Paul is recommending the Corinthians look for encouragement from other brothers and sisters of the faith. It’s like networking and fellowship combined. The movement of Christ-followers is growing. Without the internet and more modern ways of connecting, word of mouth was key in connecting people who should spend time together.
The Corinthians had the assurance that they weren’t alone. Sometimes it can be frightening to head in a new direction in life. To embrace a Christian life and start a new relationship with a Savior who was not visibly present was daunting for them, and it can be daunting for us as well. That’s why Paul models for us the importance of community, faith communities to be precise.
Think about the people you spend time with. Family, work associates, church friends, neighbors, etc. How close are you with these folks? Is there someone whom you could tell anything, and it would be okay? Even those shocking secrets that we usually keep hidden. Do you ever have opportunity to spend time with them to build each other up?
Paul also hints at the importance of service. He’s just spent time a couple chapters ago talking about our spiritual gifts. This service can go hand in hand with that, once we know how we’re gifted, then we can provide help to the body of Christ accordingly.
What do you think of Paul’s closing remarks? First off, he says, “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!” I’m right there with Paul, aren’t you? Jesus can return any time! The world’s problems could be all but eliminated if everyone just loved the Lord. There would be no cursed, evil people. Imagine what it would be like if every human was seeking to serve God using their gifts and loving others as Jesus loves them.
I just felt a bit of a tingle when I imagined a world filled with God-fearing and God-honoring people. Heaven. That’s what it’ll be like.
Until then, we have a job to do. We need to share what we know about Jesus to others who don’t know or haven’t had the same experiences we’ve had. The truth of Scripture may be a hard pill to swallow for those who don’t embrace that it’s the ONLY “real” truth. Some would even say we should capitalize it, “Truth” when referring to God’s word.
Share this devotional with someone. Sharing the Truth with someone is the MOST loving thing you can do. Building each other up in God’s ways is the best way to be equipped to serve. Plug into a new faith community and ask God to show you how you can serve.
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for the communities of faith I have been part of during my life. Each person was empowered by you to love and serve. Thank you that you have used me to help others, even though some of them I may never know. It is my desire, Lord, that you use my gifts to bless those who are ready to receive from you. May I be your hands and feet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.