That Which Controls Us [ 2 Corinthians 5:11-16]

Today is Thursday, December 13th, 2018. In today’s passage we find Paul laying out his credibility to his friends and he bases it all on the reality of the love that has been offered to him in Jesus. This brief passage leaves us with the convicting question “What is it that controls us?”  - Joey

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[ 2 Corinthians 5:11-16 ]
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

_ In v. 11-12, what is one of the things Paul is giving his friends?

_ What do you think Paul is talking about in v.13?

_ in v. 14-15 what conclusion does Paul come to that emboldens him to say that the love of Christ controls him?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ What ways is the love of Christ controlling you?
_ Are there any ways that you feel convicted to allow the love of Christ to control you?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Home Sweet Home [2 Corinthians 5:1-10]

Today is Wednesday, December 12th, 2018. Good morning! Today’s passage teaches the believer to not worry for the loss of things or the destruction of worldly possessions; for the believers encouragement is not one to be found in 3000 square-foot cover, but found in the permanent residence and citizenship of heaven, before the Lord. A place where a relationship with the Lord in its fullest is the standard.  -Max

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 5:1-10]
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main

_What does Paul say followers of Jesus have if their place of refuge is taken away here on earth? (v 1)
_What does Paul say the believer groans to put on? What does the believer hope is swallowed up?(v 2-4) Please use Ephesians 4:22-24 as reference
_What might Paul mean by saying ‘away from the Lord’? A state of spiritual separation or physical separation?  (v 6) Please use Hebrews 11:1 and John 16:7 as reference
_ What does Paul state as the great encouragement if we are to lose what we tend to hold most dear in this world, our bodies? (v 8) Use Philippians 1:21 as reference
_How does having a hope for the home of heaven, help to achieve the command Paul gives in v.9, and its consequence found in v.10?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Broken Vessels & God’s Power [2 Corinthians 4:7-18]

Today is Tuesday, December 11, 2018.  Paul continues to speak of how God has power over all things and all situations, that He is always with us, and how this can change our perspective on trials as we fix our eyes on the things unseen. Even when we feel insufficient and broken, God is at hand.--Monica

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 4:7-18]
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main

_ Why does God place his treasure good news in us, fragile vessels (jars of clay)? (v.7)
_ What does Paul highlight about the believer’s suffering? (v. 8-12) How is he changing our concepts of life and death?
_What powerful promise do we have about the “spirit of faith” that we have? (v. 13-15)
_How does this change the way that we view our trials? What does this produce in us? What are the things seen and unseen? (v. 16-18)
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

_Do I have faith that these promises are true? Is there a way that I need to change my mindset in my faith regarding the difficulties before me?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

The Light of the Gospel [2 Corinthians 4:1-6]

Happy Monday, December 10th. In today’s reading Paul and his team have renounced underhanded ways, not proclaiming themselves but Jesus Christ as Lord. God has shown the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Paul seems to care very little that other would try to disparage him, but instead Paul elevates God. Paul simply stands on the truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He will not resort to parlor trick to outdo his opponents. Instead he submits himself as a servant so that he might reflect the light of the glory of God.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 4:1-6]
1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main

_ What has Paul renounced and refused to do? What does he do instead? (verse 2)
_ Paul spoke of a veil in the previous chapter. What is veiled and to whom? (verse 3)
_ Who has blinded them and from what? (verse 4)
_ What does Paul proclaim? (verse 5)
_ In the previous chapter whose face did the glory of God shine?
_ What two places does the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shine? (verse 6)

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Do you ever feel that in order to be heard you have to proclaim yourself? If someone says something that is true then it shouldn’t matter who says it. If the person speaking is impressive or not this does not make their words any more true or false.
_ Do you trust in what someone says based on who they are and how they look, or merely on what they say?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

New Covenant Glory [2 Corinthians 3:12-18]

It is Friday, December 7. In Chapter 3, Paul argues that the new covenant that God has established with His people through Jesus is far more "glorious" than what was established by the giving of the Law to Moses. And because we have been recipients of this never ending, never fading glory, we can have hope. Hope in what? Hope for what? Let’s dig into God’s Word together and find out!!! - Chris Adomanis

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 3:12-18]
12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main

