When I am weak, then I am Strong [2 Corinthians 12:1-10]

Happy Monday January 13th. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the snow. Paul continues to make his case to the Corinthians. Paul sees no benefit boasting in himself, but instead will boast in Christ. In his humility when discussion visions he has received from the Lord he refers to himself in the 3rd person saying “I know a man”. This man is Paul. Paul never became conceited because he never boasted in himself. Even in this passage he doesn’t tell us what he saw in this vision. For whatever reason Paul cannot or will not reveal it. Paul however has to continue the debate to prove himself to the Corinthians. Paul has learned that in weakness we are strong. Whether it be in riches, wisdom, position, power, etc. when we are weak we must rely on God. Paul does not prop himself up as some others might, but instead rests on the power of 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 12:1-10 ]
1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


+ 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)

_ Why does Paul go on boasting?
_ Where did the “man in Christ” go?
_ What did he hear?
_ In vs 5 what is the exception for boasting?
_ In vs 7 what happened to keep Paul from becoming conceited?
_ What did Paul do? What was Gods response?
_ What does Paul conclude in vs. 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)

Paul "boasts" in his sufferings for Christ [2 Corinthians 11:16-33]

It is Friday, January 11.  Today's Scripture includes most of Paul's rather famous "Fool's Speech", where he lists some of the perils and dangers he faced bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the known world.  Why does Paul feel he needs to "brag" in this way to the Corinthian Church?  Let's dig into the Word 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 11:16-33 ]
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that.22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I.23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me,33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.


+ 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 mean in verse 17 when he writes "I say not as the Lord would, but as a fool"?
_What more do we learn about these "super apostles", mentioned earlier in Chapter 11, in verse 20
_What is Paul's motive for "boasting like a fool" in verses 21-29?
_Why does Paul want to "boast of the things that show my weakness"?  (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

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 I read about what Paul endured to bring the Gospel of Jesus to people, it makes me question my own resolve and commitment to the cause of Christ.  Don't let his example fill you with guilt, but use it to embolden and give you the courage to share your Jesus story with someone you know!!!

+ 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 So Super Apostles [ 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ]

Today is Thursday, January 10th. In this passage from his letter to Corinth, we see Paul’s heart and fatherly care towards the church. God is a jealous God, and Paul wanted to present an unblemished bride to the Beloved Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus. Yet, “super apostles”  infiltrated the church preaching a different Jesus, a different gospel. They were charismatic, boisterous, and well-spoken. Paul exposes them for who they are and gives one of the most important warnings in the Bible! In the age in which we are living, this is also incredibly timely. Let’s dive in. - Amy

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 11:1-15 ]
1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.


+ 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 was Paul jealous of? Why do you think he opened the way he did (somewhat self-effacing and pleading “bear with me”)? (vs. 1-5)
_ What does verse 3 say about the importance of guarding our thoughts about Christ and about the one true Gospel?
_ How was Paul’s approach towards the church at Corinth different from the false apostles? (vs. 7-11)
_ How rampant do you think the conditions in verses 13-15 are in today’s church? How can you personally protect against this? How can you protect the church?

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 Extension of God’s Grace [ 2 Corinthians 10:13-18 ]

Today is Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.  Boasting in your efforts and accomplishments distorts the gospel and insults the work of the Holy Spirit.  Paul states that he will boast/celebrate in the work the Lord has allowed him to participate in but he will not disobey the Lord by seeking to do more than God has called him to do.  The gospel message that Paul points us to in this passage is that we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and all good works are to be attributed to Him. We can boast in the person and work of the Spirit that has been graciously given to us.   -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 10:13-18]
13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.


+ 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 are the negative results of “boasting beyond limits”? (v 13)
_ How do we know if we are overextending ourselves? (v 14)
_ Why doesn’t Paul want to boast in work that has already been done when taking the gospel to new areas?(v 16)
_ What do we learn about the Holy Spirit from these passages? (v 13-18)
_ 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?

+ 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)

Paul defend his ministry [ 2 Corinthians 10:7-12 ]

Today is Tuesday January 7th. In todays text Paul is defending himself and his ministry. Often times the Corinthians get caught up in things that are superficial comparing one person to another. Paul’s appearance and speaking ability is often used against him by his opponents. Paul wants to be clear he isn’t writing his letter with such boldness to bring about fear, but to respond to the false apostles. He stands upon the authority given to him by God. Paul wants to build up the Church not destroy it and he assures them that he is the same Paul whether in person or on paper. We must remind ourselves that we are all in Christ. What good does it do to compare ourselves to one another?

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 10:7-12]
Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 


+ 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 reminded of in Vs. 7?
_ Why does Paul boast in Vs. 8?
_ Why did the Lord give Paul authority?
_ What do others say about Paul in Vs. 10?
_ What does Paul want them to know in Vs. 11?
_ What does Paul not do in Vs. 12?
_ What does Paul say about those who compare themselves with one another in Vs. 12?

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 compare yourself with others when it comes your success or ability?
_ Do you compare others when gauging success or ability?

