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2Cor2:12-17

Vs. 14
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." NIV

"Here, Paul takes an image from the Roman world, seeing Jesus as the victorious, conquering general in a triumph parade. A Roman triumph parade was given to successful generals when returning from their conquests...“The idea is borrowed from an ancient Roman triumph, which to the eyes of the world of that day was the most glorious spectacle which the imagination could conceive.” (Meyer)

vs.15
"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." NIV

"Fragrance, in the form of incense, was common at the Roman triumph parade. In Paul’s mind, this fragrance is like the knowledge of God, which people can smell when the triumph parade winds by." - David Guzik

“To the victors the perfume from the censers would be the perfume of joy and triumph and life; but to the wretched captives who walked so short a distance ahead it was the perfume of death, standing for a past defeat and their coming execution.” (Barclay)

"In the same way, the message of the gospel is a message of life to some and a message of condemnation to those who reject it (John 3:17-21). “The same happens to the present day to those who receive and to those who reject the Gospel: it is the means of salvation to the former, it is the means of destruction to the latter; for they are not only not saved because they do not believe the Gospel, but they are condemned because they reject it.” (Clarke)

"..we do not peddle the word of God for profit."

"The word peddling has the idea of “adulterating” or “watering down” for gain, and was especially used of a wine seller who would water down the wine for more profit. Paul was not like the others who might water down the gospel for gain!" David Guzik

"...in Christ we speak before God with sincerity.."

"Sincerity is the Greek word eilikrineia, which means “pure” or “transparent.” Barclay says, “It may describe something which can bear the test of being held up to the light of the sun and looked at with the sun shining through it.” Paul’s message and ministry did not have hidden motives or agendas." - David Guzik

Job
Job 26:4
"Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?"

Goes back to idea of: exactly who is inspiring the friends' speech?

Job 26:7b
"he suspends the earth over nothing."

Interesting when you compare the beliefs of this time about the earth to what Job states.

After more lament, Job gives final response.

In chapter 28. Job speaks on wisdom. Precious metals and all kinds of things can be gotten out of the earth and seas. But where do you find wisdom? Nowhere on earth.

Job28:28 'The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'

Job goes into a compare and contrast. In ch. 29 Job wishes for the good old days, and seems to come dangerously close to an issue of "pride". Than falls back into a lament in Ch. 30.
======================================================
Thoughts:

People talk about the patience of Job. God seems to also have exhibited patience. We know God does respond, and since the conversation repeats itself ad nauseum - God could have spoken earlier?????

Going back to the opening - Satan did not pick Job. God Brought up Job. I get the feeling Satan walked into a set-up. God knew what He was doing. He had a reason for suggesting Job. Satan, despite His rebellion, as always - ends up advancing God's plan.

Re: Getting out of debt--I highly recommend Dave Ramsey--
http://daveramsey.com/ He's got a radio show and a terrific book Total Money Makeover (which I borrowed from the library.) He's no nonsense and very practical. Also entertaining.

Getting out of debt is something my husband & I have been working on steadily over the past several years and are still pushing through. It's a total change in mindset. If we don't have cash, we don't buy it. Seems obvious but it's so countercultural.

Re: Debt
I can certainly see why it is said that money is the root of all evil. Once you acquire wealth or goods purchased with it, there is a never ending thirst for more. You will never have your fill of earthly desires. Those who choose God over money will one day acquire heavenly wealth beyond measure. As it says in Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. vs 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. How easy it is to be obsessed and allow ourselves to lust after earthly possessions. In the long run these possessons leave us cold and empty.

Storing up treasure in heaven is not limited to tithing but is accomplished by all acts of obedience to God. There is a sense in which giving money to God's work is like investing in heaven. But our intention should be to seek the fulfillment of God's purposes in all we do, not merely what we do with our money.

Psalms 37:21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously. Another important biblical truth. Psalms 119: 36 says "Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. In Proverbs 19:1 it says "Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.

What Proverbs 19:1 is saying as follows: A blameless life is far more valuable than wealth, but most people don't act as if they believe this. Afraid of not getting everything they want, they will pay any price to increase their wealth (to obtain more goods) cheating on their taxes, stealing from stores or employers,withholding tithes,refusing to give. But when we know and love God, we realize that a lower standard of living or even poverty is a small price to pay for personal integrity. Do your actions show that you sacrifice your integrity to increase your wealth? What changes do you need to make in order to get your priorites straight and to perhaps get out of debt. This advice is for myself, since I too fall short in this area. Thank you God for your word and wisdom.

Government leaders, businesses, families even churches get trapped into thinking money is the answer to every problem. We throw money at our problems. But just as the thrill of wine is only temporary, the soothing effect of the last purchase soon wears off and we have to buy more. Do we see ourselves here? Scripture recognizes that money is necessary for survival, but it warns against the love of money (Matthew 6:24, 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5) Money is dangerous because it deceives us into thinking that wealth is the easiest way to get everything we want. The love of money is sinful because we trust money rather than God to solve our problems. Those who pursue its empty promises will one day discover that they have nothing because they are spiritually bankrupt.

>>I can certainly see why it is said that money is the root of all evil.>>

The actual quote is:

1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

You don't need to have money for it to be a root of ALL evil in one's life. Money is neutral it takes on the character of the one who possesses it. There are many people who use the money they have acquired to do good. Even Jesus had a treasurer, Judas, and you don’t have a treasurer unless you have a surplus.

