“For anyone operating under the naïve presumption that joining a Christian church is a good way to meet all the best people and cultivate smooth social relations, a reading of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence is the prescribed cure. …they bucked his authority – accused him of inconsistencies, impugned his motives, questioned his credentials. They didn’t argue with what he had written: they simply denied his right to tell them what to do!” The Message Introduction to 2 Corinthians
Some things in the church haven’t changed…
Acts 20:7, 9, 11, 12, “…Paul addressed the congregation. Our plan was to leave first thing in the morning, but Paul talked on and on… (9) Eutychus fell sound asleep… (11) …And went on telling stories of faith…On that note they left… (12) …full of life…” The Message
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2 Corinthians 1:6, 7, “…Your hard times are our hard times. (7) When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.” The Message
…preachers still go on and on sometimes. People still fall asleep and we still hear stories of faith. But those who come to church leave full of life.
I remember asking my grandmother if she attended church. She replied, “No, we didn’t have church clothes.” She had 13 children and just keeping them clothed during the depression was a feat! That is one of the things that has changed in churches.
Acts 20:33, 35, “I’ve never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion…. (35) …work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. …You’re far happier giving than getting.” The Message
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2 Corinthians 1:24, “We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.” The Message
You no longer need fancy clothes to attend church. The church is not just for the wealthy. It is a place to help the weak and learn the joy of giving. (You can’t out give God.)
There is no longer someone looking over your shoulder to enforce the rules. We all look to Jesus. God has children, not grandchildren or other relatives.
“Life never passes us by – when we keep passing everything on. …And koinonia is not only supposed to characterize the whole church – koinonia is supposed to be who we are – our whole character: Sharing in the life and suffering of Christ – and sharing in the life and suffering of His people.”
Are you running on empty? Come to church!
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