2 Corinthians 2

Thank You, Lord, that You love me like no other.

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“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through ups spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2:14 NIV)

“In Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.  Through us, He brings knowledge of Christ.  Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.  Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation–an aroma redolent with life.  But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” (2:14-16 MSG)

Father, thanks that You make it so that others can smell Jesus on me.  Only You can cause Your scent to be stronger than my own, and to be recognizable as originating from You.

Thank You for the victory over sin that You make possible when I follow You.  This passage says You LEAD us in this “triumphal procession” or “perpetual victory parade.”  The only way You can LEAD is if I choose to follow … and I do!  I choose to follow You and I thank You for the victory You bring, as You shape me to be just like Jesus!  Amen.

*link embedded in “perpetual victory parade” is to Kathy Troccoli’s song “Parade” from her Love Has a Name project

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Acts 21

Father, make a difference in my heart that’s daily evident in my life.

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“…I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (v 13)

This statement of Paul’s reminds me of what Luke recorded of You, Lord, in Luke 9:51, “As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”  You KNEW exactly what was ahead of You on that route and yet You let nothing alter Your journey’s destination. (See other posting at Leading Toward Easter: The Determination of Jesus)

Paul later wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1 NIV).  Here, in this passage in Acts, it’s evident that he’s following in Your footsteps and completely committed to following You to death (knowing what awaits him beyond this life).

Someone who was acquainted with Paul, and may have been part of the ones trying to help him not get caught in this account (Ac 21:17-26), was Peter.  Later on, You moved him to write, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps” (1 Pet 2:21 NIV).

At any given time, the tide could turn in this nation toward the persecution of Your followers, as in other countries.  YOU are my life, Jesus.  May I never hold too tightly to the things and people of this world that it would keep me from remaining true, bold and firm in my devotion to YOU.  May I truly, from the depths of my being, be able to say with Paul, “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  YOU were willing to be bound, beaten, and to die for ME, Lord Jesus.  Keep on making me just like You.  Amen.