Finish Strong: 2

‘I face the daily pressure of my concern for all the churches.’ 2 Corinthians 11:28 NIV

Over 50 per cent of people who take leadership positions in church quit. Let’s look at another reason why. They love people, but can’t handle the pressure. We like to talk about the power of the New Testament church, but what about its problems? The church is made up of human beings, and news flash! Human beings have unresolved issues. The New Testament church had: (1) Moral problems. One guy was sleeping with his stepmother, and nobody seemed particularly upset about it! (See 1 Corinthians 5:1–2.)

(2) Doctrinal problems. Some Jewish believers thought the Gentile converts needed to be circumcised. The dispute became so heated it almost split the church apart (see Acts 15).

(3) Immaturity and ‘personality-itis’ problems. Paul writes: ‘I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it… For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly?… when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?’ (1 Corinthians 3:1–4 NIV) He goes on to say, ‘Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.’ (2 Timothy 4:10 NKJV) Then he adds, ‘Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil.’ (2 Timothy 4:14 KJV)

If you’re a leader in your church (or a potential one) here’s the bottom line: if you can’t feel the pain, you can’t heal the pain! Hidden in your everyday problems and people pressures, you’ll find the wisdom to minister effectively. So don’t get discouraged—keep going!

SoulFood: Titus 1–3, Mark 10:1–12, Ps 88:1–9 o Pro 11:24–26

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Titus 1–2:7 ()

()

1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;

To Titus, my true child in a common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

2:1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,

Mark 10:1–12 ()

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10:1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Psalm 88:1–9 ()

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A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

88:1   O LORD, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
  Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!
  For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
  I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
  like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
  like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
  You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
  Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
  You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horror to them.
  I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
  Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
    I spread out my hands to you.

Tue 19 May, 2020


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