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2Cor4 and 5:1-10

2Cor4:18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

I believe praying for this kind of "focus" is in God's Will, and the kind of prayer God answers.
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2Cor5

2Cor5:1 "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." NIV

How do we "know"? John 14:1-4, and more importantly the last part of verse 19.

"..Because I live, you also will live."

Because Jesus is alive.

When our physical body dies, we will have a glorified body in heaven. "not built by human hands", being "not of this creation" (Heb 9:11) but of God - an eternal body.

From tent to house or building - in software terms - we are due for an upgrade :)
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The problem here, and I did not see Bob Deffingbaugh pointing it out: We do not get glorified bodies until the resurrection of our earthly bodies. In the meantime, at death, we live in heaven as disembodied spirits (if I am wrong about this - please someone correct me.)

So while Paul has no problem with absent from the body - he is REALLY looking forward to the Resurrection. Paul wants his glorified body, as should the Corinthians. Maybe Paul is making this point here because of how Greeks view the spirit and the body. They think being a "spirit" in the afterlife is the be-all-end-all. That the body is just a hindrance and the spirit is what counts. Paul is saying, 'You don't know - the heavenly glorified body will be fabulous - it will be the completion of all God's plans - we will be like Jesus. You want - you should really really want this glorified body.'

Because when we get the "glorified body" we will not be naked - our disembodied spirit will be clothed. I think this is also a reference to the completed work of God in regards to Adam and Eve. After sinning they realized they were naked, now in full circle we will be eternally clothed in our "glorified body". Death and what it does to our mortal bodies will here be completely conquered.

2Cor5:5 "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

Greek tense is aorist - completed action - and there is that word again - "deposit" in Gk. "arrhabon" meaning: money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid. We have God's Word on the deal.
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There are only two places a "saved" person can be - on earth or in heaven - never in the "grave".

Thus while on earth we make it our goal to please him, as we do in heaven (by what we have done on earth in his name.)

Why? Because "the "saved" person will stand before the Bema Seat of Christ for our rewards or lack of rewards. If we strive to please Him on earth, then He will be pleased with us in heaven.

The Bema Seat in Corinth is still there (I hear) and is on display. The athletes from the Isthmian games received their rewards at the Bema Seat. Punishment from trials was also administered from the Bema Seat.

Paul has already mentioned in 1Cor that our works will be tested by Christ, and only what is good will be left. That is what we will be judged on for our rewards. How many will you and I have left after Christ's assessment of our Christian lives???????
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So the saved person will have a final exam before Christ. Paul would tell the Corinthians - when do you start prepearing for the "final"? - morning of, night before, or in advance. To do well, it should be in advance. So set your sights on the eternal, prepare for your exam now. Get cracking!

What will be judged? According to Chuck Missler: deeds according to Scripture, motivation of deeds (to bring honor/glory to God), and the words you speak (perhaps thoughts also - oops that is a biggie!)

Job 37-39:30

I love the 7th verse (38) in the King James or Amplified Bible, “Gird up your loins now like a man; I will demand of you, and you answer Me” (AMP). God is serious and he means business. It’s like God is saying to Job, straighten up and fly right, take responsibility for yourself and stop gripping and complaining. The created can’t tell the Creator anything, especially since the Creator didn’t put “anything” on Job, though he allowed it.

When God first comes in to speak to Job He does not address anything Job’s friends have said nor does He address Elihu. This speaks personally to me letting me know that my primary concern is to answer God not man. Men can hold me accountable for what I believe, say and do, but whom I will really answer to is God.

God’s address to Job also shows that each and every created thing has a purpose and is uniquely designed to carry out that purpose despite our not having an understanding what it’s purpose is. Our lack of understanding does not void its purpose. If I fail to discover my purpose or reject that purpose that doesn’t change God’s purpose for me. I can use a screwdriver to drive in nails by banging the nail with the screwdriver. The nail my go in eventually, but that does not negate the usefulness of the tools ability to turn screws if I fail to use it properly.

