Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 5:14-17’

Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger

May 25, 2017

James 1-19

In the Verse of the Day for May 25, 2017 we find further directives for Godly people:

James 1:19 (AMP)

Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

In reflecting on this verse of the Day, I divided the instructions into three essential commands for believers and added a poem related to each topic.

Be quick to hear [a ready listener],

The first part of the verse in the Amplified Bible mentions hearing in light of being “a ready listener,” implying a difference between “hearing” and “listening” which are not synonymous. Hearing is perceiving sound waves that are received on the ear. On the other hand, listening involves interpreting and evaluating what is being said with intent to respond.  Hearing is passive, whereas listening should be active. Keith Davis comments, “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind.”

This discussion also brings to mind that listening is an art that is perfected over time by conscious, consistent effort to improve, especially in a spiritual context as we learn to listen to God. As we continually place our ears near to the lips of God, we develop our proficiency in listening to hear the Master’s voice, as we practice in order to perfect this art:

The Art of Listening

God has something to say to you,

God has something to say.

Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.

God has something to say.

Children’s Song

     

The Lord GOD has given Me
the tongue of the learned,

That I should know how to speak
a word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

 

Listen, listen, and learn: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

Understand to listen is not same as to hear.

To listen intently and to learn is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hear and listen in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, and learn: hear with the inner ear.

This message reinforces the Irish Proverb: “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.”

Be slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words . . .]

Throughout the Scriptures believers are exhorted to be mindful of the words they speak.

Ephesians 4:29 in the Message Bible states:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

We are encouraged not only to watch what goes into the mouth but watch what comes out of the mouth

Paul further reminds us: Let your words always be seasoned with salt that they may minister grace to the hearers.

We must be very concerned about the words that we speak since “life and death” is in the power of the tongue.

The Power of the Tongue

But the tongue can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison

James 3:8

 

We know the tongue has power to generate life,

To produce seeds that will eventually take root

And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:

Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife

Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.

With his hand, the helmsman easily turns great ships,

So we covenant to guard the gates of our lips,

For words can heal or pierce the heart as a sharp knife.

We desire life and long to see good all our days,

So we speak the truth and refrain from speaking lies.

Like Jesus, we want our tongue to speak what God says.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Pressing toward the finish, the coming of God’s kingdom,

We seek not just a word but the spirit of wisdom.

Be slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

This last section brings to mind encouragement to change. Where we once were quick to respond angrily or impulsively, we should now strive to become more patient, reflective and forgiving. This section of the verse causes us to recall that as we change our attitude, we can change our world. We can become “change agents” who by our very presence can impact where we interact with others. As agents of change we transform our environment; we give no offense and remove every stumbling block. We have salt in ourselves, and make peace with one another. All in all, we can make a difference as we follow

A Different Approach 

2 Corinthians 5:14-17                                 

Because of Christ’s undying love, we choose to love

Based on the love of God, not on what we can see.

Though blindsided by sin with a distorted view,

Through the lens of God’s love we now have a new creation reality.

We longer know Christ or anyone from a human viewpoint

And refuse to imprison others because of their last offense.

God in Christ forgave us each time we would fail or disappoint.

Each day provides one more fresh start, another day to commence:

The old life is gone; a new life has begun so that we

Can take a different approach: To love, see, and know differently.

Indeed, James 1:19 offers sound advice for us to heed, so aptly stated in the more familiar rendering in the King James Version:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Taylor McCall offers a musical rendering of James 1:19-27 from which the Verse of the Day is taken.

 

No longer live for ourselves but for Christ

April 5, 2016

2 Corinthians 5--14-15

The Verse of the Day for April 5, 2016 is found in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (Amplified Bible), to which we add verses 16 and 17 to round out the passage:

14 For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

The passage begins with a reference to “the love of God “which “controls and compels us.” In the King James Version the phrase used is “constrains us,” which is explained as the Middle Eastern custom of expressing an invitation to dine over and over, beyond the customary offer of once or twice but continuing to compel the individuals until they relent and respond to the love demonstrated toward them. Understanding the extent to which Christ loved us, we conclude that because He died for all of us, so we should no longer live for ourselves but that we should live for Him who died and was raised for our sake.

Recognizing what Christ accomplished on our behalf, we no longer regard individuals from a human point of view, even though we have known Christ from such a vantage point; now we do not even know him from a fleshly perspective. Logos Bible Software explains:

“For instance, the outward distinctions of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slave or free, learned or unlearned, are lost sight of in the higher life of those who are dead in Christ’s death, and alive with Him in the new life of His resurrection.”

The passage concludes with a reference to “new life in Christ Jesus.” In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”) The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man” in verse 17:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible):

Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

Listen to a musical rendering of 2 Corinthians 5:17(NIV):

To close our comments, here is another song inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:17

Close the old, enter the new with a different approach

December 28, 2015

2 Corinthians-5--17

At various times when I am part of a large congregation where the Word of God is being proclaimed, I will zero-in on the minister or teacher so intently that I in my mind I block out those around me and focus on the message, as if I am in a one-on-one teaching situation. Such was the case this past Sunday, the last Sunday of 2015, as my wife and I visited our older daughter and her husband who are members of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia. Pastor Brent Fuller offered a remarkable message based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, as he shared words of inspiration to end the current and jumpstart the New Year with a “Different Approach,” the title of his teaching. As I reviewed my notes and upon further reflection, I was inspired to complete the following:

A Different Approach

2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Because of Christ’s undying love, I choose to love
Based on the love of God, not on what I can see.
Though blindsided by sin with a distorted view,
Through the lens of God’s love I now have a new creation reality.
I longer know Christ or anyone from a human viewpoint
And refuse to imprison others because of their last offense.
God in Christ forgave me each time I would fail or disappoint.
Each day provides one more fresh start, another day to commence:
The old life is gone; a new life has begun that causes me
To take a different approach: To love, see, and know differently.

The final verse of the passage from 2 Corinthians 5 speaks of the individual who abides in fellowship in Christ and becomes a new creation. In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”) The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man in II Corinthians 5:17 which is more clearly expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Steven Curtis Chapman reinforces the message of 2 Corinthians 5:17 with the song “All Things New.”