Pastoral Series

We do not lose heart, part 2

Thursday, June 9 Jesus’ Church: we do not lose heart, part 2 Paul repeats himself: “So we do not lose heart.”  Here, in chapter 5 of 2 Corinthians, Paul explains what transpired when we face daunting challenges, when we suffer what seems to be only unfair or unjust.  He offers three profound thoughts we might…

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We do not lose heart

Monday, June 6Jesus’ Church: We do not lose heart Twice in 2 Corinthians 4, Paul says “So we do not lose heart.” Evidently, Paul knew what it was to lose heart. He know how easy it can be to lose heart.  The Greek verb, enkakeo, means “grow faint, get weary.” When you cope with tough…

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Shining Hearts

Thursday, June 2Jesus’ Church: Shining heartsI love the artwork our UMAR friends produced for our “Creation Project” on May 15. This splendid piece depicts God creating light out of darkness.  Listen to the way Paul brought encouragement, and truth to the young Christians in Corinth: “It is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out…

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Freedom

Monday, May 30Jesus’ Church: FreedomHere are two important propositions that might unsettle you at first:  the Bible is not God, and you are not free.  Paul’s thoughts in 2 Corinthians 3 help us put the Bible in perspective.  The Old Testament was the only Bible Paul knew; he would have been surprised to discover that…

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Peddlers

Thursday, May 26Jesus’ Church: Peddlers Paul gets wind of division and confusion in the church in Corinth.  Obviously, since he left, there are other preachers dishing up a very different brand of Christianity.  Paul makes an intriguing distinction:  “We are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned…

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Yes!

Monday, May 23 Jesus’ Church: Yes! Truth-tellers, reformers, heroes of the faith always face dogged opposition.  Paul had announced his travel plans – and then had to change his mind.  His nit-picking critics jumped on this and accused him of waffling (“You said Yes, then No…”) – the way a politician today, if he wisely…

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Paul’s “tweet”

Thursday, May 19Jesus’ Church: Paul’s “tweet” Remember that most of the “books” of the New Testament were originally letters.  We are reading somebody else’s mail… in this case a letter Paul wrote to a few dozen people in a city he had visited months earlier. And a long letter it is! – 17 pages in…

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Spiritual Bodies

Monday, May 16Jesus’ Church: Spiritual BodiesA few days after Easter my email touched on Mark 16:12, where it says Jesus “appeared in another form.”  The Greek is fascinating.  “In another…” is hetero-, a prefix we know meaning simply difference, but not opposite.  “Form” is morphē, as in metamorphosis.  Mark is saying “Jesus morphed into something…

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Love

Thursday, May 12Jesus’ Church: LovePentecost is coming on Sunday.  If you want to see the manifestation of God’s Spirit in the world, in the church, or in your life, look no further than 1 Corinthians 13.  Paul had his A-game going when he wrote this soaring poetry – or we might say the Holy Spirit…

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You are the Body

Monday, May 9Jesus’ Church: You are the Body Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Whoever you are, whatever your family relationships are like, be sure that when you were born, your mother looked you over with great care and considerable awe, counting fingers, noticing your malleable limbs, the shape of your head, attentive to every small movement. …

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