Charles Dickens’s tale of the “Prince and the Pauper,” shows a great example of the Pauper using the Seal of England outside of its purpose, a tool to crack nuts. Its’ improper use did not negate the power of the Seal.
II Corinthians 4:13-5:10
This passage is one of my very favorites. When I first came across this passage I realized that who I am was more then my body, my flesh. Who I was as a person was who I was in spirit. I am a sprit, I have a soul and I live in a body.

1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down--when we die and leave these bodies--we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies.

The power of this verse hit me by happenstance. Someone I really liked at work had died and I was asked if I would read a scripture at his memorial service. I didn’t know what to read and suddenly this passage fell open. Now I do not subscribe to the I-have-a-problem-open-the-bible-and-whatever-page-it-falls-open-to-that’s-the-answear society, but these verses spoke to me mightily. I wanted to be able to speak something, read something that would leave people with hope, and I found it.

Psalm 44:9-26
I repeat from yesterday, this Psalm is an encapsulation of Job’s lament.

23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Get up! Do not reject us forever.

24 Why do you look the other way?
Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?

25 We collapse in the dust,
lying face down in the dirt.

26 Rise up! Come and help us!
Save us because of your unfailing love.


Proverbs 22:13

Mike I feel you in your comments about this particular verse. Reading this verse this morning while on the train going to work I jotted down this little note:

Is this speaking about a something other than true fear? Or is fear somehow rooted in laziness. In the Parable of the Talents, the man who buried his talent said he was afraid, the Master said he was lazy, as well as wicked. (Matthew 25:24-26)

The writer of the Book of First John states, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18 KJV). So what is fear and what is its relationship to laziness? Is there really a relationship between fear and laziness, or are we calling laziness fear to make it more palatable? Hmm, a quandary.

Wonderful Scriptures from JOB.

God answers with a set of questions. Awesome. No one else can answer those questions except the One who made it.

Those scriptures shows How WISE, How Mighty ... Man, Our God is AWESOME GOD.

2 Corin 4:16-22

The God's advice on focus is the problems but on the problems producing fruits of immeasurably glory.
I guess I ll have to look at my problems in this light.

Psalms,
Mike, that is really good that you mentioned about reality in prayer.
People recite and say prayer by rote.
But Honestly from heart, That is real prayer


Proverbs,

Even in the best of days, We might say all excuses just to cover our laziness,
God make us to realise when we do that.

Bless us ALL,
Amen

JOB 38

VERSES 1 through 6
"Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind: "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"

This is exactly why, even if we are right in the truth we believe, we need to be humble before our Loving Lord and others. For the attitude of the heart is more important than the truth known. Of course, one cannot actually truly, sincerely believe the truth without the proper humility of heart—but pride is always a caution to guard against.

2 CORINTHIANS 4

VERSES 16 through 18
"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever."

I like the meditation from the website, hebrew4christians.com, which is a Messianic Jewish website enabling Christians to glean from the richness of our Jewish roots. It relates directly to this point, and its words are excellent:

*********
For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as were all my fathers. (Psalm 39:12b)

In this verse, David confesses that he, like his forefathers, is ger v’toshav - a stranger and a sojourner in this world. This is a paradoxical phrase, since:
a) a ger is one who is just passing through, like a visitor or tourist
b) whereas a toshav is one who is a resident, like a settler or citizen.

How can someone be both a visitor and a resident of a place, or a stranger and a citizen at the same time? How can one “pass through” a place he is said to dwell?

Being ger v’toshav means understanding that the changes of life are the medium for that which is eternal and abiding.

We neither detach from life nor cling to it,
but live in the mediation of time and eternity.

Every moment of life is therefore made sacred, since it is the occasion to transform the temporal into the eternal.

Like a stranger, the ger v’toshav

a. holds on to things lightly,

b. yet at the same time is passionately committed to them as a gift from God.

