Watching Daily At My Gates

October 7 Read II Corinthians 3:1-11

Paul loved the churches where he preached just as parents love their children. He wanted them to flourish in and under the gospel of God which was a gospel of living love not dead laws. This is the same hope which parents have for their children. Parents wish to see children walk in the love of Christ toward God and toward their neighbors. They wish this because they know this is the calling God has placed upon us. It is a glorious calling because it ends in the glory around the throne of God and the Lamb. Let us live in and out of the gospel of love each day of our lives. Sing Psalter 360.

October 8 Read II Corinthians 3:12-18

Throughout the ages there has been a progression of what the church has been given of the glory of God. In the Old Testament era they were only given types and shadows except for a small glimpse of the glory shown to Moses. Even this they were unable to behold as Christ had not been revealed to them. Even in the New Testament we must await the final coming of our Lord and Savior when we will be able to see the full glory of God. We must live out of the hope of that revelation. We must live by the hope of the revelation as we wait for that day. May God give to us the grace to wait with patience for that which we have not seen. This is true hope. Sing Psalter 195.

October 9 Read II Corinthians 4:1-7

As Paul continues to encourage the Corinthians, he reminds them of how he taught them. He had taught them through the preaching of the word. That preaching was not earthly in content but contained Christ. Even then, Paul realized that he was but a man speaking the glorious gospel. As we hear preaching, we must be careful not to focus on the man but to focus on the message. It is easy sometimes to speak about the minister, but harder to speak of the message. As Paul says the message is a treasure, a power of God. Do we seek this treasure? Do we bow to the power of God? As we attend church let us listen and attend to the preaching. Sing Psalter 360.

October 10 Read II Corinthians 4:8-14

As Paul worked in the various churches in both Asia Minor and in Europe, he constantly was in danger. He looked at the sufferings that he incurred as a part of his work. He could endure them because he knew that his Christ had suffered to obtain salvation for Paul and for all of God’s people. Many of us have suffered little or not at all for Christ’s sake. We must be ready for such suffering. We may not avoid it by compromising our faith. We also must bring the needs of those who suffer persecution to the throne of grace. This suffering is for the gospel’s sake and for the glory of God. Even if that suffering causes death, we can know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise his people into everlasting glory. Let us live out of our faith no matter what the cost. Sing Psalter 207.

October 11 Read II Corinthians 4:15-18

These final few verses of chapter 4 provide many comforting words. The section starts out with the words that all things are for our sakes. That is quite a statement! God has created us to show in us his glory. Further proof to this thought is found in Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work for the good…” Secondly, we find that no matter what affliction we face now, it is temporary and will lead to a much greater glory in heaven which will last for ever. This gives to us the ability to withstand whatever affliction may be ours. Finally, Paul reminds us to have our eyes fixed above. The hope of heaven is far greater than anything that is happening on this earth. May God grant to us the grace to endure our light afflictions with the hope of eternal glory. Sing Psalter 88.

October 12 Read II Corinthians 5:1-8

Paul felt more keenly than most the one conflict that all believers face. While death is the passageway into heaven, it is the end to life here on this earth. While we all desire heaven, most of us are reluctant to have our lives come to an end on this earth. Paul’s instruction in this matter was that while we are alive on earth, we are absent from the presence of God. Notice that his emphasis is not on if we get to heaven, but rather when we go to glory. Paul had the assurance that heaven was his through Christ. Do you wish to go to heaven? Do you wish to go to heaven now? We must all face this question. By God’s grace we can walk by faith and be willing to leave this earth and be present with the Lord. Sing Psalter 53.

October 13 Read II 1Corinthians 5:9-15

Read verse 9 once more. Here is the reason for all we do. We work that we might be accepted of Christ. Notice that Paul does not say accepted to salvation. That is already accomplished in Christ. No, this is the life of sanctification that we must walk. We must be holy even as he is holy. We must labor to God’s glory no matter in what station or calling we have been placed. Every day of the week we must ask ourselves if we are doing what God would have us do. This is not only true of Sunday, though that is even more necessary, but every day is the Lord’s, and we must use it as he has ordained. Let us live each day of our lives unto Christ who has made us alive through his blood. Sing Psalter 24.

