Good Morning! Today is Thursday, January 17th, 2019. One of Paul’s overall themes in 2nd Corinthians is relational reconciliation between Paul and the church and the church and others, ultimately our reconciliation with Christ. In this passage, in some of his last words to his friends he becomes directive and challenges them to continue to live out the reconciliation they have in Christ. Paul has just asserted that we live with Jesus by the power of God (v.3). Based on this truth Paul is asking them to take a long hard look at their lives- to examine what they profess and how they are living. As believers we are to continually examine our lives, not in order to save ourselves but to ask that God would reorient and transform our lives based on our justification by faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit .
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.
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 13:5-10]
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
+ 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 is Paul asking the Corinthians to do in v. 5-6? Why would he ask this of them?
_ In v.7 what is Paul’s desire or outcome from their self-examination?
_ In v.8-9, when in Christ, how far does Paul’s view of our justification extend?
_ In v.9b-10 why does Paul say he writes?
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?
_ When was the last time you examined your life? As you enter into 2019 consider using Galatians 5.22 (Fruit of the Spirit) as a guide to examine your heart.
+ What is the temperature of love in your life?
+ How is your joy?
+ How is your level of peace?
+ How patient are you being with the people who are the hardest to be in relationship with?
+ Where is does kindness show up in your life?
+ Where are you demonstrating goodness to others?
+ How faithful have you been with the things asked of you?
+ Are you being gentle with those around you?
+ Are there any areas where the Lord is inviting you to practice self-control?
+ 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)