Day 336 December 2
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
and his clothes not get burned?
28 If a man walks on hot coals,
don’t his feet get burned?
29 So is the man who approaches his neighbor’s wife;
anyone who touches her will be punished.
30 People don’t despise a thief if he steals
to fill his starving stomach.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold;
he must give all the riches of his house.
32 He who commits adultery is senseless.
Doing so, he destroys himself.
33 He is wounded and disgraced.
His shame will never be wiped away.
34 Jealousy makes a man rage;
he’ll show no mercy on his day of revenge.
35 He won’t accept compensation;
he’ll refuse even a large bribe.
2 Corinthians 11:23-33
23-27 I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.
28-29 And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.
30-33 If I have to “brag” about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I’m not lying. Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.
Comment: this chapter is such a blessed window into the life of Paul and Christian leadership.
2 John 5:13-21
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of God’s Son so that you can know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence that we have in our relationship with God: If we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us. 15 If we know that he listens to whatever we ask, we know that we have received what we asked from him. 16 If anyone sees a brother or sister committing a sin that does not result in death, they should pray, and God will give life to them—that is, to those who commit sins that don’t result in death. There is a sin that results in death—I’m not saying that you should pray about that. 17 Every unrighteous action is sin, but there is a sin that does not result in death.
18 We know that everyone born from God does not sin, but the ones born from God guard themselves, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 We know that God’s Son has come and has given us understanding to know the one who is true. We are in the one who is true by being in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols!
Comment: many complicated truths often have equally complicated sides. Where scripture says “We know that” it also gives another angle/angel.
Prayer: Lord, watch over all my ways that I might know you more and more. Amen.