the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed.”
2 Corinthians 4
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written by Paul from Macedonia, after Titus had returned from Corinth, and informed him how the Corinthian church had received his first letter. The news was of a mingled kind, and caused him both joy and sorrow. The apostle seems at the time of writing it to have been much troubled and perplexed. We shall commence our reading with the fourth chapter.
2 Corinthians 4:1 , 2 Corinthians 4:2
All underhand dealing and trickery Paul denounced. He said what he meant, and meant what he said. If we cannot spread the truth by plain speech, we cannot spread it at all.
2 Corinthians 4:3 , 2 Corinthians 4:4
If men do not understand the gospel, we must take care that the fault does not lie in our language; but wholly with their blinded carnal hearts.
2 Corinthians 4:7
The weakness of the preacher only shows the power of God when he uses such poor means to accomplish so great an end. Never let us refuse to do good, because our abilities are slender; let us the rather yield up our weakness unto the Lord that he may use it to his own glory.
2 Corinthians 4:12
Paul rejoiced that good came to them by his sufferings. He loved them even as a mother who strips off her own raiment, and exposes herself to the cold to screen her child.
2 Corinthians 4:13 , 2 Corinthians 4:14
He feared not death, for he expected resurrection.
2 Corinthians 4:13
His ruling passion was God’s glory, and this sustained him under sickness, depression, and persecution.
2 Corinthians 4:17 , 2 Corinthians 4:18
See how little Paul makes of trial; he calls it light and momentary; but how much he makes of glory! he labours for expressions, he cannot with the utmost exertion deliver himself. The way to live above trouble is to look up: we shall grow giddy if we look down upon earthly things, for they are tossed to and fro like waves of the sea.
Afflictions may press me, they cannot destroy,
One glimpse of his love turns them all into joy;
And the bitterest tears, if he smile but on them,
Like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem.
A scrip on my back, and a staff in my hand,
I march on in haste through an enemy’s land;
The road may be rough, but it cannot be long,
So I’ll smooth it with hope, and cheer it with song.
“Willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5
2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know not we think or hope only, but we know
2 Corinthians 5:1
Our clay cottage will come down, but our heavenly mansion is ready to receive us.
2 Corinthians 5:2-4
We cannot be satisfied here, for we are exiled from the glory land and compassed with infirmities. We await with expectation the summons, “Rise up and come away.”
2 Corinthians 5:5
God is preparing us for heaven, and has given us already a sure pledge of it in the possession of the Holy Ghost.
2 Corinthians 5:8
The exile longs to return, the child pines for his fathers house, and so do we pant for our own dear country beyond the river, and sigh for the bosom of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
With this is view, we cannot afford to trifle or to sin. Every day should be viewed in the light of the last day, and then we shall live as we should.
2 Corinthians 5:13
The apostle did everything for Jesus and his church, and if any blamed his actions, he bade them remember that love to them was the sole motive of all he did.
2 Corinthians 5:14
then were all dead or rather, all died
2 Corinthians 5:15
The death of Jesus for us has made us reckon ourselves dead to all but him, and for him alone would we exist.
2 Corinthians 5:16
Everything was spiritual, even his sight of Jesus with his mortal eyes was no longer cared for, in comparison with faith’s view of him after a spiritual fashion.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Are we thus made righteous? These verses are wonderfully weighty: do we understand them by personal experience? Are we new creatures, reconciled by Jesus, blood, accepted in the Beloved, and one with him? These are points which demand immediate inquiry.