I will never forget the spring I truly learned about the profound importance of biblical context. It started with a woman who came to see me for counsel. She was terribly depressed because her children were sick and she truly believed it was her fault. It turns out that she thought she didn’t have enough faith! When I tried to clarify, she impatiently said, “You know ‘By His stripes you are healed.’ 1 Peter 2:24.”
So, we looked at the passage, and yes, that was the exact wording. But 1 Peter is not about health at all, it is all about persevering.
That’s when I realized, more than ever, that to understand God’s word you had to understand the context from which it came!
The only way to understand context is by digging deep into God’s word and truly seeking to understand.
You see, there is terrible pain from misapplying and misunderstanding Scripture—
- A person believes that God does not love them because He has not made them wealthy. He has been falsely taught that his prosperity is tied to his faith and is crushed under the burden of trying desperately to have the right amount of faith. He does not know the Lord’s economy (Luke 6:20-23).
- Marriages have been destroyed because a spouse blames the devil instead of acknowledging that it is his or her own sin that is tearing at the fabric of tenderness. This leads to a lack of repentance, confession, reconciliation and restoration.
- A mother blames herself for her child’s sickness because she thinks her faith is not strong enough to heal him, instead of seeking what the Lord may have for the family through the trial (John 9:1-3).
- The most tragic is the one who believes in a nebulous deity, but refuses to worship the real God. He does not know the joy of a saving faith, but simply has the faith of a demon (James 2:19).
A group bible study can be a great place to start seeking to understand! It is my prayer that each of us are in Bible study with one another; that we would persevere and seek to learn His Word and link arms with other believers and to “do” His Word.
If you are someone who desires to read and study the Word, but are not sure how to begin; or if you are someone who is seeking a group to study God’s Word with; we invite you to consider one of MCC’s bible studies or Community Groups. Check out MCC’s Men’s and Women’s ministry pages to see where you might join in! If you or someone else needs or is interested in Biblical Counseling let us know, you are not meant to walk through life alone.
Please persevere in your study of God’s word; for this is the ministry of God’s Word in us -- it is on-going; we are challenged; we are shaped; we are encouraged as we dive into its depths; and we are simultaneously satisfied and yet crave more of Him.
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.