Tag Archives: defeat

A Fragrance . . . or a Stench? (A Study of 2 Corinthians 2:14-17) Part 1

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses at the end of chapter two:

A Fragrance . . . or a Stench? (A Study of 2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

For regular readers of my blog, this will be the third time I’ve touched on these verses! Way back on Dec. 23, 2018 we looked at I Samuel 27 and how David had become “obnoxious to his people” (v. 12). We looked briefly at 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, noticing that sometimes we Christians are a stench to others. On February 29, 2020 we talked about a couple of online friends who hate Christianity and how we are either a fragrance to those who believe or an odor to those who don’t.

Now, because we are working our way through 2 Corinthians, we get to look at this passage again! And I will be taking my time doing so. There is so much here!

Notice, first of all, the image of a triumphal procession (v. 14). We have been conquered by Christ! Oh, glorious defeat! He has won our hearts and we are now captive to Him. And therein is true freedom! No wonder Paul says, “But thanks be to God”!

Notice also that God “always leads us as captives” in this procession. It is as if His parade is going on all the time. And we are lined up in it, letting the spectators gawk at us — vanquished and defeated enemies of God who are being shown to the world. We are captives on display — and should rejoice in our publicly-displayed defeat!

Today’s Challenge: Have you been defeated by Christ? Do you see yourself as a vanquished foe, eternally grateful for the victory of His grace over your sin? Then don’t be embarrassed to be on display! Don’t duck the spotlight, but live this day as a joyful captive of Christ!


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Posted by on May 26, 2020 in Uncategorized


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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 74)

Psalm 74

A maskil[a] of Asaph.Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 6.08.30 AM

O God, why have you rejected us forever?
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
    the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
    Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 6.12.50 AM
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in the book of Psalms


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