union with christ

Week 12: A Necessary Path of Abiding: Suffering Servant

“If we are called to salvation, sanctification, and to service, we are called to suffering in each one of those things. It is an intrinsic component of every one of them. Suffering is part of our calling to salvation. Suffering is a consequence of our relationship with Christ. It is a consequence really of our union with Him.”
– unnamed missionary in a restricted country,
as part of a speech to the IMB in 2004. More here.
“Adversity drives the Christian to the throne of grace.”
– John Currid, Why Do I Suffer?, 52.
For a 30 second peak into Joe’s 5k training regimen, click here.

A Helpful Word in Preparation of the Study

Hear this word from Paul David Tripp from the June 19th entry in his daily devotional  New Morning Mercies:


“Sometimes we are quicker to judge than to comfort. This hit me not too long ago on the streets of Philadelphia, where I live. I walked by a young homeless person who was begging on the street, and I immediately thought, ‘I wonder what you did to get yourself here.’ Criticism came more quickly to me than compassion. Hardheartedness is more natural for us than I think we like to admit. We’re that way with our children when we yell at them as if we’re shocked that they’re struggling with the same things we struggled with when we were their ages. We’re that way when we look down on the parents who can’t seem to control their children in restaurants or on those who have trouble paying their bills. It is a function of the self-righteousness that, in some ways, still lives inside all of us. When we have named ourselves as strong, wise, capable, mature, and righteous, we tend to look down on those who have not achieved what we think we have.

“So God humbles us. He puts us in situations where our weakness, foolishness, and immaturity are exposed. I remember how I struggled with the sovereignty of God in the painful days after my father’s death. I had previously prided myself in how well I understood and could communicate this important doctrine, but there I was, grappling with God’s plan. At street level, my dad’s story made no sense to me. I wondered what in the world God was doing. It all looked chaotic and out of control. It was humbling to admit to my struggle, but doing so caused me to be much more sensitive to and patient with others who struggle with God’s rule in hard moments in their lives.


“…Paul captures this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-6. The hard moments are not just for your growth in grace, but for your call to be a tool of that same grace in the life of another sufferer. In difficulty. God is softening your heart and sharpening your edges so that you may be ready to make the comfort of the invisible Father visible in the life of the weary pilgrim he has placed in your pathway God intends for you to give away the comfort you’ve been given. The grace that has given you hope is meant to spill over into hope for the person next to you. What a plan!”

Lyrics & Chord Sheets


For the “Praise” section of each lesson, we look at a song from the WEPC Doxology Album. As a resource to you, here is a link to the lyrics for each of the songs.

Lyrics for Doxology Album

Chord Sheets are also available. If you would like them, please contact Tiffanie Chan.

2019-01-25 10.00.39Missed a week?

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All previous weeks of Union with Christ can be found at www.joebrownrva.com.

This includes devotional material, announcements, and videos.

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