The Thorn of Life into the Thorn of Grace

LPUC eNews – Sunday 4 July 2021


Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney there will be no ‘in person’ worship this Sunday 4th July, however you are invited in worship with us be viewing this week’s online service at lpuc.org.au/homepage/sermon-archive/ 

2 Corinthians 12:2-10The Thorn of Life into the Thorn of Grace 

In today’s epistle reading, Paul says there is something wrong with him.  He has a thorn in his flesh.  In fact, we don’t know what Paul’s thorn was.  However, what we can find is that even with his thorn, Paul keeps doing the work God sent him to do – starting new churches.  Paul is amazed at what God can do through him, even with that nasty thorn slowing him down. 

God spoke to Paul saying in verse 9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  God used this thorn in Paul’s flesh to teach him that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in our weakness.  If we allow it, God can empower us and strengthen us, not only in spite of, but because of the thorns that pierce our flesh and our lives.

God can also use us even with our thorns if we believe God can use us and try to do what we think God wants us to do.  Have you considered something as a thorn in your life?  What is your attitude toward its presence in your life?  When obstacles arise in your life, what has helped give you the strength to keep going?  What are the things that distract us from what God has called us to do?  What is God calling you, individually and as the church, to do?

Bring your thorn to God, along with all the pain and bitterness connected with bearing it.  Let him love you; let him hold you in the palm of his hand; let him restore and establish your joy and fill you with his strength.  Remember: when we are weak, we are strong. Amen.  IL-WOONG.

A dead dog like me.’ A king, a disabled grandson of his enemy, and mercy – Eternity News

Olympic committee announce new logo to accommodate transgender athletes – Damascus Dropbear

How to live wisely – The Bible Project

App Review: Lectio 365 – Free Lectio 365 aims to help you ‘pray the Bible every day’ and has quickly established itself as one of the most popular Christian apps in the UK since its launch at Advent 2019. Its name and format is inspired by the ancient practice of meditating on Scripture, Lectio Divina (Latin for ‘divine reading’).  Each day there is a morning reflection, following four stages, P.R.A.Y: Pause; Rejoice with a Psalm and Reflect on Scripture; Ask for God’s help; Yield to His will. Each day’s reflection appears as a written text, but is also offered read aloud by the author, with an accompanying instrumental soundtrack. There are certain prayers and phrases that appear every day to structure the reflection. The recording takes no more than 10 minutes. 

Article on gratitude from Katherine Hepburn’s life

A US lobsterman has been describing how he escaped being swallowed by a humpback whale – BBC News.

Does God bless nations? – Eternity News

Church library: Help us with the hardest-working shelf in the church library. During June, tell us the best DVDs or books you’ve used in our Christian Living section – we’ll make sure your top picks are on the shelf and available for others to use. See Naomi Feigl or Lawrie Bool for more information.

Tens of thousands of church leaders in hiding in China – Australian Prayer Network

Christians DO NOT believe in a Supernatural Being || Episode One || What we wish others new

John Anderson Direct: With Matt Taibbi.  Taibbi details the increasing politicisation and polarisation of mainstream news media over the past 20 years. He unpacks what he believes to be the contributing factors to this descent, yet shines hope on the future of journalism, arguing that trust can and must be restored between the media and the public. Only after this will journalism be able to recover its important role as a pillar of healthy democracies.

Beautiful Difference: The (Whole-Bible) Complementarity of Male and Female – The Gospel Coalition

Leadership splits as Apostle Barnaby takes gospel to the deplorables – Damascus Dropbear

The Case for Christians to Find Their Political Voice – Cross and Culture

“Safe Schools” might be gone, but gender fluid indoctrination of children has not – Lyle Shelton

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