Corinthians – Revealing Our Sufficiency

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Many keys are revealed in the Epistles of Corinthians that will help us discover and enjoy our sufficiency that we have received in Christ. The more we come to know Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior from the Church Epistles, the more he in turn reveals to our understanding that God has given to us our sufficiency in all things. Jesus Christ introduces our loving Father’s will for our sufficiency.

II Corinthians 2:15-17:
-15: For we are unto God a sweet savour {a sweet fragrance} of Christ, in them that are saved {in those who we can reach with God’s Word}, and in them that perish: {Those we share God’s Word with, and yet they refuse to believe are “them that perish.” We who speak the Word are not responsible for other people’s believing, so when we simply speak the Word and share our blessings we are always a sweet fragrance and aroma of Christ to God, in other words, we bless God completely when we open up our hearts to others.}
-16: To the one {who refuses God’s Word} we are the savour of death unto death {spiritual death}; and to the other {to those who will believe, we are} the savour of life unto life {the abundant life that we enjoy having God’s sufficiency and eternal life}. And who is sufficient for these things? {The answer is we are always sufficient to present God’s Word as a sweet fragrance.}
-17: For we are not as many, which corrupt {water down, dilute} the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in {of} Christ.

God has made us sufficient and complete to present Jesus Christ to anyone, for God has given us the Word and ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-20). So rather than watering down or diluting God’s Word like some do by embellishing it or stating half‑truths, we can speak God’s wonderful healing Word in sincerity.

Revelations 22:18-19:
-18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
-19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelations gives us a very good reason why we speak what God’s Word says. It is much more enjoyable knowing that when we do speak the gospel of redemption and salvation through Christ, that we are presenting him openly, honestly, and candidly for we are in the sight of God Who always watches over His Word when spoken.

When we share God’s Word, we will be a blessing and sweet fragrance to God Who is our sufficiency.

II Corinthians 9:7-8:
-7: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
-8: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Our God does not want anyone to give until it hurts, or to give when they feel coerced and threatened, for then, giving will be done grudgingly with ill feeling about giving, when it should be an honor to give and to receive God’s blessings.

God does not want us to give mindlessly, but to give from the heart with our talents, resources and abilities. When we give based on the truth that we already have God’s sufficiency, then we can give cheerfully.

God loves a cheerful giver, and when we begin to recognize that we indeed do have all grace and all sufficiency in our lives we may abound to every good work, walking with our Savior.

II Corinthians 3:5 – Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of {from} God;

Our sufficiency is supplied by God and was freely given to us through the accomplishments of our Savior Jesus Christ as is revealed to us in Corinthians.

We can come closer to God and know He is Our Sufficiency, and when we tell someone about the healing Word, then we are a sweet savor of Christ to God’s complete delight as He gives us “all grace” to enjoy “all sufficiency” in “all things” every day.

Everlasting Love and Peace

“Our heavenly Father is the epitome of genuine and everlasting Love and Peace (II Corinthians 13:11), which Christ delivers to believers. Thus, the more we learn from God’s Word, the further we will learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and he indeed will reveal to us the peaceful spiritual essence of God our Creator, our heavenly Father, and our sufficiency in Christ.” ~LMJ~

The Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Did you know it is available for believers to actually have the mind of Christ? This is a foreign concept for all too many Christian people, yet the Epistles are full of encouraging statements to inspire us to begin thinking in terms of having the Savior’s thoughts be also in our own minds so that we as individual believers can be more than a conqueror in daily living. One such thought that I think about daily is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). I think about this verse when doing the most challenging task that is before me as well as when I am relaxing and enjoying the life God has afforded me so that I can be at spiritual peace with Him (Colossians 3:15).

Where does the Bible say the life of a Christian would be easy? The Bible does not say that standing for God is easy (Mark 10:29–30, and II Timothy 3:12), but the life of a Christian man or woman can be strengthened with joy, peace, love, and grace through life’s challenges and adversities (I Corinthians 10:13). Even though life is filled with challenging pressures and pleasures by way of venues offering many temptations, by utilizing the mind of Christ we can overcome such obstacles and be successful in our personal endeavors.

I Corinthians 2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind; the whole of God’s thoughts is known only to Him (Romans 11:33–36). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds. The reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 1:18, 17:25–26, and Hebrews 13:8). So then when we retain in our minds the Word of God, we will be experiencing the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” thus, the Bible encourages believers to put on in our minds the thoughts of Jesus Christ that are exclusively revealed to us from the Scriptures.

Romans 13:14a: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of Christ into our minds. The Word reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals glimpses of God for our understanding (John 14:6). Christians have Christ within by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words therein, we will discover the mind of Christ is the express lane on a paved highway to godliness.

II Corinthians 1:21–22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit so that we can be with Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who can become such an integral part of ourselves. So as we have Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to enjoy access to the mind of Christ, who is eternally alive and spiritually energizing believers as he indeed is the physician of the heart.

