I will have to revisit my odd couplets from plot lines and sins of small group ministry, as I have loaned the book to a friend at church. Maybe that's a blessing, because what started as a helpful way for me to apply two lessons quickly became contrived. I still love the plot lines and need the help on groups ministry, but not everything good harmonizes: like morning coffee and morning tooth brushing. Both great and helpful but don't sync up. Hmmm. It's Monday.
Spending some time with Paul--this morning.
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Paul is confident, he has been persuaded, that God has valued us enough not just to forgive or save us, but accomplish good work in us, through us. Later in 2 Corinthians he suggests that good work is that we might comfort those in trouble. That in pain, we can have comfort in God and that comfort is not to ease our suffering but is to give us something that another can use.
Faith has individual elements in that God created us with uniqueness, and saves us as individuals--but the continuous good work of God is not to grow me as an individual but is a deposit for others to draw from.
How open and available am I to my family, my friends, acquaintances and strangers to offer up what God has poured in? Are my hands and heart open, not just to receive but have others take? Am I tempted to hold onto, tuck away what God gives, rather than share it--gladly--remember others with thanks.