+ 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)

Taking Every Thought Captive [ 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 ]

Today is Monday, January 7th, 2019 and in Scripture we see Paul asking the Corinthians to look to where the true battle is...not on him and the way he presents Jesus through his own broken vessel, but on “fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Cor 10:6 - The Message)  - 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 10:1-6]
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.


+ 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 issue is Paul addressing in verse 1? Do you have “different” personas in person and in text?  Why?
_ Why does Paul say is so bold in his letters? What is his motivation? (v 2)
_ Paul says we “walk in the flesh.”  What does that mean to you? (v 3)
_ Where does Paul say the real battle is raging?  What are the weapons Paul mentions? (vs 3-4)
_ If these weapons ready and sharp and practiced, what do they have the power to do? (vs 4)
_ What is the ultimate goal of the battle?  (vs 5-6)
_ What are the barriers that need to be removed to accomplish it? (vs 5-6)
_ List or discuss your personal barriers to obedience.  
_ What weapons need sharpened in Jesus’s powerful name, to break through these barriers?
_ 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)

Echo God’s Giving [2 Corinthians 9:10-15]

Happy first Friday of 2019. While we often think of Christmas as a time of giving, our Daily readings this week have encouraged us to continue this into the new year. In today’s passage, Paul underscores why giving is so foundational to our Christian life. Let God’s word guide you today and show you how you can best give to others to glorify Him.

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 9:10-15]
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!


+ 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 God’s promise to those sowing/giving? (v10-11)
_ What is the ministry referenced in v12?
_ What results of cheerful giving do we see in v13?
_ What is God’s inexpressible gift referenced in v15?

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?
_ In what areas of your life has God given abundantly, enabling you to give? How can you echo v15 through a specific action in each of these areas (this week, if possible)?
_ How has a Christian brother or sister in your community blessed you with their generosity? Pray for them and thank God for them!

+ 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)

Principles of Generosity [ 2 Corinthians 9.6-9 ]

Hey everyone- sorry for the mix up on the duplicate Daily from earlier this am. In case you were confused today is Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 :)

This morning we continue to be challenged in our generosity. Specifically we are given some principles related to our motivations around giving and generosity! Lord, would you continue to shape us into a people who are generous in everything we have and everything we do.

- 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)

6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever.”


+ 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’s point in v.6?
_ As an individual or couple prays considers how they are to give, what are the two guides that encouraged in v.7? Why is this in 7b?
_ As we consider our generosity we find tremendous hope in v.8- how would you say the promise in your own words?

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 giving back out of what God is generously providing for you or are you being tight fisted?

+ 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)

A Ready Hand To Give [ 2 CORINTHIANS 9:1-5 ]

Today is Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019. This morning we continue to explore Paul’s encouragement around giving! - 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 9:1-5]

Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending[a] the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift[b] you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction


+ 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 say he boasts in of the Church in Corinth? V1-2

_ What does Paul say has stirred up the people of Macedonia? What has the zeal of the church of Corinth caused? V.2

_ Why is Paul sending ‘the brothers’ to the church of Corinth? V3

_What would cause Paul to be humiliated, when he brings the Macedonians? What was Paul and the Macedonians confident of for the church of Corinth? V4

_ What accountability and encouragement do we see present in verse 5?

_How does Paul want the gift for Jerusalem to be given? How does he not want it to be given?

_How does this convict our hand of giving? Why should we have zeal behind the gift?

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 giving back out of what God is generously providing for you or are you being tight fisted?

+ 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)

Motivation to Give [2 Corinthians 8:1-15]

Happy Monday December 31st!

Welcome to the last day of 2018. We’re back in 2 Corinthians and Paul is encouraging the Church in their giving and generosity. People love to be rewarded for their good deeds. NPR will give us tote bags and water bottles for becoming donating members. Often when we give to a cause we will receive a t-shirt that we will proudly wear so others know that we are a good person who gives to charity. I had a friend in college who once asked sarcastically “If I give and I don’t get t-shirt, did I every really give?” Paul wants Corinth to know about the other Churches who have given back out of a response to what God has done for them. Churches all over Macedonia are giving back even in the midst of poverty. Why? Because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave up riches and became poor that we might become rich. We give generously because we have a God who has so generously given to us. Paul doesn’t want the church in Corinth to miss out on being part of this “act of grace” in caring for others within the larger church. We give out of abundance to care for others within the body of Christ so that others may give out of their abundance. This is not out of obligation or a box to check, but a response to such great love that we have received.

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 8:1-15]
1
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”


+ 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 vs. 1 & 2 what is happening?
_ In vs. 3 & 4 how does Paul explain why this is happening?
_ What does Paul want them to excel in in vs. 7?
_ Why does Paul say this in vs. 8?
_ How does Paul relate this to Jesus in vs. 9?
_ What does Paul not want to happen in vs. 13?
_ What does Paul explain in vs. 14?

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 giving back out of what God is generously providing for you or are you being tight fisted?

+ 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)