Renewed Day By Day

January 30, 2015


Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

~2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV

QUOTE

How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete.

~C. S. Lewis

my thoughts red

Martha Allen Newby, James M. Newby and Naola Bailey

Martha Allen Newby, James M. Newby and Naola Bailey

Mrs. Martha Newby had a simple way of stating the C. S. Lewis quote: She said, “I don’t see anything golden about the golden years.” Life gets tough when you start losing your faculties and your figure. So many people put so much emphasis on the body but aging is a reality we have to face. You can fight it tooth and nail like Kenny Rogers and Joan Rivers but you may as well admit the outer man is in a state of decay. I don’t mind telling you, I prefer spiritual exercise over the physical and it use to be the opposite. I heard Junior Hill say once that he did two exercises every day: roll overs and pull ups. He said, “I roll over in the bed and pull up the covers.”  I am down to roll overs, pull ups and fork lifts. I’d rather read the bible than lift weights. Actually, I’d rather have a root canal as to lift weights.

We have a good–bad LCBS lesson this Sunday. It deals with the reality of aging and long term illness. As a general rule our chances of illness increase with time. I don’t think any of us want long term illness but we are not in control. The greater point of the lesson is to remind us to be compassionate to those around us who are suffering from long term illness.

Revival Strip

  • Today we pray for FAMILY.
  • Kenny was resting peacefully when I was there yesterday morning.
  • Senior Adult Fellowship today at 11:30…JD Jones famous homemade rolls. Better than Paula Dean’s!
  • REVIVAL this Sunday: two services 10:15 and 6:00.
  • Deacons and Wives meeting this Sunday morning at 9:00 in the Sanctuary. LCBS at 9:15 and REVIVAL at 10:15 and 6:00.

LCBS Lesson Preview

READY WHEN SICKNESS COMES TO STAY

QUOTE

“I think God is nearer to suffering than to happiness and to find God in this way gives peace and rest and a strong and courageous heart.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Extra: Dietrich Bonhoeffer–“I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer… kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.” [The testimony of the German doctor who witnessed the execution. Bonhoeffer was executed by Hitler at the age of 39. He was one of the few Pastor’s who took a stand against the evil Führer]

Ice Breaker–When you are sick, what makes you feel better? [Medication, rest, hope that you will recover soon, good care, sympathy, etc]

INTRODUCTION

Chip Ingram, the writer of our current series in Life Changing Bible Study, saw both of his parent suffer for an extended time before departing. Both were Christians, both had seen God answer prayers but when they ask for personal healing the answer they received from God was the same as with Paul and Jesus. The writer of Hebrews says…While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. You will note that God did not save His Son from suffering and death. Note what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12…Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I’m not Jesus or Paul. I have not reached the point where I take pleasure in weakness, insults, hardship, persecution and trouble. I’m still prone to mope, to get down, to complain when I get overwhelmed by unpleasant circumstances but I am not the example to follow. We need the attitude of Jesus and Paul. They gave God glory when they suffered.  I don’t pretend to understand but I have observed that God allows the best among us to suffer.

Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Scripture

2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV

7 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck [knocked] down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION

  1. Paul confessed he felt pressure: do you feel pressure? It could come from your work, from your relationship or even from yourself.
  2. To be perplexed is to be baffled, puzzled or at wits end. Can you relate?
  3. There were times when Paul got knocked down by unpleasant circumstances but he always got back up. What enabled him to have this inner strength not to give in to circumstances?
  4. Do you agree or disagree that today’s typical person hopes are tied up in his or her physical health or circumstances?
  5. What factor enables you to stay positive when you are sick and unable to take care of yourself?
  6. What do you classify as “light and momentary troubles”?
  7. What are some positive outcomes of pain and suffering? [helps us focus on what matters most. Reminds us that life here on earth is frail and fleeting. Helps us to be sensitive to the needs of others. Helps us to be thankful for what we already have.]
  8. What is the difference between what you worry about and what Paul worried about? 
  9. Whereas God said, “No” to healing Paul, He did make Paul a promise. What was the promise?
  10. What does the unbelieving world need to see most: a miraculous healing or a believer who can rejoice in the midst of suffering?
  11. Which one of the above conveys the most powerful message? [Healing or rejoicing in suffering]
  12. When sickness comes to stay for a friend or family member, what can we do to express Christ’s love without being trite or self-righteous?
  13. Are you intimidate by situations where the sick person is terminally ill?

THREE WAYS FOR GOD TO ANSWER

  1. Sometimes God delivers us out [Children of Israel out of Egypt].
  2. Sometimes God delivers us through [The Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace]
  3. Sometimes God delivers us unto [He takes us to Himself]

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