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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

Make a Difference in the World!

Hold Me Accountable in My Faith!

Today, we begin with a reading from the Book of Galatians.  To me, one of the powerful themes in this chapter is the insistence of Paul that everyone who teaches and preaches the Gospel of Christ must be held accountable – accountable in our teaching, preaching and actions.  Paul challenges the people of Galatia to hold even him accountable.  As we read this chapter, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Do I hold myself accountable for the Gospel I believe, teach and preach?”

The Letter of Paul to the Galatians  

Salutation

1 Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the members of God’s family who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

There Is No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

10 Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship

(Cp Acts 9)

11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; 23 they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.   [1]

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. In the 1st Chapter of Galatians, Paul expressed concern that some of the Galatians have so quickly forsaken the Gospel for another gospel. Why do you think these persons were quick to move on to another gospel?
  2. What are your thoughts about what Paul says regarding everyone, including himself to be held accountable for expressing the true Gospel?
  3. Other thoughts regarding this chapter?

 

 

Prayer:  Hold me accountable, Lord!  Hold me accountable for the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart!  Hold me accountable!   Hold me accountable for my actions.  Lord, I want to serve you.  Lord, I want to witness for you.  Lord,  I want to bless your name at all times.  Search me and know me.  Try me and see if there are any wicked ways in me.  Then lead me in the path everlasting.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ga). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Galatians chapter 1 https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Galatians-chapter-1-e7mcdp

A Thorn in the Flesh

Paul’s Visions and Revelations

2 Corinthians 12 It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it. Indeed you should have been the ones commending me, for I am not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 How have you been worse off than the other churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 Let it be assumed that I did not burden you. Nevertheless (you say) since I was crafty, I took you in by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? We are speaking in Christ before God. Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up. 20 For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and that I may have to mourn over many who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced. [1]

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts of the vision Paul shares with the Corinthians?
  2. Paul speaks of asking the Lord to remove a “Thorn in the flesh” – What do you think he is talking about – a physical ailment or a personal conflict?
  3. Other thoughts you have after reading this chapter?

 

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to function, help me to be useful, even when my body does not work the way I want it to work.  I need your motivation to make the most of every day, every night and every opportunity.  Lord,  be my strength. Lord, be my guide.  Lord, be my inspiration this day and every day of life.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 12:1–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: 2 Corinthians chapter 12 https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/2-Corinthians-chapter-12-e6m00r

Let Down in a Basket!

Acts 9: 23 After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ac 9:23–25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2 Corinthians 11: 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul ends the 11th chapter by recounting how he escaped capture in Damascus by being let down a wall in a basket.  We first learn of this incident in Acts chapter 9.  In the Acts version, Paul is converted on the road to Damascus, blinded for three days, instructed in the way of Jesus by Ananias, then he begins to preach and teach in such a powerful manner that he becomes disruptive to the local authorities.

After his conversion we do not know how long Paul remained in Damascus. Evidently, Paul made quite a witness in Damascus for Jesus.  So much so, he angered the authorities who wanted to arrest him!  As the authorities were closing in on him, his supporters lowered him to the ground in a basket and he was ushered to safety.

 

First lesson from this story:  not everyone was happy with the conversion and preaching of Paul.  Anytime you do something worthwhile, there will be those who are not happy:  Not happy because they do not agree with you; Not happy because they are jealous and envious; Not happy because what you say may be a threat to them financially, physically and politically.

For example: the people who argue against climate change are threatened by what climate change represents for another reason: potential loss of revenue!  Even though the beach at Miami erodes each year, developers keep building closer and closer to the water!  Many of these persons want to ignore the threat of climate change. 

But, the reverse is also true – if you can demonstrate economic benefit, you can win hearts.  In my opinion, one of the major reasons the Civil Rights Movement was successful in America was the realization in the white community that the economics of dollars spent by African Americans would benefit whites as well as blacks.

The problem some had with Paul was he challenged the economics of his day

 

When Paul could not protect himself, new supporters came to his rescue.  In each of our lives, there comes a point when we need the help of someone else.  The supporters of Paul may have looked like they loved and cared for him – but my question is this:  Who told them to love and care for Paul?  Answer:  surely it was the hand of God!

In like manner, when you look back over your life, who do you think orchestrated your rescue and support?  It is nothing short of the Lord!

 

Who can you relate to in this story?  Paul, his friends, those who wanted to kill him, or those who stayed on the sidelines?  Every day of life we make a choice of how we want to live:  Positive or negative, supportive or destructive.  If you choose to do nothing, you still are making a choice – you let others have their way.

