Banking Blessings Ministry welcomes you to 2018. Thank you for participating in our programs as we seek and share understanding of God’s purpose for human interactions and relationships. We thank God for the opportunity to understand his message more and better this year and steer closer to his purpose for each of us individually and as member of a community.
The year 2017 ended while we were in the middle of a series on Responding to Adversity, focused on studying events and personalities in the bible to gain insight into the nature and meaning of adversity and what a Christian should do when facing adversity. The series has taken us through examinations of the experience of Job, Mordecai, Shunammite woman, and midway through Paul’s ordeal in Jerusalem and Caesarea.
2018 Continues from 2017
We have completed the following studies in the Responding to Adversity series.
TEMPTATION OF JOB As we discuss in Temptation through Adversity, the experience of Job indicates adversity may befall anyone, even a person that has done nothing wrong, and may represent an attempt by the devil to pull the person away from God or at least dilute or shift his/her focus to destroy or damage a Godly purpose. Job was tempted initially through the adversity of losing his children and all earthly possession in quick succession. He recognized the adversity as temptation and fought by renewing his commitment to worship and serve God. His experience indicates that recognizing adversity as an attack from the devil is an important step in seeking God’s guidance and direction and ultimately defeating the adversity and the temptation that it represents.
MORDECAI AND ESTHER As we discuss in Living in the Image of God through Adversity, Mordecai’s experience illustrate coping with adversity by remaining committed to worshiping and serving God, recognizing what the commitment means in every situation, and interacting in a way to uphold the commitment. Mordecai triumphed over severe adversity by living in the image of God despite the adversity.
SHUNAMMITE WOMAN Her experience illustrates unwavering faith and persistent prayer in dealing with adversity, as we discuss in Shunammite Woman Overcomes Adversity. Her compassion for a stranger had led her to man of God Elisha, who prayed for her so she was blessed with a son. Later, when the son died unexpectedly, her unwavering faith channeled through persistent prayer by Elisha restored the son to life. Subsequently, she lost her home and land while living abroad to escape severe famine. However, all her losses and more were restored because she was a living testimony of Elisha’s work. On two occasions she lost something she treasured but her loss was restored in full each time because of unwavering faith and persistent prayer.
PERSECUTION OF PAUL Our 2018 program continues from 2017 with the mini series on Paul’s persecution in Jerusalem and Caesarea. As we discuss in On Mission Despite Threat of Impending Adversity, Paul’s adversity began with a mob attack in Jerusalem.
He was warned of the impending persecution but decided to confront the threat by focusing on his mission. He declared he was ready for whatever God had prepared for him as he focused on completing his mission: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” [Acts 20:24]. Paul stayed on mission despite the threat of severe adversity, subsequently endured through the adversity, but expanded his ministry as a result, more than he could have imagined. We learn through his experience that God may at times permit adversity to befall a person in order to launch him/her onto a path to greater and more meaningful purpose.
We have encountered similar transitions from adversity to great accomplishment in other bible studies. For example, in Joseph Called to Mission, we recall Joseph’s experience through severe personal hardship as he transitioned from an ordinary teenager in Canaan to the highest administrative officer in Egypt under Pharaoh and conveyor of deliverance for the young nation of Israel. Also, in Ruth Joins Naomi, we recall a young woman losing her husband early in their marriage and choosing to live with her mother-in-law to face likely penury and perpetual unmarried life. However, her choice took her into marriage to a wealthy grain farmer and together they became grandparents in the lineage of the Messiah.
More in 2018—Husband-Wife Interactions
We will continue the mini series on Paul’s adversity. Thereafter, we will start a new series on Husband Wife Interactions. Positive human interaction begins in the family as children receive positive impact from parents and senior siblings and learn to relate to other people the same way. Parents are able to perform this function by understanding their relationship with God and living in accordance with the understanding. The series will examine events in the life of couples described in the bible, their interactions as they responded to the events, and how their response in earlier events may have affected subsequent events. We pray for better understanding of husband-wife interactions based on the series and how we can apply the understanding to present-day living.
We have recorded some of the sessions, are excited with what we learned, and pray that you can join us as we explore God’s purpose for this aspect of human interactions and relationships. May we see more of you in 2018.
God bless you abundantly!