October 14 Read II Corinthians 5:16-21

According to the Heidelberg Catechism conversion is the “mortifying of the old man and the quickening of the new man.” In this section of Paul’s epistle, we see an explanation of that second aspect of conversion. Notice that it is not our act of converting ourselves, but it is because we are in Christ. Notice the different ways Paul states that fact in verses 17-19. He finishes with the powerful reason why we must walk in that new man. The reason is that God gave his son to be an offering for sin for us. We had nothing to do with it. It is all the work of God. Why was this done? Ultimately it was done for God’s own glory. Secondarily, it was done so that we “might be made the righteousness of God”. Let us walk a sanctified walk in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift! Sing Psalter 297.

October 15 Read II Corinthians 6:1-10

Paul is not bragging or boasting as he writes these words, but rather he is imploring the Corinthians to see why he and others went through so much. It was for their salvation that he endured all sorts of troubles. Notice that he mixes those troubles with the work of God. He could endure those troubles because the Holy Spirit was helping him. He had the power of God as an armor wrapped around him. Even though they were in sorrows they could rejoice as they saw their spiritual children walking in truth. We need to esteem our ministers and other leaders for the work that they do because they do those works for our salvation’s sake. Sing Psalter 165.

October 16 Read II Corinthians 6:11-18

One of the responsibilities for the child of God is that he walks the walk of the antithesis. We find one aspect of this in this portion of Scripture. Paul instructs us that we are not to join ourselves with unbelievers. This does not mean that we are not to have anything to do with them. We must live in the world. We must witness to the world. But we are not to fellowship with them. They are not to be our friends. Any relationship we have with them is to be in the knowledge by both parties that we are different. If they will not listen to our witness, then we are to leave them alone and go to our Father. Sing Psalter 260.

October 17 Read II Corinthians 7:1-5

As Paul continues to journey toward Corinth, he asks that they receive him for the message that he wished to bring to them. He loves this church, and he wants it to walk in the holiness of the Spirit. This is the quickening of the new man that we spoke of a few days ago. This is the walk of sanctification that we must travel. In doing this we show those around us that we are Spirit-filled. Even as Paul was traveling he met opposition. That opposition did not bother him as he was doing the Lord’s work. Are we bold in the faith of Christ? Does this comfort us? Sing Psalter 287.

October 18 Read II Corinthians 7:6-11

Finally Paul receives news from Corinth. Through Titus he finds that the Corinthians repented of that which Paul admonished them in the first epistle. And not just the church, but the man who was willingly living in the serious sin of adultery. What a joy it is when one repents! The angels have that joy, and the church must have that joy. We must seek repentance from erring brothers and we must accept it as well. What a blessing it is that God through Christ has given to us this means of joy. We all have sinned and all need repentance. Let us seek forgiveness from God and our brothers. Sing Psalter 83.

October 19 Read II Corinthians 7:12-16

When a person admonishes another, it seems very grievous. It may cause tears and even anger. But the purpose is that someone repents of his sin and lives a new and holy life. This must be our goal with admonishing someone. We do it because we love him just as God admonishes us. He loves us. His love is so great that he gave his Son for us. Christ loves us so much that he gave his life for us. Let us live a life of sanctification in thankfulness for this great sacrifice. Sing Psalter 175.

October 20 Read II Corinthians 8:1-9

After receiving the news of repentance with joy, Paul turns to another matter. The church at Jerusalem was suffering hardships due to a famine as well as persecution from without. Paul had instructed the Grecian church to take a benevolence collection for them. He reminds the church of Corinth of this matter and shows how the Macedonian church had followed this command. This should be a lesson for us. There are causes and needs among the members of Christ’s church. We must take the opportunity given to show benevolence to our brother in Christ. In doing so we reflect the love of Christ to our brethren in need. Each of us has this calling. Do we do it? Sing Psalter 97.