_
How would the average person in the world define the word hope? Compare and contrast that with what is found in Scripture.
_ Read Psalm 38:15 in the New King James and in the ESV. What word is substituted for hope? Why is this significant?
_ Have you ever had to hope for something outside of your control? Think of a time when your hope was realized and a time when you were “let down”.
_ How can having hope make Paul bold? Think about why Paul is writing this at this particular time to the Corinthians.
_ Think of an instance in your life when you acted boldly. What spurred you to take action?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

_
Would people you know, the one’s closest to you, describe you as “hopeful” in spirit? According to 1 Corinthians 13:13, it’s one of the three things that should abide in all believers. If this is an area your struggle, repent for your lack of faith in the One who has overcome the world, and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, especially during this Christmas season.

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Ministers of the New Covenant [2 Corinthians 3:5-11]

What a privilege it is to be under the new covenant in Christ Jesus our Lord. Under it, God’s Spirit indwells in those who believe, and they are made right through His Son’s death on the cross. As Matthew Henry’s Commentary states “This [the Old Testament Law] showed us a God above us and a God against us; but the gospel discovers grace, and Emmanuel, God with us”. By His mighty power, “God with us” can be taken quite literally. For if indeed the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we are ministers of this new covenant that proclaims Christ’s finished work.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 3:5-11]
5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What does the word covenant mean?
_ How are we made “sufficient” to be ministers of the new covenant? (vs. 6)
_ What is the connection between “Moses’ face” and the old covenant being a “ministry of death”? What does this say about God’s former posture towards us? (vs. 7)
_ Reread verse 10. How does this connect with verse 7? What does verse 10 say about God’s present posture towards us?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

The New Covenant [2 Corinthians 3:1-4]

Today is Wednesday, December 4th, 2018.  Paul begins this chapter by clarifying his intentions in ministry.  He is not seeking the empty praise of man for his work, instead he is full of joy because his work gives testimony to the work of Christ through him.  Paul then goes on to contrast the old covenant, given on tablets of stone, and the new covenant, written on the hearts of believers. The law and the gospel are written on the hearts of all who believe by the living God -Jon

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 3:1-4]
1
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What does Paul ask these two rhetorical questions? (v 1)
_ What does Paul mean when he says “you are our letter of recommendation”? (v 2)
_ When Paul says that the law was written on tablets of stone, what is he referring to? (v 3)
_ Why is Paul addressing what is written on tablets and on the heart? (v 3)
_ What is the confidence we have “through Christ toward God”? (v 4)

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Triumphal Procession [2 Corinthians 2:12-17]

Today is Tuesday December 4th. In our reading today Paul is encouraged by the fact that in Christ there is victory. Paul’s words are based on a Roman victory parade which was awarded to a conquering general in which enemy prisoners were forced to march. Through Christ, God is now the victor and we are lead in triumphal procession. In these victory parades incense was often burned. Paul compared this to the knowledge of Christ which is like a fragrance that is spread. As we travel and proclaim the gospel we spread the aroma of Christ. In the gospel we find life and resurrection in Christ. To those who believe, this aroma is life, and to those who reject it, the aroma is death.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 2:12-17]
12
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Who leads us in triumphal procession and what is done through us? Vs. 14
_ Who are we the aroma of Christ to? Vs. 15
_ What is the fragrance to one and to the other? Vs. 16
_ Who is sufficient for these things?
_ What does Paul say we are not in Vs 17?
_ In contract was does Paul say we are in Vs. 17?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Are you spreading the fragrance of Christ everywhere you go?
_ Paul begins with the fact that we are lead in Christ. In Vs. 16 Paul asks “Who is sufficient?” We must remember that we only have this life because of what Christ has done. We are not sufficient through any of our own doing, but through Christ who is sufficient. Are you humble in this? Are you lead by Christ?
_ Paul makes an important distinction in Vs. 17 saying we are not peddlers of God’s word, but men of sincerity. Take caution not to become a peddler of Christ under the guise of spreading the fragrance of Christ. Instead be sure to always approach what you do with sincerity.

