Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, October 24rd, 2018. In todays reading Paul is wrapping up his discussion on marriage. Whether married or single Paul wants the church to realize that both are good. Paul wants the Corinthians be be anxiety free and promote good order in a church that is rife with dissension. Being single allows someone to fully devote themselves to the Lord. Marriage is a joyful covenant some are called to, but can divide our devotion. Just as singleness has its own struggles, marriage brings dynamics that can, if we are not careful, be detrimental to our ministry. This however should never prevent us from entering into marriage. As Paul says it is no sin to be married. - Austin

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 7:32-40
32 
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of 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 point)
_ What does Paul want the Corinthians to be free from in Vs. 32?
_ What is the married man/woman anxious with? Vs. 32-34
_ What is the Unmarried man/woman anxious with? Vs. 32-34
_ Why does Paul say this? Vs. 35
_ What does Paul instruct them to do in Vs. 36?
_ How will he do well in Vs. 37?
_ Which in Paul’s opinion(not a command) is better? One who marries or one who refrains?

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 divided in your devotion to God in your marriage? Are you anxious to please your spouse? Talk together about this.
_ Are you anxious about singleness? How can you devote today to please the Lord?
_ Are you not behaving properly towards your betrothed? Are you putting off an engagement or marriage?

+ 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)