Sunday, 04 October: Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 128:1-6; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16 ~ the two are united into one… forever
Creator God, in Christ You call man and woman to the fullness of glory for which You created them in Your image. Heal our hardened hearts, renew our obedience to Your spoken will, and conform our lives to Your gracious design. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him. It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest — my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point.
God’s redeemed people will spend eternity ascribing to him ‘praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength’.
Timothy: if anybody deserved to be called Paul’s ‘fellow-worker’, that person was Timothy. For the last eight years Timothy had been Paul’s constant traveling companion and had undertaken several special missions at Paul’s request. The apostle evidently had a warm affection for his young assistant. Having led him to Christ, he regarded him as his son in the faith. He was now in Corinth, about to set sail for Jerusalem with the offering from the Greek churches.
God’s peace allows no appeasement of the devil. It is only through the destruction of evil that true peace can be attained…. Such victories would be impossible, however, apart from grace.
Paul sends greetings to twenty -six individuals, twenty-four of whom he names, adding in most cases an appreciative personal reference…. Reflecting on the names and circumstances of the people Paul greets, one is particularly impressed by the unity and diversity of the church to which they belonged.
It seems very likely that Phoebe was entrusted with the responsible task of carrying Paul’s letter to its destination in Rome, although other business was apparently taking her to the city as well, perhaps commerce or ‘quite probably a law suit’. So she needed a ‘letter of commendation’ to take with her, which would introduce her to the Christians in Rome.
Sunday, 27 September: Numbers 11:25-29; Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 ~ Spirit break out
Pour out your Spirit, O God, over all the world to inspire every heart with knowledge and love of You. Grant that we who confess Jesus as Lord may shun whatever is contrary to our faith and give witness to Your love that has saved us in Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.