Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

9 December 2020

Proverbs 15:18

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
    but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Note the opposite effects each man has. The hot-tempered man stirs up strife. Have you ever been in a Bible study where the discussion has been interesting and then, by the way one person interjects his opinions, an argument ensues? A hot-tempered man stirs up strife when there has been no tension present. On the other hand, the one slow to anger is able to quiet contention. Not only does he not promote strife; he is able to quell it.

Which are you? Do you have a history of losing your cool? Do you “set people off” by the way you speak? Do people have to be careful what they say around you because they don’t know how strongly you are going to react? Most hot-tempered people know that they are that way. But instead of dealing with it, they seem resigned to it and accept that they are going to cause casualties. But that is sin. We do not have the right before God to accept our anger.

If this is your case, please do something about it. Get help. Anger is not something that a person handles on his own. Explore why you have trouble with anger. Learn techniques to control your anger. The trouble of hot-tempered people is not that they have no sense of self-control, but that they don’t exercise control over that one area.

Finally, quit acting as though you must prove yourself. So much anger is the result of thinking that someone is against us and we must exert ourselves in defense. If you are in Christ, understand that God is not against you. Christ has reconciled you to God. And if you are reconciled to him, and if you believe that he is sovereign over your life, there is no reason for remaining hot-tempered. The peace of Christ is with you and in you. And if you are born of God in Christ, it is peace, not anger, that should be manifested in you.

 

2 Corinthians 9-10

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

 

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

10 By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

You are judging by appearances.[b] If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[c] 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.