One way to gain perspective in a dark and confusing time is to consider eternity. Let an old hymn guide your thoughts like “Absent From Flesh” written by Isaac Watts, but brought back to life by Sojourn and Jamie Barnes. Our suffering here is temporary, but God has a permanent home all planned out for His children.
Let’s explore this together by diving in to Scripture in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.
On this week’s episode I discuss:
- Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture – this week’s Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include:
- Read in context
- Read and keep on reading
- Read the introduction
- Consult an outside resource
- Ask questions
- The 30 Day Music Challenge – ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE
- Isaac Watts, the original author of this hymn
- Our inspiration verse in the King James Version uses the word “absent” – 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
- Reading in context by starting at the beginning of 2 Corinthians 5
- Discovering the confusing nature of 2 Corinthians when consulting an outside resource that confirms our feeling
- Gaining perspective by reading the historical context found in an introduction of a study Bible or a resource like “How to Read the Bible Book by Book” by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart
- Discovering what circumstances motivated Paul to write about being absent from our earthly flesh and present with the Lord – 2 Corinthians 4
- Allowing God to unravel fear of the unknown in the present with the hope of the future
- The theme of how God has sought to dwell with us since the beginning
- Beginning with the end – Revelation 21:1-3
- In the garden – Genesis 3
- In the tabernacle in the wilderness – Exodus 29:45-46
- In the temple – 1 Kings 8
- In Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:19, John 2:19,21
- In us – 1 Corinthians 3:16
- “We started with God coming down to earth to fellowship with man. We end with man going up to God in heaven to dwell with Him forevermore.” – C.W. Slemming, “Made According to Pattern: The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel”
- Discovering why the song sings of the angels pointing our way – Luke 16:22
Check out the official audio of our song on YouTube below.
More Than a Song Playlist
- Lyrics and chords – Sojourn Church
Spend some time considering what Scripture teaches about what it will be like when we are “absent from flesh.” Study 2 Corinthians 5 considering each phrase. Reflect on the context of the suffering Paul had been enduring as he entered this discussion. Reorient your perspective as the light of Scripture shines on your current hopes and fears.