Friday, June 1, 2012

The Corinthians Challenge

This Sunday we begin a new series based on Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. I'm calling it the Corinthians Challenge for several reasons.

First, I challenge you to read along on your own during the week. This Sunday in worship you'll receive a bookmark with daily readings that will take you through 1 and 2 Corinthians by the end of July.

Second, I challenge you to not only read, but to reflect on the daily readings. One good way to do this is to use the SOAP method devised by PASTOR WAYNE CORDEIRO of New Hope Community Church in Hawaii, which you can read about HERE Another way is to identify a word, a phrase, or a thought from the Scripture and carry it with you throughout the day, repeating it to yourself, considering what it means and what it requires you to do (this is called meditation). Another way is to just sit quietly and reflect, and write down your thoughts. Of course all of these methods should be preceded by prayer for God to speak to you as you read.

Third, the Corinthian letters themselves are a challenge. They speak to difficult issues that we are still dealing with today. Some of the things Paul writes in these letters stand directly opposed to the values and mores of our culture. Some of the things he writes are confusing and difficult to understand, and have been the source of disagreement among Christians for centuries. All of what he writes is challenging to anyone who compares himself or herself to the standards presented in these letters.

Finally, this series will challenge us because it's all about relationships--and relationships are challenging! In our fast-paced society, we want things to be quick--but relationships take time. We want things to be easy--but relationships are hard work. We want things to make us happy, and when they don't we want to throw them away and find something else. But relationships require commitment--a commitment that hangs in even when things are tough.

Relationships are challenging--but they are what life is about! So let's dive into this series and see what God has to teach us about how to develop deep, fulfilling, Christ-centered relationships.



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