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Forgiveness and Restoration - Essential and Expected [2 Corinthians 2:5-11]

This is the day that the Lord has made, Monday, December 3rd, 2018, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  As we continue to hear Paul’s heart for the people of Corinth, he clearly instructs on the importance and expectation of forgiveness and restoration as a rhythm in the believer’s life.  God’s undeserved grace lavishly poured out on each of us helps us remember that we should graciously offer the same to those around us. - Kim

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 2:5-11]
5
Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Who does our “personal” sin affect? What does our sin cause to each of these people? (v 5)
_ Think of a time when you felt the burden of your sin and how it affected others. What phrase in verse 6 might describe how you felt as you interacted with those affected by your sin?
_ Paul tells us that we should rather…….in verse 7? What are the two paths of handling a sinner in our midst? Which path does Paul tell us in this case is best? (v 7) What could happen to the unforgiven, unrestored sinner? (v 7)
_ “So I beg you,” says Paul, to DO what? (v 8). What does this look like in practice? How do you reaffirm love for another? Think of at least three concrete actions - practice today!
_ In verse 9 why does Paul tell us he is writing the letter? What clues does he give us that offering forgiveness and restoration is difficult when another causes you pain?
What words stand out to you in verse 9?
_ In verse 10, Paul explains why he is able to forgive. He also shares a similar message to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:32 when he says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Why is this process of forgiveness and restoration so important that Paul would tell each of his churches about it? (vs 11)
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Are there any ways you are vacillating in a decision or relationship (you are saying “yes” and “no”)?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Not for pain but to express love. [2 Corinthians 2:1-4]

Happy Friday, November 30, 2018. In today’s passage, Paul speaks to the emotional tie between himself and those he helps shepherd. Let God’s word give you insight into the early church and our church today. - Luke

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 2:1-4]
1 For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? 3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Why did Paul say was a key consideration of whether he would return to Corinth? (v 1)
_ Who does Paul indicate is usually a source of gladness for him? (v 2-3)
_ How did Paul express his love to the church in Corinth? (v 4)

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Are there any ways you are vacillating in a decision or relationship (you are saying “yes” and “no”)?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Every Promise is Yes In Jesus Christ [ 2 Corinthians 1:15-24 ]

Happy Thursday, it’s November 29, 2018. In today’s passage Paul addresses why he didn’t come to visit them, continues to affirm his love for the people of Corinth and remind them that every promise of God is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Paul continually points us back to Jesus. In every decision, every interaction, every relationship we have today, may we continue to look to Jesus. - Joey

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 1:15-24]
15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? 18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 23 I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What did Paul say he wanted to do in v.16?
_ How does Paul describe plans being made in a worldly manner in v.17?
_ In v.18 + 19 what was the message that Paul, Silas and Timothy preached to the Corinthians?
_ In v.20 Paul makes a critical connection related to God’s promises- what is this connection?
_ In v.20 what do you think the “Amen” spoken through Christ is?
_ In v.21-24 What are some of the promises that have become Yes to us in Christ and how do we stand firm?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Are there any ways you are vacillating in a decision or relationship (you are saying “yes” and “no”)?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

The Extension of God’s Grace [2 Corinthians 1:12-14]

Good morning, today is Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Today’s passage will focus primarily on the simplicity and genuine character of a believer, and how those two characteristics help to encourage, proclaim, and explain the grace of God through the good news of the Gospel. The expansion and proclamation of the Gospel will be carried through genuine and simplistic character and speech, all to the glory and work of Jesus Christ.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 1:12-14]
12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 13 For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand— 14 just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What does Paul say the believer’s boasting is in? v.12
_ How is the believer to behave in the world? How might these two characteristics glorify and exemplify the Lord?
_ What does Paul mean when he states that our behavior is to not be of “earthly wisdom”? v12. Use 1 Corinthians 3:19 as reference.
_ What does Paul say is the catalyst for a believer's behavior of “godly sincerity”? v12.
_ How does Paul’s claim in v13 support his initial encouragement for a behavior of simplicity?
_ What/who does Paul say believers will boast of, in the “day of our Lord Jesus”?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Hope in Trials [2 Corinthians 1:8-11]

Today is Tuesday, November 27th, 2018. Paul continues to speak of why God allows trials to afflict His people and how He does not leave us without hope. Paul also openly shares his struggles to encourage --Monica

