The Wealth of Joy

This Sunday we will be talking about an important aspect of Christian maturity as we look at an important passage in second Corinthians. Paul is writing to the Corinthians and instructing them about the attitude of generosity and how it functions in the life of a believer and in the community of the church.

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He begins this discussion by bringing up the church in Macedonia as a model and an example for them. He describes the Macedonian believers as being poor, but extremely generous. In fact, he goes so far as to say that their “wealth” was their joy in what God had done for them. Think about that for a moment. Their wealth wasn’t in money and comfortable things in this world, but rather they were rich in joy, because they had grown in gratitude for what God had done for them. And this spilled out over to others.

They weren’t motivated by a guilt trip or because they were being manipulated by others. Rather their motivation was simple joy and gratitude because of God’s faithful work in their hearts. They gave out of the abundance of joy they had in their new identity in Christ. It was their poverty and their joy that combined together to produce an abundant and amazing generosity beyond what they had. May the Lord’s grace continue to work in our hearts, as He has done in the Macedonian church

How about you? Do you take sin seriously?


In Matthew 18:8-9 (NIV) Jesus says this, “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”

 

I don’t know about you, but my hands and feet have caused me to sin and so have my eyes. Jesus uses hyperbole here to express the utter seriousness with which our triune God takes sin. And yet, we rarely take sin so seriously. If we did, we would regularly be on our knees in confession, seeking the Lord’s grace and forgiveness. How about you? Do you take sin seriously? Jesus gives us an important aspect of the solution in this passage. I hope and pray that you will join us this Sunday as we pursue the grace and forgiveness of Jesus and seek His empowerment to live in those kinds of relationships with one another.

 

-Adel Thalos

At the Heart of True Restoration

This week at Parkway Church we will be having a special restoration and healing service at both the 8:45 and 11:00 service.  If you would like prayer for emotional healing, spiritual healing, healing for relationships, or physical healing or know someone who needs it, we pray that you will consider joining us this Sunday.

 

Preview of the message this Sunday as we will be in Matthew 18:12-22 and Luke 5:17-26:

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C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity wrote this, “For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life--namely myself. . . In fact, the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. . . But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is in anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again.”

At the heart of true restoration, real healing, being cured and made human again is the knowledge of a compassionate and caring God who pursues the lost sheep, pursues those who sin and need forgiveness. And who pursued those who have sinned with their eyes and with their hands and who truly know they need forgiveness and restoration.