Exploring God's Amazing Word
18 Bible Studies on Positive Living in Christ.
The Word is amazing in its effect upon humanity. Lives have been changed as its truths have been applied. You will be inspired to see yourself as blessed with Heaven's best. Word studies, topical studies, expository studies. How far do you want to go with God's Word? 180 pages. IN STOCK.
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Last call to register...
The Northwest seminar starts next Thursday 26th September. So register NOW for the Seattle (Kirkland) seminar on "In Christ, Christ In". Full details are online at http://seminars.peterwade.com/ . For an efficient seminar, we need to know how many will be attending. You can register by email -- simply put "Register" in the Subject line, and send your name, address and contact phone number. You will get an email confirming your registration.
Kirkland (Seattle) WA -- August 26-28
-- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tipp City (north of Dayton) OH -- September 17-19
-- email to email@example.com
He Commands Us To Abound
"But as you abound in everything -- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us -- see that you abound in this grace also" (II Corinthians 8:7 NKJV).
The word "abound" ("excel" KJV) is translated as "super-abundance" in some translations. It is the same word used for life "more abundantly" in John 10:10, "I am come that they might have life... more abundantly". It is also used in the story of the prodigal son, "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!' " (Luke 15:17). "To spare" is the translation of this same Greek word, meaning to excel, to abound, to go above and beyond.
Since the first major expression in modern times at Azusa Street, Los Angeles in 1906, we have had nearly 100 years of excellence in the operation of the so-called Pentecostal manifestations (I Corinthians 14:12). I believe in them, and they should be in use within the church. But it seems to me that since they do not receive a mention in II Corinthians 8:7, it is obvious that such manifestations are not the be-all and end-all of the Christian faith. The omission of these manifestations in this verse says to us that while this special equipment is given to the church that it might grow and develop, there are other parts of the Christian life that must be addressed.
The first item in II Corinthians 8:7 is abounding in faith, and that is a good place to start. This verse states that Christians can abound or excel in faith. In Romans 12:3 we read about "...the measure of faith God has given you." Every believer has faith. God wants us to abound, to excel, to be superabundant, to have more than enough and spare, to be over and above in the operation of our faith for His glory. Then the Bible encourages us in Hebrews 12:2 to "...fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (NIV). The impact of the words "fix our eyes" is to look away from all else unto Jesus. It is having tunnel vision on Jesus. "Fix our eyes on Jesus..." Why? Because, as Moffatt translates it, He is "the pioneer and perfecter of the faith".
Galatians 2:20 takes us a step further, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." The King James version states, "I live by the faith of the Son of God." We can abound in faith because Jesus pioneered it and perfected it, and since Christ is living in us, the life we are living is on the basis of that kind of faith. Let's abound in faith. And how do we do that? The same way an athlete abounds, excels in his performance. We use faith every day, every moment of the day. We do it the same way as James Morrison became a leading trumpet player. He picked up his trumpet and blew into the mouthpiece every day. He fiddled with it, he had fun with it, he tried this out, he tried that out, but he used it day in and day out. Abound in faith -- the believers at Corinth did, and we can too!
Let's skip down to the last item in the verse. "See that you abound in this grace also." It is interesting that having gone through abounding in spiritual manifestations in I Corinthians 14:12, and abounding in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, in your love for your teacher, there was still one area where the Corinthians very much needed to exercise excellence -- the area of giving. You are not a well-rounded Christian until you have learned to give. Giving is not an optional extra. I believe the principle of giving and receiving is perhaps the foundational principle on which the whole universe is based. Nature gives to us, God gives to us. And what do we do? Grasp, grasp, grasp. There are two choices -- we either give or we grasp. "It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything" (Proverbs 11:24 CSB).
The context of our verse is II Corinthians 8. In verse 2 it speaks about the churches in Macedonia, "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." From poverty to plenty. Why? Because they gave. From rags to riches, "extreme poverty" to "rich generosity". They abounded in the grace of giving. Notice the basis on which they gave. "And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will" (II Corinthians 8:5).
Paul goes on in the rest of chapter 8 and then chapter 9 to tell the believers how much he appreciated the gift they sent him last year. So they had already given! Now Paul was saying to them that they needed to abound in the grace of giving. It was not and is not a case of giving one gift, no matter how large it might be. Some people delight in making a large gift to some special project, but other folk, who give week in and week out, outgive the folk who give the large gift! The grace of giving is to give consistently and proportionately. Then, when a need does come, we have already made our deposits in the Bank of Heaven, and we can call upon them whenever we have a need. Make a quality commitment to abound, to excel in the grace of giving also. -- Peter Wade
You can also hear Peter & Vivien Wade...
Other meetings you can hear Peter and Vivien are at:
Saturday, September 11, 7:30 p.m., 237 Indian Creek Drive. Hosts: Bob and Janie Griffith. Phone: 859.234.1685
Wednesday, September 15, 7 p.m., 2420 Winchester Road. Hosts: Alan and Kathy Anderson. Phone: 937.376.3888.
Wednesday-Thursday September 22,23, 7 p.m., 255 N Frankfort St. Hosts: Mike and Pam Sommer. Phone 419.628.3559.
Sunday, September 26, at 4 p.m., followed by a pot-luck supper. Don't miss this one! Petaluma Valley Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall), 580 Sonoma Mountain Parkway. (For directions, see http://www.petalumabaptist.org and click on "Where"). Hosts: Kurt & Lianne Kangas, 707.658.0016, Bill Hess.
Check with hosts before travelling any distance. Changes do happen.
Insights From Every Chapter Of The Bible
G. Campbell Morgan was a well-known preacher and writer of over 60 books from the first half of the 20th century. In each issue of this newsletter he gives a comment from one verse in every chapter of the Bible. We continue with Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
"Let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God"
(I Corinthians 7:24).
The ultimate value of these words is that they teach us that circumstances are of minor importance in saintship. They neither help nor hinder the believer in realizing all that grace and truth of character, or that purity and strength in service, which are the outcome of saintship. Note the applications of the principle as found in the context. The married or the unmarried; the circumcised or the uncircumcised; the bondservant or the free: in neither case does one condition nor the other affect the fact of saintship, either to help or to hinder. On the contrary, the fact of saintship changes and qualifies all these conditions.
Therefore the idea which has been very prevalent, and is still in some forms persistent, that if we can change our circumstances we may develop our saintship, is entirely unwarranted. The experience of the saints has been, that the very pressure and friction of conditions which seem to make saintship a difficulty, have contributed to the perfecting of Christian character. The secret of life is that it be lived with God. When that is so, the fellowship transfigures the circumstances, and transmutes the forces which hinder into forces that help. How glorious a conception of life this is, that whatever my calling be, of family relationship, of religious training and habit, or of social position, I can remain therein in the company of God, and so make the circumstances of life the occasion of manifesting His glory.
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(c)2004 Peter Wade