He is both infinitely resigned in life and infinitely engaged in life,
since he understands that all of life is ordered to ultimately reveal the glory of God.

He dies to this present world and is resurrected in the undying life of God.

If we are given grace to answer the call of Jesus to “take up our cross,” we presently become ger v’toshav.

As gerim, we confess that we are strangers in this present world,

but as toshavim we believe that our labors are not in vain, and that our true citizenship is in heaven.

We must die in order to live.
***************

PSALM 44

There are times when we have reaped the consequences of our own foolishness and sin (thus dealing with a sense of our foolishness blocking us from God’s intimacy, and experiencing His discipline). Or there are times when, even when people have faithfully obeyed and yielded their hearts to the Lord through the Spirit in obedience, God has seemed distant just like what is expressed in verse 23:

verse 23
"Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever."

Yet, either way, God is always faithful to His covenant and His word—and that is what we can and must be rooted in… for OUR LIFE!

PSALM 44
4
You are my King and my God.
You command victories for your people.
5
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.

Notice, God has commanded victory for His people. He will not fail His Word. Thank Him for that.

Vance

Job 37:1-39:30


I have heard this, “God is in control,” probably hundreds of times. It is one of those pithy little sayings that I just repeat but have never really considered the words that make up the saying nor the true weight of the saying. Today, with this reading I kind of “get it.” God IS in control. No matter what it looks like, feels like, whether we call out, “Where was God when the World Trade Towers fell five years ago, God is in control.


"And have you ever ordered Morning, 'Get up!' told Dawn, 'Get to work!' So you could seize Earth like a blanket and shake out the wicked like cockroaches? As the sun brings everything to light, brings out all the colors and shapes, The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked-- they're caught in the very act!
(Job 38:12-15 MSG)

God is surly in control despite what we may think, despite what it looks like. WOW

In my reading of “With Christ In The School Of Prayer”, I ran across a reference to a Lutheran pastor named Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880).

I found the following information very enlightening and encouraging from a website with sermons by Richard M. Riss from Middlesex Presbyterian Church, Middlesex, N.J.

The name of this sermon is called, “THE ACTS OF GOD IN HISTORY”, given Feb. 22, 1998.

source: http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/sermons/0002.html

“One of the most remarkable modern-day stories of revival concerns Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880), who began pastoring a Lutheran church in Moetlingen, Germany in 1838. Within a few years, a young girl in his church named Gottlieben Dittus was diagnosed by physicians as ‘demon-possessed.’ She had what people said was a strange nervous disorder, and many psychic phenomena were taking place in her home. Everyone in her family and in the village seemed to knew about these things, and finally, one of the doctors came to Blumhardt and asked him, ‘Is there no pastor in this village who can pray? I can do nothing here.’

Blumhardt wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with this, but because of pressure from his congregation, he felt compelled to pray after this doctor confronted him. The resulting spiritual battle lasted two years, and during this time, Blumhardt was neglecting his pastoral work. He was becoming tense and exhausted, and people began to think that he was about ready to collapse, mentally and physically.

But then, something happened unexpectedly. Gottlieben's sister, who was in the room, gave a loud, long cry in a strange voice, ‘Jesus is Victor,’ and suddenly, this girl was delivered. On the
very same day, many people in the village reported hearing the whirring of wings and cries of despair, ‘Into the abyss, into the abyss, woe oh woe, we must go into the abyss!’

These events transformed the whole village. There was a tremendous revival in which lives were transformed, broken marriages were restored, enemies were reconciled, and people began to experience physical healings.

Blumhardt was more surprised by this than anyone. Prior to this time, as a matter of course, he had been laying his hands upon various members of his Lutheran church for absolution. But suddenly, people were experiencing healings when he was doing this.

His preaching began to take on a new depth, and people started to come from all over Germany to hear him preach. He had to conduct five services every Sunday, and his little church was filled to capacity each time, with people standing outside up to a radius of up to an entire kilometer.

