One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human. Unlike us. Insulated from the cares, concerns, despairs, and discouragements that befall us merely mortal disciples of Christ. But that just isn’t true.
Case in point: the Apostle Paul, writing another letter to his beloved friends at the church he helped start in the city of Corinth:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death….You also must help us by prayer…
(2 Corinthians 8:8-9, 11; ESV)
And it doesn’t stop there. Throughout this letter you can feel Paul’s pain, brought on by strained relationships and ministerial attack, wounds that go deeper precisely because he has so willingly opened up his heart and his life (2 Corinthians 6:11 and context) to the very people now hurting him.
How does one respond in such circumstances? What do the realities of Jesus and his Good News have to do with such things?
This week, we read and dive into and prayerfully meditate on Paul’s deeply vulnerable letter to the church at Corinth. I am praying God gives us great insights as we do, in preparation for our study this coming Sunday morning. For further study, check out the resource page on this letter that The Bible Project has produced.
Looking forward to Sunday together,
I had a class on preaching once, many years ago, from a pastor and a professor. And here is what he argued was the key question the preacher must ask of every text of Scripture:
2 Corinthians and The Whole Story
The reason that we began the Whole Story sermon series in January of last year was for the simple reason that we wanted to inspire you to read the Bible.
In the unsearchable counsel of God's will for the world, he has so designed that salvation will come through the church, that body of people gathered by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The Whole Story
On Sunday, January 7th, we will begin a year and a half exploration of the whole story of the whole Bible...
1 Corinthians (part two)
This last Sunday in our Gathering, we studied the book of 1 Corinthians together. The week of preparation leading up to that moment in the pulpit was deeply encouraging, as I sat at the feet of Paul, and watched him apply the reality of Jesus and the fullness of the Good News to four main issues in the lives of Christians in the church at Corinth. I discovered that each issue was a case study in the application of the good news to the very practical matters of our lives.
Helpful Resources for Living on Mission
This last Sunday, we gave a number of things away that I believe are really helpful resources as we live on mission at Calvary, making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. I thought it would be helpful to make sure you had access to them, in case you were unable to be there, or you were there but missed noting the ones we gave away.