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 1:8-11]
8 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. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ From our previous study of Acts last fall we know that when Paul speaks of affliction he speaks of suffering with firsthand experience, having faced beating, imprisonment, and slander, among other things.
_ In v. 8-9 what does Paul want the Corinthian church to know of his suffering?
_ In v. 9 what does Paul say he gains in his affliction?
_ In v.10 Paul’s language indicates that God’s deliverance is something we can expect and hope in again and again. We know that Paul continued to suffer, so what do you think that Paul means by deliver?
_ In v. 11 why does Paul exhort them to pray?
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_Am I trying to face my trials in my own strength? Do I need to rely on God?
_How does Paul model how I should interact with difficult circumstance? Am I being honest with others about how difficult the trials are in my life? Am I hoping and believing in God’s power? Am I asking others to pray for me, believing that these prayers will encourage others to see God’s faithfulness?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

The God Who Comforts [2 Corinthians 1:1-7]

Happy Monday, November 26th. Today we start 2 Corinthians. Paul continues his correspondence with the Corinthian church. When we follow Christ this does not mean that troubles will not come our way. However when hard times do come our way we can hold steadfast to our Lord. In the midst of afflictions we receive comfort from the “Father of mercies”. We receive this comfort so that we can comfort others who are suffering. When we can comfort others who have suffered similarly we can point them to the Lord. We share in our suffering together with our brothers and sisters in the Church, but we also share comfort in Christ and His gospel. Know today that even though we share in Christ’s sufferings together, God comforts us in the midst of all our afflictions. Whether comforted or afflicted you are not alone.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[2 Corinthians 1:1-7]
1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What are some descriptors Paul uses for God in Vs. 3?
_ What does God do in Vs. 4? What should we do?
_ What do we share in Christ in Vs. 5? Can you think of some examples of each?
_ What are they afflicted for in Vs. 6? What are they comforted for?
_ What do they share in Vs. 7?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Are you comforted or afflicted this morning? Does the suffering of Christ bring you any comfort in knowing you are not alone?
_ Can you comfort a brother or sister who is afflicted or suffering with your own story and the story of Christ?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Offering and Final Instructions [1 Corinthians 16:1-21]

It is Friday, November 23.  Paul ends this letter to the church in Corinth with some requests and tells them about some of his future plans.  In the middle of this benediction, he puts forth a challenge to the followers of Jesus that I find particularly relevant for us TODAY (see verses 13-14). Chris Adomanis

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[1 Corinthians 16:1-21]
1
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. 5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 10 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11 So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers. 12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity. 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 15 Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— 16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, 18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. 19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Who are the saints referenced in verse 1 (read Romans 15:25-27). Note what Paul calls those who are part of the church in Corinth in Chapter 1:2. Why is this term important?
_ What do verses 5-12 tell you about Paul? About his feelings toward the Corinthians? Why is the mention of Apollos particularly interesting? (re-read I Corinthians Chapters 3 & 4)
_ How can followers of Jesus be both strong AND loving? (verses 13-14)
_ What do you think Paul meant when he asked the Corinthian believers to "give recognition" to those listed in verses 15-17?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_
A major knock against evangelical, born again believers of Jesus is that they are "very strong on truth and justice, but lack compassion and mercy".  If that somewhat rings true for you, repent and start on the path laid out by Paul; to "let all you do be done in love"

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Future Return and Implications [ 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 ]

Happy Thanksgiving.  As we are nearing the end of our study in 1 Corinthians, Paul crescendos with the glorious hope of the resurrection of the believer. The risen Lord Jesus will return with the trumpet call of God (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). This wonderful mystery of God is now being revealed to the Church. Some were teaching that there is no resurrection. Paul addresses this falsehood and reassures them that resurrected heavenly bodies are a part of the journey towards eternal life. This is the blessed hope!