At one point, the German emperor himself came to find out what was going on in this little town.”

Johann C. Blumhardt (1805-1880) is regarded by many as the father of German pietism. He had a son named Christoph F. Blumhardt (1842-1919) influenced a whole generation of Europeans, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Emil Brunner, Oscar Cullman, and Karl Barth.

Praise God for a godly legacy! What rich treasures are in the Body of Christ!

Job 37 (NKJV)
23
As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress.
24
Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart.

NOTE:
Elihu really got this exactly correct! God is truly awesome! We can never ever hope to find God unless He had taken the first step and revealed Himself to us. THANK GOD THAT GOD TOOK THAT FIRST STEP—when we look at the Lord Jesus, we do see the Father!

John 14 (NKJV)
7
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Job 38 (NKJV) - The LORD Reveals His Omnipotence to Job
1
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
2
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3
Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

NOTE:
We really have to be careful to speak “glibly” and “so casually” that we give the impression that we are on His level or that we know everything about God!

It has been said before and it bears repeating: Job’s “friends” were convinced they knew the mind of God and God’s will concerning Job—and they were completely wrong as God Himself says in the last chapter of the book of Job.

Yet, we CAN REALLY KNOW God, and we are CALLED TO REALLY KNOW God. But, it must be born out of spending time before the Lord in prayer, meditation on God’s Word, fasting, etc.

We do not do these things to EARN entrance to intimacy—it is just the way to intimately know God. We need to set aside distractions (sin, desires for pleasure that war in our members, TV, other good things, etc.) in order to know God.

It is easier to talk about it than to do it. Yet, IT IS WORTH IT!

The Lutheran pastor Johann C. Blumhardt (1805-1880) is one example of reaching deep into the treasures of the Presence of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4 (NKJV)
13
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” [Psalm 116:10] we also believe and therefore speak,
14
knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

NOTE:
Now the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul speaks how we can reach into the treasures of the Presence of Christ.

Reading a portion of Psalm 116 (NKJV) is very helpful in understanding what the Holy Spirit is saying in 2 Corinthians 4:13

Psalm 116 (NKJV)
1
I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
2
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
3
The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.
4
Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!”
5
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.
6
The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
7
Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
9
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10
I believed, therefore I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted.”
~~~

The Jewish translation and comment on Psalm 116 is extremely useful and helpful in helping me understanding what the Holy Spirit speaks through the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:13.

THEN I WOULD INVOKE THE NAME OF HASHEM: ‘PLEASE HASHEM, SAVE MY SOUL!’
This denotes fervent pleading.

GRACIOUS IS HASHEM AND RIGHTEOUS, OUR GOD IS MERCIFUL.
The Psalmist explains that BEFORE He invoked Hashem’s Name, these thoughts passed through his mind. That is, he meditated on God’s Word, in which his faith was planted, and out of which his faith grows. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget NOT His benefits.”

RETURN TO YOUR REST, MY SOUL; FOR HASHEM HAS BEEN KIND TO YOU.
I said to my soul that it would find peace and comfort ONLY if it would return to Hashem.

I KEPT THE FAITH ALTHOUGH I WOULD SAY, ‘I SUFFER EXCEEDINGLY.’
I trust that which I have previously said – ‘Return my soul, unto your rest’ – for I believe that God can redeem me from my deep suffering and restore my tranquility.

That last comment is a TREMENDOUS blessing! It really unlocked a key for me.

In essence, this has been my meditation today:
David calls upon the Lord. Before he does so, however, he meditates on the CHARACTER of God as WRITTEN IN THE WORD of God in order to establish his prayers in the faith God can accept.

I call on the Lord. Before I do so, however, I meditate on the CHARACTER of God as WRITTEN IN THE WORD of God in order to establish his prayers in the faith God can accept.

As David meditates on the Lord, he speaks to his soul that it would find peace and comfort ONLY if it would return to Hashem. He casts all of his care, all of his being, onto the Lord, the ONLY Source of his total life!

As I meditate on the Lord, I speak to my soul that it would find peace and comfort ONLY if it would return to Hashem. I cast all of his care, all of his being, onto the Lord, the ONLY Source of his total supply!

Then, David verbally RE-AFFIRMS the positive confession he made earlier in the midst of a great trial: He trusts that which he had previously said – ‘Return my soul, unto your rest’ – for I believe that God can redeem me from my deep suffering and restore my tranquility.

Vance

John,

You said: The problem here, and I did not see Bob Deffingbaugh pointing it out: We do not get glorified bodies until the resurrection of our earthly bodies. In the meantime, at death, we live in heaven as disembodied spirits (if I am wrong about this - please someone correct me.)

I don't know that I want to go so far as to "correct" you, but I would offer something I read recently by J. Vernon McGee that may provide some additional light on this subject:

Thru-The-Bible Commenary Series, The Epistles, Ephesians, J. Vernon McGee,
pp. 118-119

"When he ascended up on high" refers to the ascension of Christ. At that time He did two things: (1) He led captivity captive, which refers, I believe, to the redeemed of the Old Testament who went up to paradise when they died. Christ took these believers with Him out of paradise into the very presence of God when He ascended. Today when a believer dies, we are not told that he goes to paradise, but rather he is absent from the body and present with the Lord (See 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). (2) When Christ ascended He also gave gifts to men. This means that He conferred gifts upon living believers in the church so that they might witness to the world. In His ascension, Christ not only brought the Old Testament saints into God's presence, but he also, through the Holy Spirit, bestowed His gifts. At the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit baptized believers into the body of Christ and then endowed them with certain gifts, enabling them to function as members of the body. The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the body, and He has been doing the same with each new believer ever since.

"(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above the heavens, that he might fill all things.) [Eph. 4:9-10]

"The logical explanation of these verses is that since Christ ascended, He must have of necessity descended at some previous period. Some see only the Incarnation in this. The early church fathers saw in it the work of Christ in bringing the Old Testament saints out of paradise up to the throne of God. Although the Apostles' Creed states that He descended into hell, it means hades, the place where the dead were, and it is not necessary to assume that He entered into some form of suffering after His death. His Incarnation and death were His humiliation and descent, and they were adequate to bring the redeemed of the Old Tstament into the presence of God. I recognize, however, that there are other interpretations."

Sue,

Thanks.

I also have McGee's commentary. No problem with what you quote here in your post.

I am not sure what the "gifts" bestowed to Old testament saints were in McGee's observation, but I am sure it can be reconciled.

When I say - "disembodied" I am not referring to not being in the body of Christ, just that we will be in "spirit" status until we receive our glorified bodies. We probably can receive gifts of the Holy Spirit without having a physical body in heaven. Perhaps we receive wisdom and knowledge (as gifts of the Spirit) in that we know the answers to all the questions we had here on earth. I can also see having fruits of the Spirit - joy, peace, love, etc as that would seem to be what heaven is all about. I don't think it is necessary to have a "physical body" to receive the items mentioned above.

Hi again, John.

Yes, I did perceive that was what you meant after I was about halfway through the exerpt from McGee, but honestly I hadn't considered whether or not our bodies would be "spiritual" (Glorified?) or physical (such as Jesus portrayed on earth).

I wonder if it is a little of both, in that Jesus did not come through the door when he visited the apostles in the upper room; he was apparently able to pass through solid fixtures (like walls), and yet Thomas was able to place his hand into his wound in his side.

I have to think on this; it is a concept I had not onsidered.

Thanks.

I loved reading God's words in Job. This may sound weird, but i almost had to bow as i read the words directly from God, I just feel such reverence. Of course Jesus is God incarnate, but i dont know..it trips me out sometimes!
Oh, and Corinthians readings are amazing! i LOVE it!

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