Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon on December 17/18, “The Healing Will Come” (Psalm 41). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups or for personal reflection.
Main Point: If God delights in you, he will defend you.
- Declaration (teaching; vv. 1–3)
- Petition (experience; vv. 4–10)
- Vindication (resolution; vv. 11–12)
Bad news – Billions of people are not flourishing, but living on less than $2 per day.
Good news – Since 2000, almost a billion have moved out of desperate poverty.
Surprising news – That advance did not come from charity and aid, but from business and trade.
Unfortunate news – Well-meaning people of faith are generally not engaged in helping the poor flourish by generating robust economies.
Other news – Over 60% of the world’s poor are not urban dwellers, but subsistence farmers.
How do you effectively help meet the needs of those who are poor? This is a question that is particularly pertinent to the task of missions. When Paul himself was encouraged by the church in Jerusalem to continue his ministry to the Gentiles, they exhorted him to remember the poor (Gal. 2:10). Like Paul, many of our global partners find themselves working among the poor and marginalized in society, and this is a key part to their ministries. But how are we, as missions-minded Christians, to do this?
Tim Blackmon makes the following observations in his article “The Dangerous Act of Hospitality” (from Modern Reformation, Sept/Oct 2011):
“True hospitality is different. It is deeply Christian and at times is even dangerous.”
“Hospitality was crucial to the survival, identity, and growth of the early church.”
“Compassionate care was the direct result of theological vision. They ‘joyfully accepted the plundering of their property,’ because of their belief about the future ‘since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.’”
Bethlehem College and Seminary seeks to be …
I remember early in my Christian journey hearing a church described as a “sending church.” The idea was that the church was committed to investing their people, prayers, and finances in kingdom-advancing work beyond themselves. Now, later in my Christian journey, I am glad to be a part of such a church. Those who are “sent” from Bethlehem fall into two primary categories. “Global Partners” minister in cross-cultural situations around the world and “Outreach Ministries” minister in various settings in the United States.
Treasuring Christ Together
TCT is our ongoing strategy to fulfill our mission through a multiplying movement of campuses, new churches, and a Global Diaconate, united by a common mission and founded on a common biblical life and doctrine.
Earlier this Spring, I wrote a blog post inviting women to tell me commendable things about their fathers. For the next few days, we will be posting some of the responses.