2 Corinthians 4:16
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
Renewal is important. It is fundamental to every aspect of our lives. When God created our world and our cosmos, it seems that cycles of life, production, and rest were the bedrock of its natural order. All around us we can see the beauty of this wisdom as natural creatures rise to a new day, pursue it, and then rest when it is done. We are, right now, in the midst of a most breathtaking autumn season where the trees are preparing to shed their leaves for winter, almost as if they are letting out a satisfied and weary sigh from their summer of fruit-bearing. As we look to the perfector of our faith, Jesus Christ, we see His fruitful ministry marked by times of silence, solitude, and prayer as He renewed His soul before once again engaging in His ministry with others.
Paul writes in the Scripture above to a church that was discouraged by their circumstances. I can imagine that many of its members were tired, burnt out, and questioning what a bright future might look like. I can imagine that, as Paul points out in his letter, they felt as if they were wasting away. Here the apostle sets a precedent for the church that is as important to us today as it was to the Corinthians. We need to experience God's renewal and experience it as often as possible.
Though spiritual renewal may come to us when we least expect it, most of the time, we are called to be intentional about seeking God's presence and renewing our souls. The wellspring of God's Grace is ready to fill our cup to overflowing if we are only to seek it out. It is in this spirit that we are inviting our faith community at Long's Chapel to join the pastors, staff, and lay leadership in engaging in our "Be Renewed" small group curriculum. This curriculum is specifically built for us, the church, for such a time as this. It will follow the theme of our next sermon series bearing the same title, making it a profound way to allow God's Truth to transform our lives.
I recognize that we are all weary and that the world we live in is troubled. But as sacred children of God, we are not destined to waste away. As people called to transform the world and build God’s Kingdom, we are meant to experience renewed strength, perspective, and joy. I invite you now to join with us as a spiritual family and seek this renewal together. If you are part of a Sunday school or small group, please consider utilizing this four-week curriculum as it coincides with our new sermon series beginning on October 25. If you are not part of a small group or Sunday school, please reach out to me to get connected with an existing group or be part of a new one centered around this study Tom.Owens@LongsChapel.com.
Now is the time to taste the wellspring of God's Grace and allow our cups to be overflowing. Now is the time to be renewed!
Yours in Christ,
Tom Henderson Owens