Paul states that he is both a “servant” of the gospel (v.23) and a servant of the church (v.25). In practical terms, how do you think this would look lived out in our 21 st century world? In what sense are suffering and difficulties associated with loving and serving others? What do you
think enabled Paul to rejoice in the midst of his sufferings?
What spiritual dangers come when we expect God to provide us with a comfortable and pain free life? How can suffering be used by God to lead us beyond superficial “happiness” to true joy in Him? How has suffering shaped your character and attitudes?
What “commission” or “stewardship” do you sense that God has given you? Are you handling it responsibly and using it to benefit others? Are you exercising it according to God’s Word? What is your goal as you invest in relationships with other people?
Are there any individuals in your life that you need to more faithfully “admonish” and “teach” with the wisdom God provides? Col 3:16 Are you willing to do the hard work that will be required, trusting him to empower you? How can we know if we are serving others with his energy or attempting to minister to others in our own strength? See II Cor 3:4-6; 4:7