Covenant Group Study blog  

Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4: 1 – 5

Happy Thanksgiving! As I write this morning, not just in our church, but across the United States of America families and communities are gathering. Millions of hams and turkeys are being prepared. Fellowship is being shared. Our scripture this week shines a unique light on this. The origin of our holiday, Thanksgiving, is born out of the beginning of our country and the gratitude that the Pilgrims lifted toward God.

Our word this week, “Purpose”, I hope, defines or summarizes our past several weeks of scripture. Our purpose, as Christians is wrapped up in His righteousness, in enduring, in the veiled and unveiled.

2 Corinthians 4: 4 (NLT) says, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.” There are millions of Americans who have been blinded; they believe deceptive words and have misconceptions about who God is and who Jesus is because of how they perceive Christianity. Nobody is going to win any argument about God, especially in this day and age. Our country is truly polarized in almost every facet of life … apparently we cannot even decide what color something is.

So, how? How do we “preach” when what we preach is veiled? Well, I believe our answer comes in the fifth verse (NLT): “You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is LORD, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.” This is our purpose: to share the Good News, the Glory of God and to share what God has done in our lives. Our lives and what God has done in and through us will reach into the hearts of those who are blinded. How we serve is so important. That is why we do not preach about ourselves.

So, as we live out our purpose, let us remember our English lessons from Journalism 101. Do you remember the six questions? Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Our lives will have different answers to these questions, yet will all bear testimony to our relationship with Christ Jesus, our LORD and God, our Father, through the Holy Spirit.

On this Thanksgiving 2016, I give all thanks, praise and honor to God for the men and women He has used to shape who I am in Him. I give thanks for my family – for a wife who serves Him tirelessly and a son through whom I have experienced a form of seminary. I give thanks for friends and for those with whom I may not agree. I give thanks for all of the pastors in my life. I give thanks for those in our Covenant Group. I give thanks for the seemingly random encounters that He has provided to show me deeper truths. I give Him thanks that that He is the Who, the What, the Where, the When, the Why and the How. Amen.

Comments | 296 days ago
I read of the psychologist who came up with the "Happiness Quotient" that individuals, businesses and even small nations used to measure the happiness of themselves or their population. The results were often used as a sign of success for managers or governments. He was a little chagrined that our culture had adopted his smiley-face philosophy without thinking it all the way through. In his studies he came to believe that more important than happiness is a sense of purpose and meaning. In fact, that's how he could tell when someone was bordering on potential suicide: when they could not come up with any words to define their purpose in the world. We're fortunate as Christians to have several means or languages to express a Godly purpose in Christ. It's true we can rarely bring people to Christ through argument alone; today simply making people aware of who Jesus is, even historically, let alone the redemptive power of the Gospel, is sometimes frustrating. We also have compelling Scripture, the mystery and symbolism of worship, and, best of all, our own lives. Jesus taught us that, like any language, the Gospel begins in relationship; a belief or ethos observed, a question asked, and a response given. Therefore, telling the truth as this scripture demands means working on our own authenticity or "perfection" through Christ daily so that people can see and be drawn to it. That is also rooted in relationship: listening to God, orienting ourselves in the world, and learning from each other.

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