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Sustenance for Ministry

The bargain bins of London have been good for meals costing little more than £1, sometimes even with pudding thrown in! Absolutely ace for sustaining a crazy week of giving talks and leading bible studies and loads of intense conversations:

English Fry-up Breakfast
English fry-up

Poached Free Range Eggs, smoked salmon, toast, lambs lettuce, beetroot
poached free-range eggs, smoked salmon on toast, lambs lettuce and bits of beetroot

Pan-fried skrei cod with lamb's lettuce and tomatoes
pan-fried skrei cod with lamb’s lettuce and tomatoes

flat iron steak, mashed sweet potatoes, petit pois
flat iron steak in red wine sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, petit pois

Buffalo burger
buffalo burger

Rhubarb crumble with vanilla cream
rhubarb crumble with vanilla bean cream

But more long-lasting sustenance came during the leaders’ resus(citation) weekend away at Sunningdale Park, another De Vere venue.

2 Corinthians was a heartening letter – pity we didn’t have much time to wallow in its comforting words. In what is probably a vastly inadequate summary:

  • a commendable ministry isn’t surface display ministry that teaches a Jesus but not the true Jesus, or teaches the gospel and about the Spirit but not about the true gospel or the real Spirit (2 Corinthians 11:1-4); a commendable ministry is a ministry of transformation (2 Corinthians 3:1-3, 18) – a changed life starts from a changed heart, a ministry of regeneration (2 Corinthians 3:4-6) – the changed heart occurs by the Spirit through the Son’s death so that our hearts of stone are changed to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36), a ministry of justification (2 Corinthians 3:7-11), a ministry of illumination (2 Corinthians 3:12-18);
  • we do this ministry because of the coming of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:6-13) in the future and because of the cross of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-17);
  • when our plans are frustrated, or when people are frustrating, when our work in the Lord seems futile, when opposition is fierce, and when we feel like incompetents and failures, we do not chuck in the towel because this ministry is God-given (2 Corinthians 4:1). We merely need to stay straight-talking, eschewing dodgy methods and dodgy professional standards (2 Corinthians 4:2). We do not judge our success by results, because we know that the results are out of our hands. Instead, we continue to do this ministry of selfless proclamation, knowing that its impact (where applicable) will be out of this world (2 Corinthians 4:6);
  • the paradox of divine power ensures that God deliberately keeps his servants weak, so that the glory will always be His. In what can we boast? With what should we be content? (2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10)
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