Welcome to online Bible study! We’ve been studying “All Things New: a Study on 2 Corinthians” by Kelly Minter and just finished reading session two in the study books. Kelly wastes no time in introducing us to key concepts of Paul’s letter- she really packed in a powerful lesson this week!
She begins with the understanding that “Second Corinthians reminds us that God’s church shines most brightly in the darkness rather than in already-lit sanctuaries,” (Kelly Minter). When you consider the darkness of modern times, you’ll appreciate the strength of her words. Instead of feeling depressed and overwhelmed at our surroundings, we learn through Paul to seek illumination. To be faith-seekers and not people-pleasers.
One key message this week is how Paul first demonstrates his love before his discipline. It’s a technique taught in many parenting classes- tell them you love them, then tell them what to correct. Love needs to be sincere in order for trust to be genuine. It’s the glue that keeps relationships unbroken.
There are women reading this right now who have lost relationships where love was not sincere. Until you allow Jesus to overwhelm you with His love..it will be difficult to trust the love of anyone else.
We know the Corinthians accused Paul of fleshly wisdom (v.12), misunderstanding (v.13), irresponsibility (v.17), and controlling behavior (v.24) as we read 2 Corinthians 1
I can tell you that as a ministry leader, I’ve probably been called ALL of these just like Paul. Most leaders are attacked with backstabbing, gossip, and competitive spirits, when they correct another person. Yet in obedience to the Lord, effective leaders will go forth with love for their accusers, just as Paul loved the people of Corinth. Kelly Minter warns us, “If we’re motivated by power, significance, position, advancement, money, or self-worth, then our leadership is not based on God’s love.” Over and over again I have watched the sifting of friends and stepped back as the Lord refines them. Many times I’ve been in the middle of their refining process and when my flesh wants to defend, the Spirit advises me to keep quiet and be still. It’s never my battle, but HIS. Most likely you’ve experienced something similar with your husband, children, siblings, parents, coworkers, neighbors or friends. Your heart loves, your words are misunderstood, and you battle against a critical spirit.
Take a look at those two great questions from Kelly in our study book: Can I continue to love those who have accused me? Do I trust the Lord with my reputation? If the answer is not a confident “yes” then you need to lower yourself and fall into prayer time with the Lord. Paul was confident in the Lord, at a time when reputations were life or death sentences. You can’t learn this, you have to experience this in order to understand it. Testing is guaranteed.
When you love someone you want to know them. When you love someone you want to talk to them. When you love someone you want to bring out the best in them. Love flows through Christ. When you are tested, when you are suffering..remain in LOVE. Anchor to Jesus.
Study. Connect. Grow.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Read SESSION THREE of “All Things New” by Kelly Minter. We will discuss this NEXT week.
- Come meet the women in this study when you join a community group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- (optional): Write out 2 Corinthians in a journal and/or memorize some of the verses
- (optional): Watch SESSION THREE video from http://www.lifeway.com/Product/all-things-new-video-sessions-individual-use-m00000496
Praying for illumination of 2 Corinthians as we complete this study together! I’ll see you in the community groups this week!
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