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Paul knew Jesus' birth, life and death as a source of life

March 1, 2024

Daily Scripture

Galatians 4:3-7, 2 Corinthians 4:8-11

Galatians 4
3 In the same way, when we were minors, we were also enslaved by this world’s system. 4 But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. 5 This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted. 6 Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God.

2 Corinthians 4
8 We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. 9 We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.
10 We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. 11 We who are alive are always being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies that are dying.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

If you want a dog, many people urge you to adopt one from a shelter rather than buying a puppy from a breeder. That can help you recall that Paul used the image of God “adopting” you for salvation. You might have been on a course leading to eternal darkness, but God took you safely into heaven’s family. In that life, the physical pains Paul faced (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 12:7-10) gave his words a very personal meaning: “We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies.”

  • Slavery was legal in the Roman Empire and was the backdrop for the word “redeem.” Freeing a slave took “redeeming” them (i.e., buying them out of slavery). Imagine a slave owner telling a slave, “I’m redeeming you by adopting you. You’re now a full family member, not a slave.” Do you tend to live more as God’s “slave,” fearful and frustrated, or as God’s adopted, beloved daughter or son? How can you more fully accept your adoption, your complete “belonging” in God’s family?
  • Scholar William Barclay said in Paul’s teaching about following Jesus, “He offered them no easy way. He acted on the principle that Jesus had come ‘not to make life easy but to make men [and women] great.’” * Does it seem to you that following Jesus today may be somewhat easier and safer than it was in Paul’s day? In what ways is it as true as ever that entering God’s kingdom involves being willing to pass through “many troubles”?

Dear Jesus, unlike my occasional shortsightedness, you looked beyond the obvious and visible. Give me your eyes to see, however dimly, the glory of eternity, and to live in that light. Amen.

GPS Insights

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe and his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 and were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew and Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

While researching Paul’s exhortations to the Corinthians, I ran across a pop-up ad for a “newsletter” entitled “S.P.U.D. Buds” published by the Society of Potato-growers Unified Dealerships.  Let’s see how it might help us understand Paul’s encouraging passage:

One potato, Two potato, Three potato, Fore!
Mark the date: Our Idaho Falls chapter is hosting their annual golf tournament on March 5.

Movie Night
Our Boise chapter is hosting a viewing of the documentary highlighting the quiet, peaceful life on a potato farm, “Silence of the Yams.”

Product Placement Committee Update
Our team of social media influencers are constantly seeking ways to help make potatoes part of the national conversation.  We recently sent a letter to Pope Francis to explore the possibility of tweaking Exodus 3:14 to read, “I Yam who I Yam.”  While some members may think this issue could be a “hot potato,” we’ll keep you posted on any feedback.

Column: Thoughts from a Couch Potato – by Al Gratin
As I travel across this great country, I’ve started thinking that people can be a lot like potatoes. Consider the following:

Some people never get involved. They don’t volunteer, they don’t participate in discussions; they just go through life sitting on the sidelines as spec-tators.

Some people love to boss people around, but rarely want to get their own hands dirty. Sadly, these dic-tators are way too common in our everyday lives.

Some people will always offer advice & tips on what you should be doing differently, but they never actually offer any real assistance. These commen-tators will talk the talk, but never walk the walk.

Some people can never be happy. You know the routine: it’s always too hot, too cold, or too whatever. These agi-tators can never be content or at peace & seem to only be happy when you are as upset as they are.

However, what if we mimicked Paul in his letter to the Corinthians? It’s amazing to read how many times Paul is writing to inspire his readers or applauding his friends for their encouragement of their fellow believers. What if we offered real encouragement to our friends, family, & neighbors & sought to be an inspiration to each person we encounter as we all go through the peaks & valleys of life? We could act as motiv-ators & strive to make each day a day of support & encouragement. Of all the spuds we could be, how cool would it be to choose to be this version of a potato? Sweet, huh?

All Aboard!
Our club members will take over the entire train on our annual trek through the Canadian Rocky Mountains June 12-19. You won’t want to miss this once-a-year event on our customized, tailor-made “Yamtrack.”

Calling all Tater Tots!
Our Potato Children’s Museum is hosting their annual carnival on April 10. Events include a potato sack race, hash brown eating contest, & photos with Mr. Potato Head. Your small fry will love it.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 111.