How often do miracles occur in your life? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Or is it more like--from time to time? And what do you consider a ‘miracle’? We have had two experiences in our family this past month that are worth mentioning as ‘miracles’. They are not unique, but they were tender mercies from the Lord.
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In this book of 2 Corinthians we come nearest to the inner feelings of Paul than in any other of his writings. As one writer said, here Paul reveals his “joy and depression, anxiety and hope, trust and resentment, anger and love.”. We see his human qualities. Some writers have suggested that one of the best words to describe 2 Corinthians is that it is a defense. What would Paul have to defend? We’ll find out in this week's podcast.
In the chapters for this week, Paul goes to some lengths to describe the simplicity of the Way of Christ. From outlining the standard of knowing the truth by two or three witnesses to discerning true messengers from those who only pretend to be, he warns his readers to beware anything that could pull them away from Christ’s simplicity.
This mortal experience was never meant to be easy—it was meant to be a school—but a school full of joy and wonderful learning. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: We are troubled on every side (have you ever felt that way?), yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (See 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9) Paul sounds like he is talking to us in our day—not to the people living in Corinth in the 1st Century A.D. Or was he talking to both? Let’s explore this together.
As we launch into a new school year we are taking a step back to assess how we are implementing President Nelson’s mandate to teach the gospel in our homes. Like most families we’ve had stretches of consistency along with lots of good intentions fizzling out. We’ve tried lots of things that haven’t worked, some that have worked for a while and a very few that have stuck. We’ve cast strings of pearls before the swine of kids picking their noses, wiggling and complaining about how long winded I am (mid testimony bearing). And we’ve witnessed the work of the Spirit, firmly planting testimonies into our children’s hearts.
Come, Follow Me for Families and Individuals: “God is Not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace”, 1 Corinthians 14-16
Maybe because the people were so bad, the Corinthian books are so good. They are full of wisdom, with gems of elevated living that remind us again and again how we should be. Although Christ’s restored church has been thriving now for almost 200 years now, we still experience the same challenges and temptations the Saints of Corinth faced. When we encounter these difficulties, it is helpful to remember the title of this week’s lesson: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing early converts to the Church who brought with them baggage and false ideas from their previous beliefs. To make matters even more difficult, they were far away from any central administration of the Church and so old ideas, firmly entrenched in their minds could clash with the gospel. Among these new converts were polytheistic Gentiles who had once worshipped idols, Jews who held to the Mosaic law, and all of the ideas influenced by the philosophies of Greece. How did Paul handle this whirlwind of opinions? We’ll see today.