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God is with you. Knowing that, who is against you? Can death harm you now? Can disease rob your life? Can your purpose be taken or your value be diminished? No. Though hell itself may set itself against you, no one can defeat you. You are protected. God is with you.
Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.
Solid, stable churches are not built in a day. When God wants to make a mushroom he takes six hours. When God wants to build an oak tree he takes sixty years. Do you want your church to be a mushroom or an oak tree?
You wonder why God doesn’t remove temptation from your life? If he did, you might lean on your strength instead of his grace. A few stumbles might be what you need to convince you: His grace is sufficient for your sin.
Those who keep secrets from God keep their distance from God. Those who are honest with God draw near to God.
Evangelism is more than our responsibility; it is our great privilege. We are invited to be a part of bringing people into God’s eternal family.
Grace fosters an eagerness for good. Grace doesn’t spawn a desire to sin. If one has truly embraced God’s gift, he will not mock it. In fact, if a person uses God’s mercy as liberty to sin, one might wonder whether the person ever knew God’s mercy at all.
John Calvin was a Swiss reformer and contemporary to the well-known Martin Luther (Calvin is twenty-six years younger than Martin Luther).
In the city of Geneva, jewelers and goldsmiths made crucifixes, chalices, and other items that people were reverent to and sometimes even worshipped. When John Calvin had political influence in the city of Geneva, one thing he instituted was a Consistoire, or “ecclesiastical court.” This “court” got rid of jewelers and goldsmiths making crucifixes, chalices, and other instruments serving papacy and idolatry. However, John Calvin allowed the clockmakers to stay.
In John Calvin’s mind, timeliness was a virtue because a Christian was not supposed to let minutes go unused for the Lord. In Calvin’s theology, every Christian would have to give an account to God for every moment of his life, and the personal clock was a way to help Christians make the most of the time they had. 1
Similar to John Calvin and his reverence for time, you too, as a small group facilitator, need to make the most of the time you have in your group meetings. However, be sure to begin and end on time.
BEGIN AND END ON TIME
Starting and Ending on Time Is Your Responsibility as the Facilitator
- Jennifer McNutt, and David Lauber, The People’s Book, p. 100. ↩
The big idea (and themes) of 2 Thessalonians is similar to Paul’s first letter to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica. But 2 Thessalonians provides some much needed clarification on a few topics. Here are some of my notes on the book as well as a chart I created for the book. Blessings on you as you study Paul’s second letter to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica.
The Christian life consists of studying God’s Word, enduring suffering now, while also looking to the future return of Christ.
With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. (2 Thessalonians 2:15, NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers 1 who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received 2 from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6, NLT)