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Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019.02.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6

Questions for Littles: What did Paul come to Troas to do (2 Corinthians 2:12)? Who opened that door? But how did Paul feel about it (2 Corinthians 2:13)? Why? So, then what did he do? How was God leading him all this time (2 Corinthians 2:14)? What was God spreading through him? Whom else does God lead in this way? What kind of fragrance are we unto God (2 Corinthians 2:15)? Among whom? What kind of aroma are we to those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:16)? And what kind of aroma to those who are being saved? From Whom have we received this task (2 Corinthians 2:17)? Before Whom do we conduct this task? To whom, and from whom, does the apostle therefore need no recommendation (2 Corinthians 3:1)? What letter of recommendation has been provided him (2 Corinthians 3:2)? By Whom (2 Corinthians 3:3)? With what, instead of ink? Upon what, instead of stone? Through whom have we come to have such a ministry (2 Corinthians 3:4)? From whom can we have what it takes for such a ministry (2 Corinthians 3:5)? What (Who!) is the key for such a ministry as this (2 Corinthians 3:6)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we find out what the victorious Christian life and ministry looks like.

It looks, in part, like having a messed up church that sorrowfully hard letters at one moment, and then another letter just to remind them to forgive and to show their love at another.

The victorious Christian life looks, in part, like being somewhere that you know God has opened up for you, but finding that your spirit is so restless that you just have to go elsewhere.

The victorious Christian life looks , in part, like being an aroma of death to people who are perishing and knowing that your choice is either to become a “peddler of the word of God” or to come to terms with the fact that God does nothing wrong by withholding His life-giving Spirit from some who hear us.

The victorious Christian life looks, in part, like having God’s miraculous work in our hearers being a letter of commendation from Him—that those who criticize us don’t care to read.

“Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ!

How shall we enjoy this victorious procession through life? By focusing upon Him who opens the doors. Him who spreads through us the fragrance of knowing Him. Him who smells upon us the fragrance of His beloved Son. Him who makes us to “smell like” Himself. Him who makes us smell like life itself to those whom He saves through us. Him from whom we have this ministry. Him in whose sight we have this ministry. Him who allows our hearts to rejoice in what He sometimes does with us through His Spirit. Him who has given us fellowship with Christ in this ministry. Him who is our sufficiency for it!

What is the key to ministry? An all-consuming focus upon Him!
What service has Jesus assigned to you at this point in your life? What is the key to that ministry? By what habits in your life does He foster this all-consuming focus upon Him?
Suggested songs: ARP108A “God, My Heart Is Steadfast” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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