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[1 Corinthians 15:50-58]
50
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

55 “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Why cannot ‘flesh and blood’ inherit the Kingdom of God? (vs. 50)
_ What is this mystery being revealed? (vs. 51-53)
_ How does this reassure you about death and eternity? (vs. 54-57)
_ How is the believer to live with this knowledge or revelation? (vs. 58)

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

The Resurrection Body [ 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 ]

Today is Wednesday, November 21st, 2018. The believers in the Corinthian church struggled with the idea that our sick, aging, and decaying bodies could live eternally.  When Paul talks about the resurrection of the dead, he is referring to the day when the Lord will raise our earthly bodies and transform them to take on a new, imperishable form.  We can certainly understand the Corinthians confusion as they process what Paul is saying. But how glorious a truth it is that God redeems and restores all things, even our broken bodies.    -Jon

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[1 Corinthians 15:35-49]
35 But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_What is Paul referring to here when he speaks of “are the dead raised?” (v 35)
_ Why does Paul react so strongly to the Corinthians questions? (v 36)
_ What is the difference between a heavenly body and an earthly body? (v 40)
_ What is the difference between the “natural” and the “spiritual” (v 42-46)
_ Who is the “last Adam” that Paul refers to? (v 45)

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

God may be all in all [ 1 Corinthians 15:12-34 ]

Today is Tuesday, November 20th. Praise King Jesus that you have woken up today, that you have breath in your lungs, and that the Creator of the universe who spoke everything into existence calls you His child and loves you perfectly. It's all worth living for. Praise King Jesus. In today’s passage, Paul is defending that there is a seamless connection between the resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of believers on the final day. - Evan

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[ 1 Corinthians 15:12-34 ]
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ In verse 15, who is Paul talking about when he says “whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised”?
_ What is the eternal significance of verse 17? What is futile and what are we still in?
_ What is Christ the first fruits of in Vs. 20?
_ If all die in Adam what will we all be made in Christ? (Vs. 22)
_ What is the last enemy in Vs. 26?
_ How does verse 27 and 28 explain the trinity? How are these verse connected to us?
_ What is subjected under him? (Vs. 28)
_ Why are we in danger every hour? (v.30)
_ How is this entire section of scripture related to the resurrection of the dead?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_ Is there an area of your life where you continue “go on sinning” as Paul describes in Vs. 34?
_ How should the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the dead affect how you live today? Are you being subjected to him?
_ Who can you encourage with the resurrection?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Jesus Paves the Way [1 Corinthians 15:1-11]

Today is Monday, November 19th, 2018.  In our world where Google maps can tell you five plus ways to get to your destination, Paul’s specific words about the one way that eternal life was and is secured sounds exclusive at best.  In this section of Scripture, Paul reminds us of an essential truth of the Gospel. Jesus paved the way to bury sins in the grave, he rose to a new life, and he demonstrated the reality of new life to many witnesses.  I pray that each of us have the courage to follow the pattern Jesus set out for us, today!

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[1 Corinthians 15:1-11]
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ Paul reminds us of his main point in verse one - the gospel he preached.  What three actions did the good news prompt in his audience from verse 1 and 2?
_ What was of first importance in Paul’s message? (v 3&4)
_ How many witnesses did Jesus appear to following his death and resurrection?
_ Why are the number of witnesses important?  
_ Why might the fact that many of them are still alive be important? (v 6)
_ Why does Paul call himself “one untimely born” in verse 8?
_ What else does Paul say about himself in verse 9? Why does he feel this way?  

  • Recount this story and revel in God’s transformative power in Paul.  

  • How has he shown that power in your life recently?

_ How does Paul recount his own story?  To whom does he give credit? (v 10)
_ For what reason does Paul work? One answer in verse 10 and one in verse 11
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

God is a God Not of Confusion but of Peace [ 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 ]

Happy Friday, November 16th. In the text today Paul closes out his discussion on worshiping together. Paul reminds the Corinthians to keep from chaos when they gather. In the beginning of the passage Paul encourages them to be silent if they feel like speaking up. Later Paul says women should not speak. Paul is also not saying that women should never speak in Church. For the church in Corinth women, who already had never been allowed to speak in such a setting were now given a radical new freedom, but were creating confusion, by causing disruptions in the middle of their gathering with questions and outbursts. Paul reminds the Corinthians that God is not one of confusion, but peace.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (In large group)

[1 Corinthians 14:26-40]
26
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.

+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main
_ What should all things be done for? Vs 26
_ What if no one is there to interpret? Vs 28
_

PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)