Worship through giving.
Will you partner with us as we respond to the critical needs of our community as we face this season together?
So who is Paul writing to? Many NT books are written to a Jewish audience… this is written to a group of Romans and Greeks, and diverse in socio-economic class.
We know a bit about Lydia, she had a Greek name. She had a home large enough to house Paul and his companions. We know there was a jailer and then there was a slave girl. The slave class was very familiar to them, thus you’ll see Paul use that term frequently – he refers himself to a slave of Jesus, and later that Jesus took on the form of a slave
So the congregation had a wealthy female business owner, a jailer, and a young girl representing the slave class.
What differences in socioeconomic groups do you see in the church today? How Does the gospel flatten the ground in front of the cross? Are there helpful differences present in our church? How might differences make us stronger? What voices have been silent, and it would be good for us to hear from?
Paul’s stuck in prison.
The funny thing about life is that it’s rarely how you imagined it.
Your story rarely turns out the way you had planned.
What’s this look like in your life? (the fact that you are living through something that you would have never planned on)
Paul was missing his home congregation… Some of you know what that’s like, share.
I’m sure being a prisoner wasn’t what he wanted, it was out of his hands, and he seemed at peace with it, if I live, then Christ, if I die, then also Christ.
Paul found Joy and even smiled a bit at his predicament. Paul reflected on how God was using his circumstances.
Are these anxious times? Sure!
We each walk out our own story, some of us maybe a little closer to the end than we’d like…. (smile!)and we know that we can place our trust in the Person of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is sent to dwell with believers through every hardship and suffering.
How can you cling to Joy right now?
Can you smile at life’s predicaments?
Identify mission in your life:
- Who is being blessed through you?
- how is the good news shared?
- How is Jesus appearing to others through you?
One of the MBIC current vision points goes like this:
We are JESUS-CENTERED in all that we do:
We communicate the Gospel-God’s reconciling work through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection-in all of our environments not just as the entry point to Heaven, but that we ALL need Christ at every turn.
Lastly, this is not exactly related, but this article from April 20 would be a great article for any small group to talk through, about how we sometimes all lose our way at times. I found the perspective refreshing and helpful: