1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 – Wisdom of God

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5

Wow, these verses really spoke to me. Our human minds are so limited, yet don’t we all think we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread?  Don’t we marvel at what we can accomplish, where the world is on a technological front?  

It says right here that with our limited human brains we can’t begin to understand God and his mightiness.  God designed it that way. When we think of the majesty of God, our minds truly do get overwhelmed quite quickly.  How can we begin to fathom the vastness of our world, our galaxy, and all of the complexities that God so perfectly created?  

Do you know what?  This same God loves us; how crazy is that? But Christ is the power and wisdom of God, and we are united with him! Yes, and yes!!!  Only through Christ can we know and experience God.  Only through Christ can we have the power we need.  Only through Christ can we live forever!  

How I feel for the foolish who don’t know this truth–who don’t know that Jesus is the truth.  Jesus is the ONLY way.  

Let’s pray.  Lord help me be a light today to help others know this truth. Prepare their hearts to hear and feel this message of love from you. Thank you for the wisdom and strength you gave me, yet help me remember that your wisdom and strength are what I yearn for.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 – Live in Harmony

Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Live in harmony.  Sometimes this can be a real challenge!  This can be particularly difficult in churches, to which Paul is addressing this wisdom. Over the years, I have experienced firsthand disharmony among believers. Maybe you’ve been involved in a church fight, a church split or just hard feelings from anything from doctrinal differences, worship style choices, leadership weaknesses, building projects, etc.  

A common struggle in the church today surrounds worship styles, whether it be a traditional hymn focus with organ or that led by a contemporary worship band.  This is an age-old conversation between believers, and a struggle that is not in our house alone.  I think of the Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman that “true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.”  It’s not about the ‘where’ or the “style”.  These squabbles are so frustrating, and I try to separate myself from feelings of persecution for my preference of style, and hope that I don’t judge others.

I totally embrace that we have different styles of worship, but to avoid a time of corporate worship because of style seems a bit self-centered. Worship is what we are called to do, and it is not for us, it is for God.  In the midst of worship, we need to stay focused on WHO we are worshiping and never just ‘go through the motions.’   It is our duty to focus on our own relationship and find a true connection in spite of the style of music!  God is speaking to me just as much through words of liturgy and hymns as he is during a praise set.  I need to set aside “me” and find “HIM”.  

Does being a Christian mean we are comfortable?  I don’t think so.  I think we are called to stretch so that we can grow.  To avoid a time of worship, a time of connecting with God, no matter the reason, is folly.  Great folly.  I want our church to be united, as this verse suggests, united on the front lines!  We have a lost world to attend to, a world that needs to hear about Jesus, a world that needs to see Jesus’ love in action.  This world does not need to see or hear us so-called Christians in opposition with each other on such things.  Paul’s words are so true, even today.
Let’s pray.  Lord forgive us when we fight over the small stuff.  Lord keep us connected to you and to each other.  Help us love one another even if our views and preferences are different.  Help us to focus on you and what your will for our lives.  Help us not to judge others but to have that to you. Thank you for loving us in the midst of our weakness.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:1-9 – Gifts We Need

Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

We’re going to jump to 1 Corinthians for a little “change of scenery”. Reflections on the Psalms will resume again in the near future. In the meantime, I hope you are blessed with these reflections.

Don’t you love how this book starts? I love this introduction.  So many of the introductions in Paul’s letters are awesome and relevant to today. I’ve often thought during times of devotion that we should be using these introductions as a call to worship on Sunday mornings.  Paul’s words can and should be our words to each other.  

Was there a verse in today’s reading that really spoke to you?  If not, take a moment to re-read the passage allowing God to speak to you.  For me, it was verse 7.  Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. “  We have each been given gifts, but I’ve never thought it was because it was what I “needed”.  That we need. Maybe not every one that we “want”.  For instance, I’d love to be able to speak in tongues and have asked many times for that gift, but God has supplied the gift(s) I need. Based on Paul’s counsel here, that is not a gift that I need.  Okay. I’ll get over it.

In addition to bestowing on us the gifts we’ll need, we have the strength we’ll need to be free from blame (see verse 8). I’m not sure what “blame” might refer to here.  What do you think?  But I suppose it has something to do with being faithful.  If my faith puts me in a position where I am not comfortable or others do not like me or what I stand for, then perhaps that might be conceived as a bad thing.  But, I will be strong and take no offense or “blame”.  Do you think that is what this means?  Let me know in the comments below.

So what is your take away from today’s reading?

Let’s pray.  Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me, may I use them for your glory and to further your kingdom.  You are a wise God, and you have planned for me what is best.  Help me to always look to your wisdom in my life. May my words be uplifting, may my presence reflect you in all I say and do.  In  Jesus’ name.  Amen.