“Seven Things He Detests”

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16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests: – Proverbs 6:16 NLT

Proverbs 6:16-19 NLT

Somewhere at sometime, satan deceived someone into thinking and/or believing that God has a prioritized list of sins ranging from “little” to “big”.  That lie has been propagated throughout the generations, much to satan’s delight. A short study of Scripture will quickly prove that untrue.The above verses in Proverbs and this one from The Revelation are good examples.

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” — Rev. 21:8

God doesn’t see lies as black and white, to Him, lies are lies, period.  While the external effects of some sins are greater than others, the internal effect to each of us committing those sins is the same.  Sin, any sin, separates us from the love of God.

2 ​But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. — Isaiah 59:2

As long as there is unconfessed sin in our lives, we limit what God can do for us and through us.  Just as the rebellion of the children of Israel limited God in the wilderness, we do the same thing. If we continue to live a lifestyle of rebellion and unconfessed sin, God has no choice but to withdraw His blessings and protective covering over our lives. The children of Israel were defeated in battles when they were disobedient to God.  We live defeated lives, when we refuse to obey and confess our sins.

40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40-41

God knows every minute part of us and every thought that we have, we cannot hide it from Him. When we have sinned, instead of running from Him, we need to run to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Be Of One Mind, Live In Peace”

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV​

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Test Yourselves”

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5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you[a]; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith ​ – 2 Cor.13:5 NLT

2 Cor. 13:5-9 NLT

Each of us needs to make it a habit to go back over our actions of today to see if we have added any new sins. This is not for condemnation, it is for confession and forgiveness. Every day, we are tempted and tested.  Since we are humans with fleshly desires, it is impossible for us to make it through a day without an impure or unkind thought of some kind.  satan makes sure that we have plenty of opportunities. Since we have Christ Jesus dwelling in us, it is not possible for us to fail the test, but we will miss a few answers on the test. Those missed answers remind us that we are not and never will be perfect.  But God has already taken care of those wrong answers by covering them with the blood of Jesus.  When we see and confess the errors, they are immediately redacted from our record.  God doesn’t keep score, the sins are all wiped away. All He sees is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are weak and helpless but God is waiting to strengthen and restore us. Whatever happens, the end result is to glorify God. His grace is sufficient, His power is perfect.

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Cor. 12:9-10

As long as we remain in these tents of flesh, we will fail some of the time. But because all things are possible through and in Christ, we are not failures. We are conquerors and overcomers because His blood and His power perfect and protect us.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.— Romans 8:37

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I Take Pleasure in My Weaknesses”

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10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor.12:10 NLT 

2 Cor. 12:7-10 NLT

In the verses from 2 Cor.11:5 to 12:7a, Paul has been making the case that only a fool would boast about the things that they accomplish in their own strength. He is making two points. One is that as long as we think we can, God won’t and the other is that we are foolish to think that we can do any of God’s work in our own strength.  Jesus made that fact very clear.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5

We are not put here on earth to brag and boast about ourselves and our accomplishments. Our purpose here on earth is to bring praise to God in our words and actions.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.​ — 1 Peter 2:9​

It is in our weakest moments that God shows up to deliver us, it is when we come to the end of our rope and ask God for wisdom, that He shows us the open door through which He will take us to safety. Therefore, let us, like Paul, delight in our weaknesses and in whatever situation we find ourselves, trust God. As long as we think we can, God will allow us to struggle on our own.

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its  way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Just As Eve Was Deceived”

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3  But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.– 2 Cor. 11:3 NLT

2 Cor. 11:2-4 NLT

​Paul continues to warn the Corinthians about impurities in the church.  These warnings apply to us in today’s society as well.  In the first century, the people had gods of every description.  They built temples in honor of them and offered sacrifices to them. Everyone did what was right in their own minds. We have the same thing happening In our society. We are conditioned to be tolerant of the beliefs of others. While this is good from a worldly viewpoint, it leaves us open to hearing false teachings and to being bullied by those who don’t believe this.  But the down side of tolerance is that we get used to whatever we are being tolerant toward. Once we do that, we lose the ability to see it as the enemy of Jesus. Then we are open to accepting a “new” revelation, a “new: gospel and yes, a “new” Jesus. The deceptions blind us to the truth. There is only one way to heaven. That has always been true, is true today and will be true forever.

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6

We must be alert and diligent to keep those teachers and teachings from being taught in our congregations. These people who sneak in and try to pervert the pure Gospel have a place reserved for them in eternity.

