“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:10–15)!
This year I had the privilege to write a study guide that accompanies video teaching from D.A. Carson and the second edition of his important book, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation. I found it immensely challenging and rewarding personally to meditate on the apostle Paul’s priorities, passion, perseverance, power, and purpose in his prayers of petition and thanksgiving.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul encourages the Corinthians to give generously and gladly. It is crucial to see that this appeal for a financial contribution is framed in terms of thanksgiving. Of course, “thanksgiving” here is not about Pilgrims, parades, and pumpkin pie. The apostle is constantly on the lookout for evidences of God’s grace at work in the world, and when he sees grace he responds with gratitude: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
At Bethlehem College & Seminary, we have countless reasons to thank God for his grace that is at work all around us in more ways than we are even aware. Thanks be to God for a remarkable team of faculty and staff to pour out their lives into students. Thanks be to God for several new marriages for our students and many babies added to our community (including my third child, Judson). Thanks be to God for sustaining several students, faculty, and alumni through dark trials this year. Thanks be to God for faculty publications like Joe Rigney’s The Things of Earth and Andy Naselli’s Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement that will serve the church. Thanks be to God for open doors for effective ministry for our graduates and current students. Thanks be to God for constantly providing for our needs year after year through the glad-hearted generosity of financial partners.
Brian Tabb, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
Prayer Requests …
- Pray for our students as many return home to families. Pray that they would give good testimony of the hope that is in them to those who have yet to believe in Jesus.
- Pray for faculty as they finish the grading process and already look towards preparing for the spring classes that they will teach.
- Pray for Dr. Jason DeRouchie as he takes a sabbatical with his family for the spring semester.
- Please continue to pray for our financial need as the year ends. Never has our need been so great at Bethlehem College & Seminary. We trust that the Lord will continue to provide for what he is calling us to do.