Partners in the Gospel

Bruce Menning

READ : 2 Corinthians 1:15-24 We are workers with you . . . (v. 24) The key word in today’s Scripture verse is with. How the preposition with is understood here determines whether or not mission is done in true partnership. Potters work with clay, molding and shaping it according to their will. Some supervisors work with employees, managing (perhaps even manipulating) to achieve their own objectives. However, in the context of missions, with means “alongside” or “as a part …

Depending upon God's Power

Bruce Menning

READ : 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 So that we would not rely on ourselves . . . (v. 9) Cross-cultural mission is more art than science, more the stuff of everyday living than boardroom policies, more prayer than planning, and more awkward than smooth. In short, it’s more of God and less of us. Missionaries are blessed with cross-cultural sensitivities that are acquired through humility and time. Still, is there a missionary who hasn’t honestly despaired of effectiveness in the face …

Buoyed by the Stories of Faith

Bruce Menning

READ : 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 You share in our sufferings . . . [and] consolation. (v. 7) I haven’t experienced the suffering of which Paul speaks. Chances are you haven’t either. This suffering is not the stuff of natural disaster, war, illness, and loss, which are common to us all. The sufferings Paul has in mind are the afflictions that Christians endure because they are Christians: ostracism, discrimination, humiliation, persecution, imprisonment, and even death. However, I have heard firsthand the …

The Christian's True Identity

Bruce Menning

READ : 2 Corinthians 1:1-2 An apostle . . . by the will of God. (v. 1) In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul the founding missionary counsels a young church in the midst of conflict that is causing division and blunting its witness. Some in Corinth doubted his leadership. So immediately in the salutation, Paul reminds both himself and the quarreling congregation of his credentials: not Dominie Paul, not the Right Rev. Paul, not Mr. Paul, …