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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: November 23rd
“What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?”
2 Corinthians 6
2 Corinthians 6:1 , 2 Corinthians 6:2
The apostle was therefore anxious that none should hear the gracious word of God without obtaining eternal life. He also longed to see the truly saved more and more fruitful, that it might not even seem that God’s grace had been ineffectual in their lives and characters. No minister can be satisfied unless grace is seen to produce fitting results in those who profess to partake of it.
2 Corinthians 6:10
Dr. Hawker, himself a minister of the Church of England, has beautifully said: ”What a lovely portrait the apostle hath here drawn of a minister of Jesus! How totally dissimilar in every feature, from the rank and opulence of modern prelacy! Who should have thought, when Paul wrote this epistle to the church at Corinth, that a time would come when state and grandeur would be considered suitable appendages to the sacred order! Great part of what the apostle hath here said, concerning the ‘all things,’ in which he recommends the Lord’s servants to approve themselves, as ministers of God, is done away. How is it possible, for such as the present hour furnisheth, to manifest whose servants they are, in stripes, in imprisonment, in tumults, labours, watchings, fastings, and the like? But there are some of the characters of the ministry, which the apostle hath sketched in this picture, still to be found. ‘By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known.’ Some in every age of the world will be found to treat the distinguishing truths of the gospel with hatred and contempt; and to dishonour the preachers of those truths, with evil report and reproach. While the highly-taught few, whom God the Holy Ghost teacheth, will honour his messengers...
Reader, learn from this portrait of the apostles, and drawn under God the Spirit’s direction, to form an estimate of the Lord’s ministers: not by outward show, but by the inward illumination of the heart, and the blessing of God on their labours, both in word and doctrine.”)
2 Corinthians 6:14 , 2 Corinthians 6:15
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers either in marriage or any other intimate union
2 Corinthians 6:18
The great duty of believers in all ages is to maintain their character as a separate people, no more conformed to the world. May this family never fall into worldly fashions, amusements, or pursuits, but be distinguished as following the Lord fully; so shall we be peculiarly dear to our heavenly Father.
“Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thy name give glory.”
2 Corinthians 11:1-9 , 2 Corinthians 11:23-30
2 Corinthians 11:1
Paul was not pleased to have to speak of himself; he calls self-commendation folly, for so it usually is; but it was needful for him to vindicate his position and authority, in order that his letters might have weight with the Corinthian believers for their lasting good.
2 Corinthians 11:2 , 2 Corinthians 11:3
By the admixture of philosophy with the gospel, he feared that they would be seduced from the truth. Too much ground is there for the same anxiety about the churches of our own day.
2 Corinthians 11:4
If any man could bring us a better gospel, more sure, more full, more free, we might listen to his novelties; but so long as this is not attempted or pretended, we will abide by the old form of doctrine, and those men of God who preach it.
2 Corinthians 11:8
He received nothing from the Corinthians, but allowed other churches to relieve his necessities that he might in no degree burden them; yet they were not grateful, but spoke of him disrespectfully. Gratitude is far too rare even among professing Christians.
2 Corinthians 11:9
The apostle, to vindicate his character and prove his apostleship, then mentioned what he had done and suffered.
2 Corinthians 11:23
He was called in a more remarkable way, had been more fully instructed, and enabled to accomplish more than any one of them.
2 Corinthians 11:23
in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, or far exceeding any one else
2 Corinthians 11:28
cometh upon me or rushes upon me
2 Corinthians 11:28
Which was a heavy burden; there were so many things to think about, that his mind was wearied.
2 Corinthians 11:29
He sympathized with all, and was the focus for all sorrows.
2 Corinthians 11:30
Surely after this recital these Corinthians would value the apostle, and trouble him no more with their criticisms. Better far is it for us to profit by good men than to find fault with them. Let not the Pauls among us now have to suffer for our unkindness.
When trials sore obstruct my way,
And ills I cannot flee,
Oh, give me strength, Lord, as my day:
For good remember me.
If on my face, for thy dear name,
Shame and reproaches be,
All hail, reproach! and welcome, shame!
If thou remember me.
the First Week of Advent
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