Some people think in the heart of their hearts that success is not forthcoming and that they must suffer their way through this life and believe themselves destined to failure as their true lot in life. But this is just not so for you ― you have the ability to have the mind of Christ and he is no failure, God made no failures, and with the mind of Christ, you can think and believe that for once – NO – from now on, victory is in your grasp. Think this, say this, and begin to believe this until you actually triumph over something ― anything, and then start riding on that momentous wave of success that will rise up on the winds of your positive confessions of the Word, for the fresh air of God’s Word inspires you to achieve. Yes, it WILL happen for you ― you who believe to receive. Repeat to yourself, “I am successful and I am more than a conqueror because this is my lot in life ― I was born to be a winner and become triumphant and I am just going to have to learn to live with that destiny!” And then – begin living with this mindset ­­– as this is your true lot in life, allotted to you by God Himself.

You can reward yourself by being your best for your God, for your Savior, and for yourself! You already have been awarded the God-given permission to have the mind of Christ, and with him, you may be at rest as he helps lift your burdens and he will lighten the load you carry.

Matthew 11:28–30:
-29: Come unto me {says Jesus}, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

When the thought arises to either do your best or take the easy road and the simple way out of something, think about that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and you will be empowered to succeed, and you will “mount up with wings as eagles” with the mind of Christ. This is the renewed mind in its wonderful manifestation. This is the powerful permission and commission you have been given through God’s Word; this is following through with Jesus’ instruction in John 14:12, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” And he has gone unto his Father (Mark 16:19), and so we can ― do!

Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Recall Philippians 4:13 encourages that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If we are really going to believe this verse ― it will take some action on our parts because believing is a verb that signifies action. When we believe on what the Word encourages in our renewed mind, then all kinds of things that used to defeat us, things that seemed too big and appeared unobtainable suddenly seem to become reachable because Jesus said “all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

When we have the mind of Christ by placing God’s Word on in our minds, then we will understand the true spiritual knowledge that is within the mind of Christ, and his thoughts give men and women true spiritual understanding with heavenly glimpses of God. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). When we know that we have the mind of Christ, we will enjoy a spirit-to-Spirit connection with our God, one that gives us spiritual power and love that is empowered by sound thinking.

Romans 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and {then you will} make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

By putting on the thoughts of Christ today, we will recognize the true wisdom and power of God (I Corinthians 1:24). Men and women individually find the wisdom of God with the wonderful mind of Christ.

Isaiah 40:31 (The Amplified Bible):*  But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Philippians 4:13 (The Amplified Bible):**   I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Giving in Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I wanted to share a little with you about giving with the heart of love, whether it is to your local Church (where your spiritual needs are being met), or if you are so inspired to give to a religious organization or a worthy cause. Giving for the Christian believer is first and foremost meant to build a special union between you (as an individual) and God (as your sufficiency), and is the beginning of a love-based relationship built on trust with the Creator.

God always looks at your heart (I Samuel 16:17), and He is thrilled when the heart of giving is inspired from an overall understanding of His healing Word and will.

Giving is a spiritual principle that enables the giver to receive. Many non-Christian people have used the universal principle of giving and receiving, and because the power in giving always works when applied — anyone can receive. However, only the Christian believer partners with the creator of the principle. Giving and receiving are part of the natural flow of life, and God as our Father can inspire us in love to further benefit our lives and the lives of those our gifts touch.

Today in God’s grace, each believer is encouraged to give out of having a spiritual mindset and inner heart’s desire to do so, but again I would like to remind you that giving is not a commandment but a free will offering. God will always love you regardless of whether or not you give, because God’s love to you is completely unconditional.

As giving is always between you and God, receiving is always between God and you, for He gives you free access to the throne of His grace to help you in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, Romans 5:1-2).

II Corinthians 8:12:
For if there be first a willing mind {in regards to giving} it is accepted {by God} according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Over time, the following phrases heard – either spoken out loud or to ourselves, can strip us of the heart’s inner joys in giving with a willing mind, “you have to give” or “you must give” or “you need to give.” We were bought with a price; all debts are completely paid for by the life and blood of Jesus himself (I Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). We now eternally belong to God because of the completed work of our Savior that was initially for us, and now that we are saved the completed work of Christ is eternally in us (Colossians 1:27).

Romans 13:8:
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled {all} the law.

According to the Bible, we owe only one thing and that is love. God’s Word encourages us to love one another. We currently belong to God and have His love in our hearts (Romans 5:5).

Giving God’s love is the greatest way to return our thanks to God in thankfulness for our eternal life, and in thankfulness for all that our Savior did for us. Giving can become a tremendous blessing that enhances our spiritual quality of life, for giving gives to men and women a supernatural inlet and an outlet of tangible proofs that God is truly our sufficiency (II Corinthians 3:5).

Within the framework of love, God Himself can show us how to give of our time, and of our resources and talents, and give out of our abundance, and this indeed will give the greatest effect in places of need.

Giving from the heart of God’s love will always be a blessing, and because free will giving is within the spiritual boundaries of God’s love, the rewards will be freely returned in super abundance, and we will know that we are truly blessed of our Creator.