October 21 Read II Corinthians 8:10-15

Giving to the kingdom causes of the church is a great privilege. Each of us must give as we have been blessed. Think of the widow of Zarephath who gave of her meager supply of meal and oil to Elijah. She never ran out. Even though that was a miracle at that time, God’s grace is sufficient for us in this matter. He will provide for us. We have these causes before us. What do we do about them? To give is not a burden but a joy. The widow’s two mites were blessed by Christ himself, and so will ours. Sing Psalter 44.

October 22 Read II Corinthians 8:16-24

One of the special offices that Christ has instituted in his church is the office of deacon. These men are not elders-in-training. They have been ordained to a very important office. They are to distribute the mercies of Christ that they have collected to those who have been placed in the church with needs. These needs take different forms, and the deacons have the calling to meet those needs. We must esteem those men by honoring them in their office as well as supplying them with the means to carry out that office. This is what Paul is instructing both the church at Corinth and us. Young and old must do this. In this we show the thanks due our God for the great salvation that he has wrought for us. Sing Psalter 22.

October 23 Read II Corinthians 9:1-7

As Paul finishes this reminding the Corinthian church of the duty of giving for the poor, he admonishes them to be ready when he comes to Corinth. They had shown willingness to give when he was there the first time. Now he will come with men from Macedonia, and he does not want the church at Corinth to be ashamed that they did not have their gift ready. The principle of true Christian giving is found in verse 7. We must give cheerfully. We must give because we want to show our thankfulness to God. If we do, we will be assured that he will accept our gift as one from the heart and not to please others. May we think of this each day as we prepare ourselves to give on the Sabbath. Sing Psalter 393.

October 24 Read II Corinthians 9:8-15

Notice verse 8. God will give his grace to us. This is unmerited favor to us. We do not deserve it, and we can do nothing to get it. All the giving that we do, does not give us grace. We can give because God gives us grace to do so. You will notice that Paul instructs us that giving has two effects. First of all, it supplies the need of the poor. Secondly, it provides assurance for the giver of God’s grace. Paul concludes this section with the well-known words found in verse 15. Do we experience this feeling when we give? If not, we must examine our motives in giving. Sing Psalter 388.

October 25 Read II Corinthians 10:1-6

Paul continues his exposition of daily conversion. His focus and emphasis in this section of Scripture is the daily mortification-putting to death—of the old man. Notice this is a daily activity. This activity is something we want to do and can do because we are washed in the blood of Christ. This is not how we gain salvation, but what we do because of the fact of our salvation. It does not matter what activities we might have to do today; we must seek to put away any sinful thoughts from our hearts before they bloom into sinful activities. This is not easy, but by grace it can be done. Let us give thanks for that grace, and pray hourly for the strength to mortify our old man. In this way we will be obedient to our Christ. Sing Psalter 291.

October 26 Read II Corinthians 10:7-11

When we read this portion of Scripture we are reminded of an Old Testament episode. Do you remember when Samuel was called to anoint David as God’s choice as king over Israel? Over and over he had to be reminded that God looks on the heart. Paul, too, found opposition to his physical appearance and voice. We do not know what these so-called difficulties were, but there were detractors to the gospel that tried to use these things against Paul. What about us? Are we attracted to a preacher for how he looks and sounds rather than what he preaches? We must not fall into this sin. We must seek the gospel of Christ that leads to salvation and feeds our souls. Remember what Paul wrote to the Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…it is the power of God unto salvation.” Let this be our focus when we hear God’s servants preach to us. Sing Psalter 371.

October 27 Read II Corinthians 10:12-18

There are two things of note in this portion of Scripture. First of all, Paul says that he will not boast. The wise Solomon wrote, “Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Like Paul we need to stay away from this sin. It is so easy to do even in something that of itself is worthy. Paul in his work saw that he must not boast of his accomplishments. This is what we must strive to do as well. The second item is that of evangelism. Paul did not want the gospel to only go to the Corinthian church. He wanted it to go to the regions beyond Corinth, and as we know, even to Rome. Is this our desire? Do we want to spread the gospel to all peoples? What about those that we come into contact with in our daily lives? Do we bring them the gospel? This is our calling. Let us work hard to carry it out. Sing Psalter 366.

October 28 Read II Corinthians 11:1-15

As Paul closes this second epistle to the church at Corinth, he goes back to an old theme. This is the theme, that his purpose in his work is to preach the pure gospel of Christ without making himself a burden to the churches. When Paul needed support, he sometimes worked at tentmaking or his needs were supplied by others. For new churches he never pressed that issue. He did not want to make himself a stumbling block for their faith. There are two lessons for us here. First of all, we should not become stumbling blocks for anyone’s faith, especially those who are new in it. This includes our children and young people. Secondly, we do have an obligation to care for the ministers of the Word. As we proceed down life’s pathway of faith, may we ever remember these things. Sing Psalter 417.

October 29 Read II Corinthians 11:16-21

Are we willing to do anything and to appear as anything for the gospel of Christ? Paul was. Of course, sin is not something that we can do, even for the gospel. To the world around the churches in those days, Paul appeared foolish. There seemed to be no common sense in the man. What about us? How do we appear to the world? Do we appear foolish for the gospel’s sake? Are we willing to endure the scorn that goes with living a sanctified life and the antithesis? Are we willing to be scorned for keeping the Sabbath day holy, for maintaining salvation by faith alone? The world we live in wants none of these things. They want the Christian life to be easy. Paul did not find it that way. Walking the narrow way never is. Let us pray for the grace necessary to walk in that way. Sing Psalter 106.

October 30 Read II Corinthians 11:22-33

Why did Paul go through this list of troubles that he endured? Was it for his own glory? Was he boasting of his strength as he preached the gospel? Was he trying to show the Corinthians how much he endured for them? The answer to all of these questions is no! Paul suffered all of this, as he wrote in other epistles, for the cause of Christ. He suffered so that God might be glorified and so that his honor would be extolled. These trials and tribulations set him apart from the false teacher which troubled the churches. This also showed to the church of that day and the church of this day that this world is not our home. Our home is in heaven. Let us count ourselves privileged if we have to suffer even a small fraction of what Paul suffered. Sing Psalter 105.

October 31 Read II Corinthians 12:1-6

Paul had an experience far surpassing what most had saving Moses and Christ’s disciples. He was privileged to have a glimpse into heaven. In that glimpse he saw some of the glory which will belong to God’s people after the judgment. He did not speak of this glory to the churches because it was not expedient for them to know of it. Rather he spoke the gospel of Christ because that is the foundation of the church as we sing in the hymn, “The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.” As we go through this valley of tears let us look up to the glory that will be ours. Let us “live by faith and not by sight” until the day Christ returns. Sing Psalter 237.

November 1 Read II Corinthians 12:7-10

Sometimes we want to know more about situations in the Bible than we are told. When this happens, we are prone to speculate far past what is ours to know. That is true with this passage. There are many theories about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. We do not know what it was. When we spend time speculating, we often miss the gem of the passage. This passage has such a gem. It is found in verse 9. Not only was God’s grace sufficient for Paul, it is sufficient for all of God’s people in whatever situation they find themselves. There is nothing in this life that God’s grace cannot cover. We need to remember this fact when we are in despair over some situation which envelopes us. God’s grace is sufficient. What a comfort that is! Let us pray for that grace to come upon us not only in those situations but throughout all of our lives. In this way God will be glorified. Thanks be to him for his unspeakable gift! Sing Psalter 235.

November 2 Read II Corinthians 12:11-21

As Paul prepared to come to Corinth, he wanted it abundantly clear that his coming, his writing, and his preaching had but one purpose. He wished to show the Corinthians the right way of life. Even if it caused him hardships, which it did, that was to be the purpose of his work among the church at Corinth. We all need to follow Paul’s example and humble ourselves before Christ and his church that God be glorified and the church gathered unto him. As soon as we exalt ourselves neither of the above purposes will be fulfilled. May God be glorified in our entire walk on this earth as we are being prepared for the heavenly glory that will be our life forever. Sing Psalter 429.