Monday, November 16, 2015

Colossians 1

Summary: again Paul sets the stage, showing the context of where God, Jesus, himself, and his audience stand in relation to one another. God is the creator, Jesus is his only son, Paul and his assistants are merely teachers, and his audience is a batch of new believers.

Response: it feels good to get back into the swing of things, and to see Paul prepare his pupils beforehand, like a teacher preparing lessons. It is my hope that I can be instructed and figure out how to instruct even better.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ephesians 4

Summary: Since followers of Christ know their place in respect to the Trinity, they should also know that they are different from other people in their actions, attitudes, and purpose.

Response: Help me to grow in You, to do what I do with Your will in mind.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ephesians 3

Summary: Paul confirms that, in the place of things, Jesus saves not only Jews but Gentiles as well. He affirms the Church's purpose to discover and share the wisdom of God.

Response: I continue to pray for opportunities to put that wisdom to use as an individual and as a collective Church. Help me and help us!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ephesians 2

Summary: Paul continues his world building; just as he explained how the Trinity relate to one another in the last chapter, here he explains how Jews and Gentiles alike relate to Jesus.

Response: Help me to know my place, to strive to fulfill it, and to guide others on their path to the same, Lord.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ephesians 1

Summary: Paul greets the church(es) to which he writes, giving praise to each part of the Trinity before moving on to the Church and her place among them: she is to be the body of Christ.

Response: That feels like a big call, especially after all the lauding done on the Trinity. I know I can't do it alone, so help me to ask aid of others and to ask power of You, Lord.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Galatians 6

(I did some journaling while away on holiday)

Summary: Paul closes out his letter, asking that the churches in Galatia tend to their flock with the same gifts he pronounced last chapter. He makes a final summary of the practical matter at hand (circumcision) before sending greetings.

Response: As another session of decision making draws near, I pray for grace and wisdom. As my summer gets to work, I pray for perseverance and strength. Lord, let Your work be done in me this summer, that through my preparation the rest of the year can be fruitful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2 Corinthians 10

Summary: Paul talks the language of war and arbitration, but does it all backwards: he touts his side as the more meek side, and he places clear limits on his boasting, yet he expects his side to win out in the end.

Response: Paul mentions being humble in person, preferring actions rather than haughty words. Cover me in Your grace, Lord, that Your words and actions might be mine.

Friday, May 15, 2015

2 Corinthians 9

Summary: Paul hits home that giving and service is the primary duty of a follower of Christ and the primary action of the Church.

Response: I feel like I have this backwards most times, that we have worship services first and giving and such at the tail end. But I know I can always give and serve more.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

2 Corinthians 8

Summary: Paul challenges the church in Corinth to literally put its money where its mouth is; after explaining why, he gives an example of their prior giving before asking specifically for their aid again.

Response: I know I am blessed with an amazing spouse who takes care of our giving to the church; as a new board member, I can see more and more how our giving contributes to God's kingdom.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2 Corinthians 7

Summary: Paul talks about taking action to deal with the consequences of getting right with God and gives his audience, the church at Corinth, a concrete example: after reading the last letter from Paul, they changed their attitudes and took care of business.

Response: May our church prayerfully consider how to move ever closer to You.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2 Corinthians 6

Summary: Paul points out that the grace and reconciliation God offers is of no use if we don't accept it and get out into the world to give it back.

Response: I know I've been put to use, but I can't slouch in that regard. Lord, keep using me and keep saving me.

Monday, May 11, 2015

2 Corinthians 5

Summary: Paul has two main points: first, that we as Christians are transient here on earth, living in the future expectation of God's manifest presence; and second, that God sent Jesus primarily to get us living in that way and to spread that message.

Response: I get too easily distracted by the day-to-day to notice anything higher. Lord, help me to see Your will, as small as my attention span seems to be. Include me in Your plans and use me for the furthering of Your Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2 Corinthians 4

Summary: Paul acknowledges that ministry is hard, but worth it. Through our suffering and even death, he says, we help build Jesus's eternal kingdom.

Response: it will suffice to say that a lot in my personal ministries has been hard lately. Even though I haven't touched this blog (and therefore bible study in general) in weeks or months, still the Word speaks to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

2 Corinthians 3

Summary: Paul compares Jesus's ministry to Moses's; whereas Moses had laws on stone and a veil hiding God's glory on his face, Jesus has followers living out His law, unveiled so that all could see God's glory.

Response: Of course, I have to remember that it's not my doing and that I can't pat myself on the back for it. God, may Your glory shine through me so that people see that it is Your doing, not mine.