2 Samuel 5-7, Psalm 109, Mark 14:12-31, 2 Corinthians 13 2 Corinthians 13: Paul comes towards the end of this letter and towards the end of his defense of his own ministry and the defense of the gospel itself. Here we can glean some principles from which we can learn as we seek to guard…

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2 Samuel 3-4, Psalm 108, Mark 14:1-11, 2 Corinthians 12:11-21 2 Corinthians 12:11-21: Paul’s defense of himself – which, as he clarifies at the end of this section, is really a defense of the gospel – continues. You sense here especially the deep emotion, the pain, and indeed some of the frustration that Paul carried in his relationship…

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2 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 107, Mark 13:32-37, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 2 Corinthians 12:1-10: As Paul continues to defend himself, his ministry – all for the purpose of defending the gospel – he now continues to turn the tables on his opponents. He is “boasting” about his achievements and abilities, but in the final analysis, the boasting takes…

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1 Samuel 29-31, Psalm 106:24-48, Mark 13:14-31, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 2 Corinthians 11:16-33: Paul is continuing to defend his ministry – because by doing so he is defending the gospel. But now he takes the defense of the gospel a stage further. Apparently the false-teachers had been accusing Paul of being weak and inadequate because…

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1 Samuel 26-28, Psalm 106:1-23, Mark 13:1-13, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 2 Corinthians 11:1-15: Paul continues to defend himself – but really he is defending the gospel. Into the focus now comes the “super apostles.” These were false teachers who were confusing the Corinthians. Paul takes them on. What can we learn from Paul about how…

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1 Samuel 24-25, Psalm 105, Mark 12:35-44, 2 Corinthians 10 2 Corinthians 10: Is it ever right to defend yourself? Paul apparently thought so. Sometimes Christians can act as if they should be run over by the bus, road kill on the way to someone else’s agenda, all in the name of “self-sacrificial love.” But…

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1 Samuel 21-23, Psalm 104, Mark 12:28-34, 2 Corinthians 9 2 Corinthians 9: This chapter continues Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians (and us) about generosity. How does he teach about generosity? First, he encourages the Corinthians. Sometimes we can only ever hear the “ask.” But Paul takes the time to point out how generous the…

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1 Samuel 19-20, Psalm 103, Mark 12:13-27, 2 Corinthians 8 2 Corinthians 8 Now Paul moves on to another matter that is a common cause of friction in church life – and which was a problem in Corinth. Chapter 8 is the first of two chapters that focus on generosity. In the early days, the…

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1 Samuel 17-18, Psalm 102, Mark 12:1-12, 2 Corinthians 7 2 Corinthians 7: This part of 2 Corinthians is in essence a lengthy – and somewhat emotional – discussion about Paul’s relationship to the Corinthian church that hinges on a particular observation he has now made. That observation is: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and…

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1 Samuel 15-16, Psalm 101, Mark 11:27-33, 2 Corinthians 6 2 Corinthians 6: Paul is continuing to describe some of the characteristics of an excellent gospel ministry. This matters to us because whether we are a gospel minister ourselves or not, we all – all Christians – have a responsibility to share the gospel. And we all need…

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