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Preparing for the Sermon - 2 Cor. 1:3-11

Mike Summers

Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.

You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.

This Sunday, Mike Summers will be preaching as a part of our Morning Gathering. Mike serves as Lead-teaching Pastor at Countryside in Overland Park, KS.

Mike shares that Jesus Christ changes everything. Not being raised in a Christian home and living only for himself, Mike was confronted with the emptiness of a life of sin and shame. Miserable, used up and feeling hopeless, he was rescued from a life of bondage by the grace of God in 1979 in Green River, Wyoming. After moving to Florida, God brought his wife Karen into his life and they began their journey through life and ministry together.

The Summers moved to Olathe in order to plant a church in November of 1990 and Countryside was organized. Mike completed his undergraduate education at Calvary Bible College & Theological Seminary and his M.Min. and D.Min. from Northland International University Graduate School.

Mike and Karen have six incredible children, three beautiful daughters-in-law, and seven wonderful grandchildren.

Carefully Think

  • Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, paying careful attention to vs. 3-11 which will be the focus of the sermon this Sunday. Who wrote this letter and what does he say about himself? Who are the original recipients of this letter and what does the author say about them?
  • What kind of circumstances is Paul in? How does he describe the extent or seriousness of those circumstances? What does Paul cite that he has in common with his recipients?
  • What are the key words of this passage; which words are repeated multiple times?  What does Paul say about God in this passage?
  • How does Paul refer to comfort and its relationship with suffering? What is abnormal in what he says about them?  Only from this passage, what purpose does suffering have? What relationship does Paul say it has with his hope?

Prayerfully Meditate

  • Think back to a time of suffering or affliction in your own life. In what or whom did you seek comfort or relief? What part did your hope in Christ play in your approach to life and those circumstances at that time? What did you learn from that experience?
  • Are you able to say that you would currently look to the Lord if affliction were to arise in your life (or are you now if affliction is currently present)?  
  • How does your response to the last question line up with verse 7? Was there a time when your hope in Christ was shaken? Has that been resolved? If so, what was instrumental for the shift in your thinking?
  • Think of someone you know who is experiencing suffering, particularly in the name of Christ. What kind of support are you offering them? What would they say about you in terms of comfort or support?