with what you have;

for He Himself has said,

‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU …

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

John 14:33; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20b

Our Praise:

Finally, brethren, rejoice—

“Draw me, we will run after thee:

the king hath brought me into his chambers:

we will be glad and rejoice in thee,

we will remember thy love more than wine:

the upright love thee …

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

Song of Solomon 1:4KJV; Philippians 4:4

Rejoice because we who are in the faith have—

  • eternal life and will never perish,
  • the grace of God to stand in,
  • hope of the glory of God,
  • peace with God,
  • His Presence with us forever!

And finally, brothers and sisters in Christ, rejoice for as Jesus said,

“that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Luke 10:20b

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, we ask nothing today, except to offer you the praise you are worthy of. You have given us all we stand in need of to share in godliness. What more is there to ask for. So, today, we offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving. We offer you ourselves. There is nothing else we can bring and even in that, it is you who has made our offering acceptable. Thank you, Lord.

“Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power,

be unto him that sitteth upon the throne,

and unto the Lamb for ever and ever … Amen.” (KJV)