12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. — Jude 12-13


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“The Important Thing”

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18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. – 2 Cor. 10:18 NLT

We live in a world of almost total deception.  We are taught that other people’s opinions of us are based on externals.  To win friends and influence people, all men must have six-packs and all women must look like professional models.  We must dress in the latest styles and wear the brand names or we will become outcasts in our society.  Our self-worth has become based on popularity and what others think about us.  If that is how we come to determine our self-worth, we are headed for a lifetime of misery and big disappointments. We need to be sure that we understand that the one Person we need to approve of us is Jesus.  Jesus, the one who thought we were worthy of His death, is the one we need to impress. And we can only do that, if the internals are right.  Our hearts and our mindsets must align with the Scriptures and not the latest fads.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ​ — Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

We can stress ourselves out everyday chasing the latest and greatest things that the world throws at us to be popular and we will end up worried, tired and unhappy. Or we can choose to live lifestyles that recommend us to Jesus, put our feet on the Rock, rest in His arms and live a life filled with joy and peace.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“We Destroy Every Proud Obstacle”

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5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. -2 Cor. 10:5 NLT 

2 Cor.10:2-6 NLT

After admonishing the Corinthians for allowing impurities in their worship service and then expressing his joy because of their repentance, Paul expresses his concern that some of them still haven’t gotten the full message. They are still trying to bring the world into the church instead of carrying the church into the world. Just as with the Corinthians, our actions do not always back up our teachings.  Paul starts teaching the Corinthians and us about where the problem is and how we should attack it. The problem is our mindset and that is not a battle that can be won with worldly weapons. The world and satan hits us with a constant barrage of violence, sexual innuendos, and all manners of chaos.  To protect our minds, we need to fill them with the knowledge of God and be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit.  Every thought that comes to our mind, must be immediately processed and either deleted or stored in our arsenal of divine weapons.  We can’t dilly-dally or play games or we will be overpowered with fleshly desires. Be on the alert! Be ready to punish and cast out every vile and sinful thought.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the ​world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. — 1 Peter 5:8, 9 NIV

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“His Indescribable Gift”

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15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  ​- 2 Cor. 9:15 NLT​ 

2 Cor. 9:12-15 NLT

God doesn’t need our tithes, giving back to God and helping others is how we express our love for Him for all the wonderful things He has done and continues to do for us.  Jesus went about doing good and He expects us to do the same. We should cheerfully give expecting nothing in return.  Our acts of kindness in a world where lifestyles are based on greed will attract others to Jesus .  God doesn’t need any proof of who we are or where we are in our relationship with Him, we do these things to prove to ourselves and those around us that we are true, obedient followers of Jesus. This will show those around us that Jesus makes a difference in how we live and respond to others. We can only do this through the generosity of the grace God has shown to us  Acts of kindness will cause others to praise God and bring us joy. We should continually show forth the praises of God because of the indescribable gift He has given us. The gift of giving. Having received this gift of grace and mercy, we should pass it on to others for the glory of God.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. — 1 Peter 2:9-10 NI​V

​“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“You Will Be Enriched”

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10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  — 2 Cor. 9:1​0-11 N​IV ​

When it comes to giving and receiving, God turns our worldly mathematics upside down. Worldly increase comes when we add or multiply. But God gives us increase when we subtract by giving and by dividing when we share with others. He is our source and our supplier.  We need to empty out our storehouses so He can refill them with fresh seed and food. As Jesus told the rich young ruler when the young man asked Jesus; “what do I still lack?”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. — Matt. 19:20-22 NIV ​ 

God’s supply never runs out. He allows us to be stewards over a portion of His riches fully expecting us to use those for His glory. As we learn to be good stewards over a little, He will give us increase so that our generosity will result in others giving thanks to God.

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“If You Give Eagerly”

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12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. – 2 Cor. 8:12 NLT

2 Cor. 8:8-12 NLT

God is not impressed by the amount of money that we give.  He is impressed by the attitude that we have toward giving into His work.  We see this from the story of the widow who gave her mite. A mite is thought to be equal to about one half of one of our pennies. Regardless of what the world thought about it’s worth, because of the attitude and the sacrifice the woman made, Jesus thought it was much more valuable than the gifts of those who gave out of their abundance.  God doesn’t need us to return a portion of the money He has allowed us to be stewards over.  He wants us to give out of love and a grateful heart.  He wants us to give with joy and hilarity because of our relationship with Him. Just as we give gifts of time and money to those around us that we love, we should offer up the best of both to Him. Would we invite a special guest to dinner and give him/her leftovers? We have the most special guest that lives with us all the time. Why do we think that He is happy with our leftovers? He gave His life, we must make every effort to give Him the best of what we have simply because we love Him.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous