It is a tragedy, as we will read tomorrow, that
“the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel …” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We have no other choice than to live in this world where so many are blinded. We also do have to do with the many pains we may have to endure. Though we should know many pains and discomforts could be helped to be lessened or being softened by others.
Each of us is here in this world to help the other. Though not many are interested in doing that.
2014 – 2015 school year opening ceremony at Hanoi – Amsterdam High School
Once again a new academic year has started and we are off again on the roads, having the children back to school, having the parents back to work after their Summer holiday.
How many of them can see which wondrous blessings we have that
“God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’,
has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? (verse 6).
2 Corinthians 4:5-10 UKJV (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (8) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Our world was created out of the void when there was only darkness, but God called for light. That ‘light’ shone physically as creation began so long ago, but the wondrous fact for us is, as we will read in chapter 5,
“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (verse 17).
The apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians makes so many points which also requires our attention in this 21st century. He shows the interaction of events and the great value of prayers in all the difficulties they and he are experiencing.
All the kids who went back, or for the first time to a ‘new’ school’ shall have to learn to face different situations which are not always pleasant. Even for those who became a Christian there is no escape, they too shall have to share abundantly in Christ’s suffering. But we can give our kids some hope because we also do know that through Christ, we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1:2-5 UKJV (2) Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.
It is, writes Paul,
“the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction …” (verses 3,4).
This is a comfort we have a responsibility to pass on to others.
This passing on to others is too much and too often forgotten. Many do want to have the blessings, but do not want to do anything in return. They want the grace but do not ask them to tell others about it.
To find people who are willing to preach is very difficult. To find people who are willing to share their knowledge about certain things of this world, like geography, history, ways of constructing a house, or how to keep a healthy family seems to be very difficult. For some time we have been looking for some extra writers on this website, though nobody seems to be interested to join us and to share his or her knowledge for free.
Let us meditate and reflect on the interaction of events we have personally experienced. It seems when we start talking about God and about his son and show others our love for them, we seem to get a negative response and to be kept aside. Suddenly co-operation or interest seems to stop at all sides.
The more we have been active in the service of Christ, the more clearly we will perceive this.
In Paul, the Corinthians saw the most outstanding example of service.
“The afflictions we experienced”,
writes Paul, was such that they were so utterly burdened beyond their strength that they despaired of life itself. We in our regions do not have to be worried so much about that, but several people in several countries, like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and many African countries are facing prosecution. We may not be unaware of the affliction many experienced in Asia and Africa.
2 Corinthians 1:6-8 UKJV (6) And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (7) And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as all of you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall all of you be also of the consolation. (8) For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
We, in our safer regions also have to undergo problems, shunning and are not always facing a nice life. But we have set our hope that Jesus will return and that he and his God, Who is also our God (the God of Abraham), will deliver us again. Though we have to remember that like at the time of the apostles, they had to be helped by prayer, so that many will give thanks on their behalf for the blessing granted them through the prayers of many, we too need such help.
2 Corinthians 1:9-10 UKJV (9) But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead: (10) Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
We cannot just rely on people. We like Paul have to realize that we must rely not on ourselves but on God (verse 9).
2 Corinthians 1:9-11 UKJV (9) But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead: (10) Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (11) All of you also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
Having set our hope that he will deliver us again, (verse 10), does not mean that we do not need each other, and that we should not help each other. We still have to be loving for each other and helping each other.
Paul makes an appeal that we should specially take notice of. He tells the Corinthians,
2 Corinthians 1:11-12 UKJV (11) All of you also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. (12) For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.
Other apostles came with similar requests to their flock.
Romans 15:30-32 UKJV Now I plead to you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love (o. agape) of the Spirit, (o. pneuma) that all of you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; (31) That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; (32) That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
As in the early centuries of this common era there was a need of preaching, the apostles going around in the region to tell the Good News, we too today need some people full of hope who are willing to go into the ‘fields’ and to let others know about that Good News. We do want to tell others the Gospel of the Good News, but we too need help from others. We can use some backing.
Not only could we use some additional authors willing to share writings with people from all over the world. We, like the apostles need also your help with prayer.
As the apostles asked for help we also dare to say like the apostle Paul did:
“You also must help us by prayer so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us by the prayers of many” (verse 11).
Many are aware today through the almost instant communication the internet provides of the desperate situations some Iranian believers have experienced. There are also Pakistani believers who are experiencing persecution, and a few truth seekers who have felt it wise to return to Afghanistan. Let us help them by prayer.
Also, may we, as Paul writes in chapter 2, spread
“the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved …” (verses 14,15).
We may be unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish, but should we also not show that we are willing to step in the footsteps of that masterful rabbi?
As of God, in the sight of God we should not hesitate to speak in Christ and to show others the Way to God.
It is not because we can see so much tragedy, having so many people living in a way God would turn His eyes away, that we can not live according to His ordinances and want to show others there is a different way than the way this world has chosen.
On this platform we do want to show others this different way. To do it just on our own is not so easy. We could do with some extra hands.
Everybody has some field in which he or she is good. So everybody should be able to find something to write about which could be enlightening and educating for the others.
Having a new academic year, would this not be a good start to provide your input?
From your professionalism is there nothing you can contribute to our community and to bring some more knowledge to others, believers and non-believers in God?
Is the time not ripe to take up the pen and to join those who believe we should share more with others? It is out of love that we should share more with others. And believe it, there is lots to share about, and it has not all to do with religion.
In case you are not good at writing, you too can help, by praying for us and by letting others know our site. Promotion is always something that can help as well and motivate to continue our work. (Be sure it does not harm to motivate others now and a while.)
We do hope we can go into a fruitful new academic year in which we shall find some interested souls to join us and to share with us the love for this globe where we may reside in peace.
Please do pray for all those in need and also pray for our work, that we also may reach people in need and help them.
You may find about prayer:
Praying and thinking positively
Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything
God, my father, my closest friend
Laboring in the Vineyard or Sitting on the Hillside with Jonah?
What moves mountains?
- Walking alone?7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
- Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
- Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
- Praying is surrendering in all circumstances
- Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers
- Be vigilant with a view to prayers
- Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
- Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
- Do You Expect God’s Answer
- Being sure of their deliverance
- Old Man of Prayer
- Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
- Praise Jehovah
- Always rejoicing
- Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
Further reading of interest: