Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 5:18

“Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is another one of those verses I have looked at and studied before, but which I was recently given the lens to see in a new light I had not considered before. This isn’t a new interpretation of what Paul was saying, but rather an extension of its application to another area of life. This morning, I want to take a look at what the ministry of reconciliation God has given us has to do with our work.

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Digging in Deeper: Romans 13:1-4

“Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there was ever a passage of Scripture that was misused and misunderstood, it is this one. Especially today. And it’s not hard to see why. Given the state of our political culture, it’s hard to imagine a block of teaching better suited to tick off everybody. And the thing is, who exactly gets riled up about this passage changes from one political administration to another. There are churches who, during the George W. Bush administration, argued that this passage meant Christians absolutely needed to support the war effort in Iraq. Today, those same churches probably aren’t using the same passage to explain why their members need to be more supportive of the various legislative and policy efforts of the Biden administration. There are other churches, though, who have used the same passage in the exact opposite direction. This morning, I don’t want to talk about any of that. Instead, I want to focus our attention on the end of the passage and talk about a group of individuals who tend to be as overlooked as they are underappreciated by our culture. This morning I want to talk about Romans 13 and correctional officers.

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What is it that has made you what you are today? Who we are is a complex web of many different factors. Some of it has come by the intentional effort of someone else trying to shape us into one thing or another. Some of it has come by a set of circumstances over which we had no control. Some of it has come by things that we have pursued ourselves. Paul identifies a fourth factor here, and this should be the big one. 

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The Problem with Work

After a couple of weeks off, this week brings us to part four of our series, Finding Meaning. One of the places we turn to for meaning in our lives is often our work. And that makes a lot of sense at first blush. After all, by the nature of the beast, we invest a lot of our lives there. We might as well try to get as much out of it as we can. But as with pleasure and wisdom, seeking meaning in our work is a trap and when it springs, it will leave us empty and searching. Keep reading to find out how we can get the most out of the work we do.

The Problem with Work

Have you ever done something that you knew, even while doing it, was a waste of your time?  I worked at OfficeMax in the print department while I was in seminary.  I really enjoyed the job and had a great boss.  My favorite part was working in production.  That kind of detailed and precise work was right up my alley and a nice break from school work.  We produced thousands of different documents while I was there from large format posters to bound workbooks to single copies.  If you wanted a document of any kind created, we could probably do it for you. 

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