Corinthians 9:6-15

2 Corinthians 9:6-15


6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:


“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.”


10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Prayer Focus for Belarus – Sunday, November 29

bela-MMAP-smBelarus, Europe: Foreign missionary presence is slowly being squeezed out by refusing visas for foreign religious workers; Catholic missionaries have been the most frequent victims of this approach. Even Slavs from neighbouring countries who have been specifically invited by churches to teach are often refused permission. Pray for divine openings and opportunities for those God is calling into Belarus; pray also that the national Church would be specially enabled to evangelize, disciple and minister without the partnership of many foreign Christian workers. For more information go to

Mark 4:13-20

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Prayer Focus for Barbados – Sunday, November 22

barb-MMAP-smBarbados, Caribbean: The Church needs God’s intervention. While unity is growing, there is still some mistrust among denominational leaders, particularly between the established denominations and the many fast-growing independent churches and congregations. Pray for a genuine commitment to fellowship and prayer by those in Christian ministry. Pray for the Barbados Evangelical Association and Barbados Christian Council, which seek to provide the platform for this. For more information go to

Water is Thicker than Blood – Mark 3:20-35

Read Mark 3:20-35. Can anyone point out the “sandwich” or A-B-A pattern? Hans Bayer writes in A Theology of Mark, “Mark will interrupt a narrative by inserting another pericope [episode] and then return to the previous subject (see Mark 3:20-21, 22-30, 31-35; 4:1-9, 10-13, 14-20; and especially 14:1-2, 3-9, 10-11; 14:17-21, 22-26, 27-31; 14:53-54, 55-65, 66-72). James Edwards contends that the isolated pericope [episode] holds the key (especially by way of illustration or contrast) to the interpretive purpose of the entire A-B-A unit: ‘the insertion interprets the flanking halves.'”

Jesus is about restoring God’s people to full functionality (withered  restored hand). How is supreme loyalty to Christ and his people actually better for our families and nations? Where have you seen supreme loyalty to biological family go wrong? What about ultimate allegiance to nation?blood and water

How is this teaching relevant if your whole biological family is a part of the church? Can problems still crop up? How so? If you have encountered problems like this how did you handle it?

In Mark 3:35 Jesus says that those who do the will of God are his true family. What does this have to do with salvation? (see John 3:36 and view of salvation, believing and obedience) What would change if more people saw the worldwide church as part of salvation?

How has God used members of the church like family in your life?

How might Thanksgiving be a way for you to apply the “water is thicker than blood” teaching of Jesus?

Is it easier or harder to grow as Jesus’ disciple in your family than in the church or in a parachurch organization? Explain. (taken from Wilkins, Following the Master)

Prayer Focus for Bangladesh – Sunday, November 15

bang-MMAP-smBangladesh, Asia: Religious discrimination and tension is rising. Islamists, while a small minority, exert increasing pressure for governance by shari’a principles. Minority groups, even Muslim ones, find themselves vulnerable. Christians, Buddhists and especially Hindus suffer as persecution intensifies, occasionally to the point of destruction of property and sometimes even death. Forced reconversion to Islam is an increasing threat. Since independence, the percent of the population comprising minority sections of society has been reduced to half. Pray for binding of the powers of darkness operating in religious, social and ethnic realms. Pray also that the constitutional freedom allowing all to practise and propagate their own religions might be maintained. For more information go to

Prayer Focus for Bahrain – Sunday, November 8

bahr-MMAP-smBahrain, Asia: The labour force is 59% foreign, drawn from more than 50 nations. Most are on temporary contracts and often must endure poor treatment, poor pay and unrealistic expectations from back home. Pray that Christians within these national groups may win people for Christ. The less evangelized of these expatriate communities are Iranians, Sri Lankans and Hindus and Muslims from India and Pakistan. Nearly half the congregations and house groups are from south India. For more information go to

Eyewitness Testimony Translated – Mark 3:7-21

Mark 3:13-21 & the Twelve

• The Gospel of Mark is an ancient biography. In an ancient biography there was one hero who was to be admired and imitated. How has Jesus thus far shown himself to be the hero? How has he been understood to be something other than the hero by the scribes and Pharisees?

Jesus and His Twelve Disciples by Sadao Wantanabe

Jesus and His Twelve Disciples by Sadao Wantanabe

• According to Mark 3:14 and Acts 1:21-22 what is unique to the calling of the twelve apostles which sets them apart from other early followers of Christ? What else is unique to the Twelve in Mark 6:7 and 12? What are some of the transferable principles that apply to all disciples that underlie these unique aspects?

“Jesus called the Twelve to be with him so that he could give them specialized training for the role of assisting him in his earthly ministry as well as training that would equip them for their future role as apostles after his ascension. They were separated from their occupations, their families, and their regular activities so that for a period of time, somewhere around three years, they could be trained by Jesus.” from Following the Master by Wilkins

• Would you say that the Twelve were in a “Christian Bubble”? Why and if so how?  How does Acts 6:2-4 help us see Jesus’ long-term goal for them?

• What did Tim mean when he said that the Gospel according to Mark is “Eyewitness Testimony Translated” How does that relate to the Bible being both reliable and relevant? Where and when in your life do you have opportunity to speak for the reliability and/or the relevance of Scripture?

• The Twelve’s testimony guides us into the real Jesus so that by his impact upon us we can be a fully functioning hand wherever we are. (A guide into union with Christ for the sake of the world). Why then would understanding the gospel as information transfer be an insufficient appreciation of the Gospel?  Since the Gospel is not just information that fell out of the sky does that help you to sense a smile at the other end of the communication?

• Jesus chose Twelve to be with him more than the other disciples and three of the Twelve to be with him even more. Why is this a loving action on Jesus’ part?

Withered to Restored – Mark 3:1-6

Read Mark 3:16.

How might we, like the scribes, turn the instructions/commandments of God into a rival god? How is that really putting trust in your self rather than in the Lord?

Have you grasped that Jesus on the cross was taking upon himself that which you are most ashamed of about your body, your history and/or your heart? If you were to make a peice of art to depict what that looks like what colors, materials, etc. would you use?

Jesus and man with withered handDo you have a sense for how your day to day life is a way of making God known in the world (being a “fully functioning hand”)? Does that help you understand what it means to be an image-bearer? Explain.

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14. Is the theme of dry/withered (same word) being used in a similar way as Mark 3:16? Is the answer to that problem being addressed in the same way? For further background study see Isaiah 56.