JOB 28 (NKJV) - Job’s Discourse on Wisdom
26
When He made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt,
27
Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28
And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”

NOTE:
The Hebrew word for “fear” is “yir'ah {yir-aw'}”, and it means: “fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety”.

Basically, it is to honor and revere God above myself—He is God, I am not. Then, this practice and attitude of waiting on God to honor Him leads to depart from evil.

I like this challenge I read this morning:

“The only way to live a successful Christian life is to come under the authority of God – to be in obedience to Him."

"So I ask you. Are you living in obedience to God? Have you accepted God’s authority to the extent that you are willing to give up our way and take God’s way, to give up your will and take God’s will?"

"Even Jesus had to say, 'Not my will, but Thine be done.' (Luke 22:42). The Bible tells us: 'Though He [Jesus] was a son, yet He LEARNED obedience by the things which He suffered.' (Hebrews 5:8)"

"Can we understand that Jesus, the Man, had to learn obedience to God exactly as you and I do? The writer of Hebrews spoke of His learning obedience—I mean, having to LEARN it like I have to learn it, like you have to learn it.”

“Eventually, Jesus had to face the thing that God wanted Him to do. He didn’t want to go to the cross. He didn’t want nails driven into His hands. Can you imagine how that would hurt? Imagine having the flesh and bones of your hands crunched by nails being driven through them and then having nails driven through your feet.”

“That’s the law of God. That’s the law of nature. So Jesus had to give. He had to obey God. The human part of Him didn’t want to do it any more than we do. But Jesus is our example in giving up our own way and taking God’s [way]. We, too, can say, 'Not my will, but God’s be done'. And how glorious it is when we go through it, endure the pain of it, and come out with a resurrection, with a seed multiplied, with the joy of the Lord flowing in our hearts. . .”

2 Corinthians 2 (NKJV)
14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
15
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
16
To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not . . .

NOTE:
We are certainly not sufficient in our humanity to carry or dispense the aroma of Christ to others. We must receive this from the Lord by grace before we can give it.

The sacrifices to the LORD God carried with them a sweet aroma of worship (as in Genesis 8:20 and 21).

May I truly be the living sacrifice to God by the Lord Jesus as I depend on the Spirit so others can sense the true “sweetness” of the Life of Christ. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
~~~

Psalm 42 (NKJV)
1
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.
2
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? [OR, I see the face of God.]
6
O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar.
7
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

NOTE:
This is the key to the fear of the Lord and to wisdom, which issues out of the fear of the Lord—to always keep our souls and spirits thirsting after God and receiving Life from the Lord Jesus.

I like these comments from the “Treasury of David” by Charles Spurgeon on these verses:

“All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

David thought that every trouble in the world had met in him, but he exaggerated, for all the breaking waves of Jehovah have passed over none but the Lord Jesus; there are griefs to which he makes his children strangers for his love's sake.

Sorrow naturally states its case forcibly; the mercy is that the Lord after all hath not dealt with us according to our fears. Yet what a plight to be in!”

“Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime.

Come what may there shall be ‘a certain secret something’ to sweeten all. Lovingkindness is a noble life belt [i.e., life jacket] in a rough sea. The day may darken into a strange and untimely midnight, but the love of God ordained of old to be the portion of the elect, shall be by sovereign decree meted out to them. No day shall ever dawn on an heir of grace and find him altogether forsaken of his Lord: the Lord reigneth, and as a sovereign he will with authority command mercy to be reserved for his chosen.

And in the night.
Both divisions of the day shall be illuminated with special love, and no stress of trial shall prevent it.”

Vance

thanks for "Majesty'. I had a special moment with the Lord as I listened to this song.

Job's word in 29:1-6 are telling, "Oh, for the days..." How often we all say that, "Oh man, back in the day." But here Job is pining for the days of his prime when "God's intimate friendship blessed my home'. It did't have to end. We see in Job 23 that even though Job didn't sense God's presence he stayed close to God by obedience and by treasuring the Words of God. Good formula for days when we feel God is not very present.

Not my will, but Yours be done. New meaning for me in this season, I am still working it out. I was recently sharing with a pastor that my mind is consumed with doubt about everything I do. I am constantly thinking, Is this what God wants me to do, does this reflect Jesus, is my life an example of God at all times and so on. He said that it sounds like I have lost the path of grace and wandered into the way of living under the law. It's like a prison. How can be good enough? How can I live good enough? How can I not be a disappointment to God. It's like if you had 2 children and one was really handsome, smart, articulate, atheletic and popular. Everyone loves this kid and his parents are proud. But they have another kid who isn't so cute, not too smart, clumsy and not quite as liked by everyone. The parents totally love this kid too, but they sort of pat him on the head and say, it's ok, we love you anyway. I feel like God loves me, but I can't do what He wants. I am not saving lives, I don't preach the gospel with my mouth and my life is quiet. I want to be a Godly example, but is living it enough? How can I be good enough for God? If God chooses not to bless me, is that denial good enough for me to live the rest of my life worshipping God? Jesus was called to a life of suffering. If I am supposed to be like Christ, am I willing to spend my life suffering if that's what He wants me to do? How can I pray when the things I pray against come to pass? Are my prayers not worth saying yes to? If I don't get on my knees, spend time adoring, confessing, giving thanks and then asking, can I ever get to the throne room? How do I be worthy enough to get into a "Father daughter" relationship with the savior. Can it be personal? I want to live in the freedom of Jesus. I want to be liberated from this world and the influences of the flesh. Can I get that close to God? Can I trust Him? Will He "take care of me?" or do I have to spend my whole life suffering. How can I be good enough?

Lori

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