God uses broken people and makes us strong in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). Though they were still spiritually rehabilitating, the Corinthians were enlisted by Paul to join in protecting their Gospel future.
Paul's discussion of ministry with integrity permeates 2 Corinthians through chapter 7. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 can be divided into 5 sections which we will study over a couple weeks.
As we continue to study 2 Corinthians 1, we will see what Paul's ministry meant to interdependent relationships within the church. All the promises of God for personal relationships in the church are presented, received, and fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christian relationships can and should thrive in Him. This does not mean there will be no struggle; but healing and progress can always be found in the Gospel. The unwavering nature of the Gospel message helps us regain spiritual confidence after conflict.
As we prepare to "re-enter" society following shutdowns on a national and international level, we are preparing ourselves for more change. Though the natural rhythms of life remain the same, they may look different from what we were used to before the pandemic. But we will be okay by God's grace. Our circumstances and cultures may change, but God's beauty and order do not. Some of our spiritual habits should never change either.
We have spent the first part of this year studying how to walk in a way that pleases God by living His character. The next book we will study as a church family is one that shows us how to do this.
Looking for Jesus Christ's return motivates us to live in a proper manner. Faithful living is personal and characterized by a loving disposition and moral behavior. God is faithful to enable you to grow on your own, but He also wants you to be helped by others in a local church family. This interdependence will have a supernatural influence inside and outside the church.
The longer you walk with the Lord as your Savior, the more you long to see Him face to face. This was true of both Simeon and Anna in Luke 2.
In the first century, names were given with significant thought. In the longest list of names found in Paul's epistles, however, it is not the names themselves that are the most important. It is the fact that these people are "in Christ" and "in the Lord," which is repeated 11 times in 23 verses. Some of the people in this list were slaves with no formal names aside from the household they served. Slave or free, when they were saved, these believers were given a greater identity in their Savior.
Mothers are unique in their ability to influence each generation. In 2 Timothy 1:1-7, Paul memorializes a single critical trait that believing moms must prioritize. A mother's sincere faith is a powerful inducement for her children to to persevere.
What Paul says about Israel in his context can be applied to religious people in our context. Even those who are stuck in their ways have not stumbled so badly as to never have opportunity to be saved again. The offer of salvation is always given to them. What Paul says of Gentiles in his context applies to irreligious people today. As they accept Christ, religious people see the joy that results and become jealous.
Knowing our history and considering the future both bring us closer to each other and the Lord.
A Look Back: God Is Loyal to His People.
As Joseph waited in prison, God still had not brought to pass the dream He gave Joseph when he was 17 years old (Gen. 37). Joseph was now 30 years old and had spent over half of his life waiting for God to fulfill His promise that he would rule over his brothers. Meanwhile, he has been faithful with what God has given him, both position and promises. From his youth, Joseph was faithful to God’s Word, even when it got him in trouble. And in His own timing, God would exalt him.
At the start of Genesis 39, Joseph’s resume isn’t likely to earn him an audience with anyone in power. He was the least popular child in his home, constantly bullied, but lived for truth and was not known as a liar. His resume would tell the story of being a victim of child trafficking, purchased as a slave but maintaining his responsibility before the Lord, before having everything taken away because he resisted temptation to be immoral. Joseph was viewed as a commodity by everyone around him, but hand of the Lord was with him wherever he went.
Our culture has an obsession with greatness that often leaves us normal people asking, if I can’t be great, is my life really worth anything? Yet there is greatness in spiritual simplicity. The greatest thing we could do is to know Jesus Christ, walk with Him, and serve in His local church for the Gospel’s sake. Let God be great through your obedience.
Isaac was a simple man, mostly known for being the son of Abraham and the father of Jacob – yet God used him to perpetuate an eternal seed.
Genesis 25 records the end of Abraham’s life and shows two the contrasting lives of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
There are no more happy people on earth than those who know and do the will of God! God’s will is found as we study His Word. We are responsible to what we know of the Scriptures.
Genesis 8 continues the story of Noah, showing us what righteous people do and what God does to protect them. The whole chapter displays God’s faithfulness to His righteous people.
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