Zeal Penetrating Strife


St. Paul Writing His Epistles – Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632)

The Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 11

Arguments threaten to discredit Paul’s ministry. He seeks to penetrate the resistance so that the church in Corinth can receive him, but more importantly, can receive Christ.

The passion of Paul for the Lord Jesus leaps like flames in his writings. The key is zeal—an inner fire for the things of the Lord. It is as the burning bush before Moses. Zeal burns without consuming.

It is not the same with jealousy—the wicked sibling of zeal. The word comes from the same parent word in Greek. Jealousy is a fire that consumes. It destroys love and foments strife. Zeal is stronger—a blowtorch that penetrates strife. Pray that you move from the dark side of this energy into the light.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians 5.

Spiritual Warfare

The Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 10

I have good news and bad news. The bad news: whatever you are struggling against is bigger than you are. The good news: God gives you all the power of heaven to come against all adversity. Take command of this power as you fight the spiritual wars in your life. Jesus won the victory for you. Apply the blood of the cross—the sign of triumph for every circumstance. Bind every thought or idea as a hostage, unless it is in keeping with the Word of Christ.</p

The root of our word “obedience” comes from the Latin, audire, whence the English, “audio.” It means first “to listen,” then to act accordingly. May it be so in your life.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians 5.

Giving As God Gives

The Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 9

Giving the Lord’s way makes everything you give a seed. Just as a seed becomes greater when sown, so is your giving of yourself. Talents, resources, time, etc. are seeds that become fruit for others and increased spiritual abundance for you. Nothing is lost when you give with love.

Taste the energy, the joy, the cheerfulness of Paul. Reflect on those ways that you, perhaps still bound in fear, hold back from being self-giving. Pray in a surrendered way, then rise to live in a surrendered way. Recall the words of Jesus in Luke 6:38: “With the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the ninth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians 5.

From Guilt to Sorrow

The Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 7

The details of the pain of the Corinthian Church escape us; however, Paul’s love for this church flows out so clearly. He longs that all sin and pain turn to good. He seeks to steer his people into a positive and “better than ever” outcome.

The heart of his teaching is in verses 9 and 10. Think of “Godly sorrow” and “the sorrow of the world” as on a time line. Guilt and shame is worldly sorrow: its time-line is constant, unrelenting, because the world is unforgiving. Godly sorrow, on the other hand, is contrition. This is an experience in a single point of time. It is sorrow and repentance for sin that leaves the soul clean, clear, and energized by the Lord’s total forgiveness.

Reflect on how you deal with guilt and shame. Ask the Lord to help you gather their energies into one great expression of contrition, and be done with it!

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians 5.

The Acceptable Time


With my Bible Breath Bracelet: a great here and now devotional!

The Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 6

Imagine a pencil held in a vertical position by gently pressing down upon the eraser end with the point on the surface. The pencil will hold the weight of your hand and arm as long as it is perpendicular to the table. The entire pencil hovers over the point beneath. If you move the hand away from the vertical, it will fall.

When you move away from the present moment, guilt and shame over the past, or anxiety about the future, will have you fall. “Now is the acceptable time,” says Paul. Another expression goes: “The point of power is the present.”

Relax into the chair or floor that supports you. Be in the Lord’s presence that fills this present moment with power and grace.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the sixth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians 5.

The Comfort of God

2 Corinthians 1

Five times in verses 3 and 4 the word “comfort” appears. Paul begins his letter with the assurance of the comfort of God in all sufferings, this comfort being the source of the same for others. Read slowly; savor these verses.

The word for “comfort” is the same word used in John’s Gospel for the Holy Spirit, “the Comforter,” from the Greek, Paracletos, “to be called to one’s side.” The Holy Spirit is the one at your side, poured forth to heal, restore, and deeply comfort your entire being.

Belief in the Holy Spirit is also the guarantee of all the promises of God in this world and the next. When the Holy Spirit is in evidence in you, you have a passport to the heavenly places you are entering right now.

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

The Reading for Today


This is the first of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Thursdays in this season are dedicated to 2 Corinthians.


Daily Bible Breaths