Psalm 61 opens with the author, David, not experiencing safety. Different scholars agree that this psalm was written when David was fleeing his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15-17), who not only wanted to overthrow David as king but also desired to kill him. David was far from home and emotionally overwhelmed (Psalm 61:2). This distressing situation was predicted by the prophet Nathan as a consequence to the sin David committed with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11-12). David is fleeing his own son who is now his enemy (Psalm 61:3). Psalm 61 is a hymn about safety, ‘to the choirmaster: with the stringed instruments,’ for the nation of Israel, who would sing this hymn then and later when in captivity. The understanding of safety is something God’s people should enthusiastically and whole-heartedly affirm.
Paul finishes the second letter of Corinthians with the goal of protecting the purity of the church, allowing the church to understand what divine authority is, and what divine authority is supposed to do.
Peter says it is exciting to look up, for the end of all things is near (1 Peter 4:7)! Christians in crisis spend more time in prayer. When we are in a difficult time, 1 Peter 4:7-11 says we must find our way by God’s grace to do these things:
2 Corinthians 8:7-8 discusses the position of a believer. As they are grown by grace, they will exhibit a series of virtues, of which giving is the last that Paul lists. These virtues work together and are only the result of God's work. Paul compliments the Corinthians and assumes they will keep growing.
Healthy relationships are vital for the progress of the Gospel. Christian relationships in the church are founded and grown by grace. 2 Corinthians 7 is a practical chapter about how we get along in the church. We don’t get along without the supernatural work of grace – a personal relationship with Christ and growing in Christ-likeness.
No one enjoys growing pains, but most would rather have pain than not be growing. The Bible repeatedly tells us that painful times are divinely appointed for our growth. As we go through these times, God’s grace is an unlimited available resource we can utilize in every natural rhythm of life. God’s grace saves us and continues to compel us to grow in our Christian walk.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 teach us about the power, boldness, and freedom we have in Christ to grow in Christ-likeness.
A lack of healthy Christian relationships grieves the Holy Spirit. When He is grieved, He won't do much with us to reach lost people. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 tells us 4 specific ways the Holy Spirit bolsters our activity inside and outside of the local church.
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.
On Memorial Day, we reflect on the sobering love that gives one's life for a cause. As God's people, we must also value the service of saints in community of God, no less than we do those who serve our country. There is no greater cause than global Gospel evangelism. Sacrifices for our national freedom are great and honorable, but they are not of infinite salvific value.
2 Corinthians finds its author, Paul, defending his mission against threats to Gospel progress. His goal with the Corinthian believers to whom he was writing was to remain ministry partners even through relational difficulty while enjoying mutual comfort from God. Their unity in Christ was greater than anything that would divide them.
Unity in Christ's body is maintained by more than individual behavior and relationships. It is maintained by having a unified mission.
At first reading, Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 seems to advocate being a little bit wicked. But this interpretation would not fit with the rest of Scripture. Instead, Solomon is showing that excessively applying righteousness and piling on wickedness are both dangerous. We should not come to conclusions about a person's character too quickly.
Last week, we learned 4 spiritual anchors that children need from their moms, and spiritual progeny need from their mentors, after salvation. This week, we will see what those 4 principles look like in developing effective servants of the local church.
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.
Our theme for 2019 will be "Looking and Living." The expectation of seeing our Lord Jesus Christ is always attached to our living (Titus 2:11-15).
1 Thessalonians speaks often of the New Testament believer's hope of seeing Jesus. We eagerly await Christ's return. This anticipation only grows as we get older.
In whatever change we seek, God seeks to change us.
Knowing our history and considering the future both bring us closer to each other and the Lord.
Romans 8:26 is another often-quoted verse from this chapter. Remember that its truth must be understood in the context of the spiritual security and assurance of the believer.
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