Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
Hi there, Beautiful Ones! I am Aimee Pence and I want to welcome you to Session 1 of "All Things New" by Kelly Minter.
First of all, if you are reading this I want to tell you that I have been praying for you. I am so happy that you have chosen to join me! God is here with us too! Aren't you glad?
Second, you must've already purchased your book but don't worry if you haven't, just contact the church office at (336) 788-7600 and ask to purchase one for $13 or go to lifeway.com/allthingsnew. This is also where you can go if you would like to watch the videos available to compliment each weeks' study or you may even find them on YouTube if you would like to search there. I will be posting on Sundays and Thursdays each week. I would like for this to be interactive, so please feel free to comment and discuss as we go along. I will also be sending emails out to you initially and then periodically throughout the study. If you wish to contact me further, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Before we begin, let's pray.
Dear Jesus, we come to you asking You to show us how to keep our hearts stretched wide open. Let us not be fearful of what new things may lie ahead, rather let us be hopeful and expectant as we seek to leave the old behind and fall quietly into the new, trusting You all the way. Help us to be mindful of those around us - - to keep our hearts open for relationships; old and new, so we can share our this hope with them so they can know, trust and worship You as their Savior. We are grateful that YOU MAKE ALL THINGS NEW! In Your precious Name! Amen!
In Kelly's first video, she shares a bit of context for 2 Corinthians.
Paul wrote from Macedonia in AD 54 or 55. The city of Corinth was about 80,000 with an additional 20,000 on the outskirts of town. It was located between 2 harbors and there was a lot of trading going on. There was also a lot of darkness and sin; such as, slavery, prostitution and other forms of rampant immorality.
This letter was written to the church of God whom were *meant to thrive in everyday life. It was also *written out of weakness and *with an open heart. It serves to help us to be *more poised for spiritual ministry.
This context serves to help us understand the backstory before beginning our study. Paul indeed is not shy about putting it ALL out there- - -he stretches his heart WIDE open. I suppose this is the only way God can make ALL THINGS NEW. He doesn't force this reconciliation on us rather He gently and lovingly reminds us of its overwhelming benefits to "real life", as Kelly puts it. Paul speaks passionately to the church of Corinth.
Oh, dear Corinthian (Pinedalian;) friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is not lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us! 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NLT
Can you hear Jesus imploring with us too as Paul entreats the Corinthians? Open your hearts to Me! Don't you long to crawl up into His lap as His arms tenderly and with great strength and compassion enfold you?
Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe's husband just released a song entitled, "Nothing Else". You can view the YouTube lyric video here. The lyrics that stood out to me are as follows:
I just want you and nothing else...I'm sorry when I've just gone through the motions. I'm sorry when I just sang another song...I'm sorry when I've come with my agenda. I'm sorry when I forget that you're enough. Take me back to where we started. I open up my heart to YOU.
I pray that we can all come to this place. It is a very vulnerable place, one of admitted weakness and letting go of control (I am amazed how often I am convinced that I am in control when I never really was in the first place!). THIS IS A TOUGH PLACE! IT IS HARD TO LET GO...but we forget when we are weak, HE IS STRONG! The power of Christ shines through all the cracks in our earthly vessels, this flesh that we all inhabit. Paul knew this all too well!
"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I 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. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT
WOOHOO! Aren't you glad that we don't have to rely on our own strength?! Aren't you glad that Jesus came to MAKE ALL THINGS NEW?! I want to insert the emoji of the two hands raised or the clapping hand right here! I am so grateful for the hope that shines from this statement and makes reconciliation with Him and others possible! And we have a responsibility to share this hope with those around us. But, we are not alone! We can come alongside and encourage one another as we seek to live lives that honor our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
What do you most look forward to in the next 7 weeks as we dive into this study? And what do you hope to gain from this study and our time spent together?
Okay, Beautiful Ones, GO!