It is Friday, December 21. In today's passage, we see the soft side of Paul, as he speaks to the Corinthian church like a father bragging about the exploits of his own children. Words of encouragement, thanks and affirmation are vital in developing deep and lasting relationships. 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.
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 7:13b-16]
13 Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in 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 point)
_ What things brought Paul "comfort" (verses 13-14)? What does it mean to be "comforted"?
_ Find out what you can about Titus in other parts of Scripture. Why was Paul so pleased that Titus' "spirit has been refreshed"?
_ What does Paul mean when he says the Corinthian church received Titus "in fear and trembling" and why is that a good thing? (Read Philippians 2:12-13)
_ After all that Paul had brought "against" the Corinthian believers in his first and second letters, how can he say that he has "complete confidence" in them? (read Philippians 1:6)
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?
_ Are you an encouraging person? Think about how blessed you feel when a loved one or even a boss gives you verbal affirmation, not just for what you have done, but for who you are! I think this an area where all followers of Jesus could improve. Look for an opportunity to bless someone this week with your words!
+ 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)