I thank God that in the rough points of life, there has always been someone in my life like the friends of Paul to “let me down in a basket”  I am not so foolish to believe that it was solely because of friendship or my goodness.  In my heart, I know it was nothing but the hand of God!-

If you are in Detroit this weekend, I will be preaching about Paul being, “Let down in a basket” at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, which is located at 600 E. Warren Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48201 at 8:30 and 11 AM

Blessings, Nick

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 11:32–33). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Prayer – Lord Let My Death be Easy

Lord, make my death an easy death. I pray that my last breath will be gentle and drenched in your grace. Lord, I do not want to linger in suffering. When you are ready to receive me, take me peacefully and swiftly. Help me to say my last goodbyes, right now. I want to tell people right now how much I appreciate them and love them. Lord, I pray that when and if I become ill, make those who care for me to be skillful, kind and loving. Lord I pray that the medical proffessionals, from the doctor to the nurse to the person who transports the sick on rolling beds and wheelchairs, will be truly interested in my care and not guided by how much money they can make by poking me, prodding me and prescribing medicine that they are not sure will make me well. Lord, I pray that my death will be easy. I pray your help that each day I live will be a testimony of my faith in thee. Lord, I trust you. Lord, I believe in you. I pray now that when the end comes, and I realize that one day it will come, make my death an easy death, a gentle death, a peaceful death. Cause me to sleep the sleep of death and transport me into life everlasting where I can praise you into time immortal. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick

Paul Challenges False Prophets

Have you ever felt like someone preached and taught about Jesus, but something was wrong?  In his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses the issue of “False Apostles.”  People were teaching and preaching about Jesus, but their message was not totally on point.  One of the lessons from this chapter is the importance of listening carefully to others to make sure that the gospel they teach and preach is accurate.  Another point Paul makes in this chapter is that he does not feel that he makes a great impression on others physically.  He says he has a weak voice is not particularly attractive, yet, God uses him as an instrument to witness on behalf of Jesus Christ.  This should be an encouragement to any person who feels like they do not make the best physical impression on others – that God still has something important for you to accomplish!  Paul concludes the chapter by telling the Corinthians how he was protected in Damascus by being let down in a basket by supporters through a hole in the wall.  Thank you for joining me on reading and reflecting on this chapter.  A link to my podcast reading of this chapter is at the conclusion of this writing.

Paul and the False Apostles

2 Corinthians 11 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough. I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge; certainly in every way and in all things we have made this evident to you.

Did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed God’s good news to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for my needs were supplied by the friends who came from Macedonia. So I refrained and will continue to refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boast of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

12 And what I do I will also continue to do, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in what they boast about. 13 For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.

Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

16 I repeat, let no one think that I am a fool; but if you do, then accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying in regard to this boastful confidence, I am saying not with the Lord’s authority, but as a fool; 18 since many boast according to human standards, I will also boast. 19 For you gladly put up with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you put up with it when someone makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madman—I am a better one: with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death. 24 Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked. 28 And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not indignant?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (blessed be he forever!) knows that I do not lie. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.[1]

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. In this chapter, Paul speaks of “False Apostles.” How would you describe a modern, “False Apostle”?
  2. What images come to your mind as Paul describes the several beatings he endured as well as being shipwrecked?
  3. Why do you think that the Corinthians could so easily be swayed to a less than pure faith?
  4. In this chapter, Paul expresses concern that he is untrained in speech. Do you think Paul doubted himself because he was not a great orator?

 

Prayer: Lord, accept me as I am!  I may not be the most beautiful or handsome person, I may not be the tallest person, my voice may not be deep and resonate, but I want you to accept me as I am!  Transform me in my imperfection.  Bless me in my weakness.  Show me how to use the gifts you have endowed me to the glory of your name.  Bless me now in your Spirit!  Bless me now with a renewal of faith and the fullness of your love.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 11:1–33). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: 2 Corinthians chapter 11 https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/2-Corinthians-chapter-11-e6f66o

Paul Defends his Ministry

In the 10th chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul defends his ministry.  Although we do not have physical images of Paul, several paintings and drawings have been made of his image.  In this chapter, Paul describes himself in the most unpleasant of ways.  He tells the Corinthians that he has heard that his letters carry greater weight than his physical presence and his oratory.  Even so, Paul says that his defence is the strength of his ministry and message.  I encourage you to pay careful attention to his self-description as you ask yourself, “Is my physical presence as powerful as my online presence – my tweets, texts and emails?”  At the conclusion of this podcast, during the questions for reflection, I will share a story from my life in politics as a pastor, when a woman in an endorsement screening meeting looked me up and down and essentially told me that my reputation was greater than my physical presence.  To this day, I still think it was a humorous experience that reminded me of how Paul described himself. Walk with me now as we read together, 2nd Corinthians chapter 10.

Paul Defends His Ministry

2 Corinthians10 I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards. Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.

Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we. Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond limits, but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you. 14 For we were not overstepping our limits when we reached you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the good news of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limits, that is, in the labors of others; but our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may proclaim the good news in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in someone else’s sphere of action. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends. [1]

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts of the way Paul defends his ministry?
  2. In reading this chapter, Paul says that people criticize him for being stronger in his letters than in his physical appearance. Can you think of any modern similarities?  10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”
  3. Other thoughts and reflections on this chapter?

 

 

Prayer:  Lord, make me a strong witness for you!  Guide my thoughts, that they might be pure.  Guide my words that they might be sure.  Guide my feet in a steady path, and lead me to your righteousness.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 10:1–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: 2 Corinthians chapter 10 https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/2-Corinthians-chapter-10-e6dmkd

Reconciliation

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Matthew 5: 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift[1]

Today I would like to reflect on reconciliation.  Why does Jesus give the command to reconcile?  In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus commands us to reconcile before bringing an offering to God. Our relationships represent the core of what it means to be human.  Unreconciled relationships can leave us angry, hurt and embarrassed.  Reconciliation is the foundation of forgiveness.  Reconciliation can repair a relationship, but it may not restore a relationship to what it once was.  It is significant that Jesus taught that before worshiping God, we should reconcile our relationships.

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.  (Matthew 5)

Some people find it easier to worship God than to be nice to one another.  One of the sad realities in American politics is the willingness of some in the evangelical church to praise God, but at the same time turn a back to the immigrant seeking justice and freedom.  Let me share with you a step by step process for reconciliation:

  1. Acknowledge when there is a breach in a relationship
  2. Pray to the Lord for guidance – what to say, when and how to say what needs to be said
  3. When appropriate, make amends for your mistake, and offer forgiveness for the mistakes of others

We need to understand and recognize that others may not want to reconcile.  Some people are stuck on being angry, hurt, and embarrassed.  If and when this happens, the best we can do is to bring our petition to God and reconcile ourselves to the Lord.  Once we reconcile with Jesus, all we can do is move on.  It may not be easy.  It may not be comfortable, but if you have reconciled with the Lord, Jesus will walk  you through the process of healing.

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. When have you needed reconciliation?
  2. Have you found the steps for reconciliation outlined in this piece to be a help to you?
  3. What other steps for reconciliation would you add to my list above?

 

Prayer:  Lord, I need your reconciliation!  Where I have wronged any person, grant me the humility to seek your forgiveness, their forgiveness and the personal forgiveness of myself.  Bless me this day with newness of life and a newness of faith in thee.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 5:23–24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Those who Sow Abundantly Reap Abundantly!

 

In the 9th Chapter of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul encourages the church at Corinth to make good on their promise to support the poor in Jerusalem.  The base of operations for Paul is the church at Antioch, Syria.  The church at Antioch is relatively rich.  The church in Jerusalem is the mother church, but it is not wealthy as the church in Antioch.  Antioch was the eastern base for the Roman army.  It was a center of commerce and culture.  By helping the poor in Jerusalem, Paul is doing a worthwhile ministry, but also providing a demonstration to the Apostles in Jerusalem that he is serious in his support for the church.

Another point in this chapter is that “God loves a cheerful giver” and if you sow abundantly you will receive abundantly.”  I am not a rich man, but I give what I can to those who are hurting and down on their luck.  Sometimes, I have found that the best gift we can share with others is our wisdom and encouragement.  I have also learned that the more I share with the poor and distraught, the more the Lord blesses me.  As we read chapter 9, I encourage you to ask yourself, what is my attitude regarding sharing from my abundance with the poor, and how has the Lord blessed me in giving to those who are hurting?

The Collection for Christians at Jerusalem

2 Corinthians 9 Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints, for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—in this undertaking. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about the words Paul uses to encourage the Corinthians to raise an offering for the poor in Jerusalem?
  2. How does the approach of Paul in this chapter relate to your personal attitude regarding sharing your wealth with those who are less fortunate?
  3. Paul told the Corinthians that “Those who sow sparingly receive sparingly and those who sow abundantly receive abundantly”. Have you witnessed the reality of this scripture in your life?

 

Prayer:  Lord, I thank you for my abundance.  I thank you for the relative degree of wealth you have bestowed upon me.  Liberate my mind, that I might share what I possess with the poor, the tired and the hungry.  Lord, I am not rich, but because of you, I am not poor!  Open my heart, that I might always find the ability to share with the poor, to take time to talk with the depressed and distressed, to be an encourager and not a discourager in life.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1 Corinthians as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

 

Thank you,

 

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 9:1–15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: 2 Corinthians chapter 9 https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/2-Corinthians-chapter-9-e5rssi

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