A Merry Heart (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Often we hear it said that it is best to not talk about religion, however, I do not agree with that statement, for when God lives in our hearts and we talk about the truth that is in our hearts and in our thinking, then “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). The outpouring of our inner joy composes a merry heart that becomes personally inspiring from within, and harmonizes our lives to God’s very nature (II Peter 1:4). When we Christians allow “the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” into our minds and hearts, we cannot help but share the treasures of God’s lovingkindness towards us, and of His “grace and peace,” which has been “multiplied” in our lives, as this tenders a merry heart in believers.

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

This knowledge compels us to thoroughly enjoy a merry heart as we speak of the graces of God. Another wonderful verse of Scripture is, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When God comes into our lives and we begin thinking His Word, we literally become what His Word says we are, “Keep {or guard} thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The issues of life are those thoughts that define you as a person: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (and you and me).

Nevertheless, if we cannot talk about the inner joy we have experienced in God’s Word, then we might unintentionally begin to suppress what we have received and felt in our hearts from knowing our Savior’s love for us. “He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15). The continual feast is the enjoyment of life to its fullest, walking hand in hand with God, with our Savior, and with fellow believers, so, on with the festivities!

Proverbs 27:19:
As in water face answereth to face {gives a reflection}, so the heart of man {reflects what is in the heart} to man.

Paul said of Jesus “he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13); Jesus never denied who he was to anyone or what he believed, rather he lived with confidence in who he was, and he is our example (Philippians 2:5). We have the God-given privilege to believe and to conduct ourselves as those who have allowed Jesus Christ and God along with their joy into our hearts.

II Corinthians 5:20:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech {call} you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ, regardless of whether or not we ever share God’s Word with anyone. It is true that at certain times it may be inappropriate to share God’s Word, for instance, when we are being paid to work; however, there are times when it is appropriate to talk about God’s wonderful Word with our families, friends, and acquaintances. Besides, everyone else is speaking up to tell us what they think and believe, while what we Christians think and believe is in regard to the salvation of our souls and our being reconciled to God and that we are in Christ’s stead ─ these are certainly things worthy to speak up about while we fulfill our calling.

King David in Psalms 16:9 wrote: “my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth” as he spoke of his coming Savior. Knowing and speaking of Christ causes our hearts to greatly rejoice, and a glad heart comes to us by speaking about the accomplishments of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Witnessing to others that Jesus died for our sins (and theirs also), that he was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God, that he is returning for us at some future moment to take us home, surely causes one to experience and enjoy a merry heart.

Today, so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians when an appropriate time to speak the Word presents itself. Often believers feel guilty by association because they see other Christians behaving incorrectly or hear unbelievers make fun of religion or of God’s people and so many Christians do not speak up. We are not in God’s secret service wherein we hide the joy of our hearts from the world around us until we arrive in church on Sunday morning, but we are in God’s family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission!

When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream. God’s wholesome Word shines in our hearts and this we can speak about with God-given authority (Philippians 2:16).

Life’s spiritual principles and gifts are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his or her life can become limited ─ stifled even. Nothing on this earth can quench a believer’s merry heart more than inaction to the truths he has learned and believed from within the Scriptures to be true. Jesus Christ has made us free (Galatians 5:1), and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart, including eternal life (I John 5:10-11).

Proverbs 15:13:
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22:
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having and maintaining a merry heart. Presently in grace, we have and enjoy a union with our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, giving us every reason to experience the heavenly panacea that comes into our inner souls from the Physician of the human heart ─ Jesus Christ.

We can invite God’s healing Word into our homes and fellowship with Him around the accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us, as we bask in the love of God. We may then reach out to other people who come across our paths with the words of life that have been so graciously given to us. In Isaiah 55:11, we read “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” You see, when we speak of God’s Word, of His love, of His grace, and of our salvation, He will prosper and watch over those words that we have placed into our hearts to speak so that we may be assured of speaking words that will reach out with prosperous blessings to others who then also receive a merry heart.

True, some may shoot the breeze just to kill time, but we Christians can share the Word of life from our merry hearts and actually lead someone into eternal life, because when we speak the words of God, we are never alone, for Christ the Lord works within us to confirm the Word we speak.

Mark 16:20:
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

Just in knowing that Christ the Lord works with us gives us every reason to radiate a merry heart, especially when we realize that he confirms the Word we speak. Now, what are the signs that follow? This can be something different for every believer; it is a personal blessing for talking in Christ’s stead, and God will become your “sufficiency” in this life as II Corinthians 9:8 promises, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, {so that you} may abound to every good work.”

Acts 14:3:
Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Philippians 2:16 reads, “Holding forth the word of life” for it is God’s Words that give us purpose, reason, and vitality (and also offers these benefits to those to whom we speak), and provides us with all the spiritual treasures needed to enjoy our lives with a merry heart.

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~Celia Thaxter~

“If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, ourselves, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love’s reach.” ~Margaret Cho~

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” ~Helen Keller~

“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~Washington Irving~

“God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” ~Izaak Walton~