This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Big Picture of 1 & 2 Corinthians:
These are two letters Paul wrote to the people who followed Christ in the city of Corinth. Corinth was on an important trade route in the world at that time and had a reputation for sexual immortality, corruption, and idol worship. 1 Corinthians was written around A.D. 55 while Paul was in Ephesus as a call to the believers to live lives in contrast to the world around them. There were some specific issues that came up as they tried to figure out what that looked like and Paul hoped to speak to some of those issues. The followup letter came about a year later and dealt with some of the same issues and some new additional ones.
Some Issues and Topics Discussed in 1 Corinthians:
- Division in the Church
- Spiritual Gifts
- Food offered to idols
- The Lord’s Supper
- The Resurrection of Jesus
Some Issues and Topics Discussed in 2 Corinthians:
- Some of the same issues in 1 Corinthians
- Forgiveness and reconciliation
- Unity among the church and leaders
- Suffering and Joy
Gospel ministry and holy living
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
REFLECTION: Where have you seen this contrast to be true in your life and the lives of those who don’t know Christ?
- “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22
REFLECTION: In what ways can you sacrifice this week in order to find common ground with someone who does not yet know Jesus?
- “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
REFLECTION: Journal about what it means to you to be known completely by God.
- “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
REFLECTION: In what ways has this been true in your life?
- “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
REFLECTION: What’s your “thorn” right now? Where have you seen God’s power despite your weakness?
- “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
REFLECTION: Where have you been living a life based on a scarcity mentality vs the mentality that God is a God of abundance and generosity?
Truth’s We Can Apply from 1 & 2 Corinthians Today:
- Following Jesus isn’t always easy.
- God’s Church is His beautiful bride and yet His Church and individual churches are filled with imperfect people. We have to seek forgiveness and wholeness and reconciliation when we hurt others. This sometimes involves tough conversations.
- True love looks nothing like what the world has to offer.
- Relationships are more important than being “right”.
- Unity is possible, but takes hard work.
- We each have gifts to offer and when we all work together, God gets great glory.
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of 1 Corinthians
- The Bible Project summary video of 2 Corinthians
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for 1 & 2 Corinthians
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!