Category Archives: I Corinthians

There’s just no time for it!

I Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. NIV

I love this verse.

I love the parallels between these three and the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit bolsters my Faith.

My Hope is in Christ, my Savior.

And God, the greatest of these, is Love.

If I am focused on loving others as I am called to do, if I’m turning myself outward and performing my role within the family of God, there is no time for worry.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, I Corinthians, New Testament

Can you prove it?

I Corinthians 4: 1-2

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  NIV

those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

I have been given a trust.  I am a child of God.  I have accepted Christ as my savior.  I am inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, I must prove faithful.

It’s easy to say, “I won’t sin.”  In my case, “I won’t worry.”

It’s much harder to follow through on that commitment … to prove it.

But, if I am to prove faithful, I must do my level best, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment to prove faithful, to trust God and not myself for my future.

As I work my way through the last month of this project, I feel like a little kid started out the door to school.

“Do you have your lunch?  Your flute?  Your homework?”  In short, are you prepared for what lies outside the door?

Am I prepared?

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under I Corinthians, New Testament, Trust

Glorify God?

I Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. NIV

As I continue my search of The Message for listings of the word worry, this verse is next. In The Message, this verse reads, “So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory.” MSG

Everything to God’s glory.

I love that!

As I look around His amazing creation, it is clear that every piece of it, every molecule, was created to glorify Him.

Only we, as humans, were given the free will to choose not to.

God wants us to seek Him by choice. To submit to Him by choice. To obey Him by choice. To follow Him by choice.
He wants to do everything “heartily and freely,” as Paul says, to His glory.

I choose God.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under I Corinthians, New Testament, Trust, Worry

Do it all for the glory of God

I Corinthians 10:30

If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? NIV

This is a continuation of Paul’s thought on eating various things that I began looking at yesterday.  In The Message, this verse also addresses the concept of worry, “If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!” MSG

Paul has basically told the people that they can eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience.  In the same way, if they go to someone’s house for dinner, they can eat anything they are served, giving thanks to God.  But, he says in verses 28 & 29, “If anyone says to you ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience sake — the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours.” NIV

I’m Baptist.  We don’t have any rules about food … well, I take that back.  We definitely have food customs — Wednesday Night Supper and Dinner on the Grounds — both of which I love — and, it is pretty much a rule that, if you’re Baptist, and especially if you are a female Baptist, you need to have two or three really reliable casserole recipes, and the ingredients on hand at all times to produce one of them on short notice.  When a fellow church member gets ill, or if someone dies, or if a baby is born, we Baptists bring food — lots of it.

But, even if we don’t have the strict food rules that Paul was addressing … there are rules in 2010 — things that you should do and shouldn’t do — questions of conscience.

I believe Paul’s point here is akin to the one he makes over and over … don’t cause your brother to stumble.

Ah!  In fact, he says just that in the next couple of verses, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  Do no cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God — even as I try to please everybody in every way.  For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that ye may be saved.” NIV

So, what is there here to learn?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was a beautifully illustrated children’s book.  You know the type … it was large, to a child it seemed huge … and the story unfolded sentence by sentence across the bottom of the pages.  It was called something like, “Please all, please none,” and it was the story of a man and his son who were taking their donkey to market.  As I remember it, the family had fallen on hard times, and they needed to sell the donkey for money.  As they started off toward the market, which was several towns away, the man and his son were walking, leading their beloved donkey.  In the first town that they approached, the people remarked that the donkey had it pretty good.  The little boy was walking … why didn’t the man allow his son to ride in comfort?

In response, the man put his son on the donkey.

As they approached the next town, the people there remarked on the selfishness of the child … how could he ride in comfort, while his father walked in the dust?

So, the man and the son switched places.

In the next town, the people made fun of the man … who now was riding in comfort while his son was forced to walk like his donkey.

So, the man took his son up on the donkey’s back along with him.

In the next town, the people were shocked at how a man and his son could both be riding the same donkey!  How hard the donkey was working!  How unkind of the man and his son.  They should be carrying the donkey instead of the donkey carrying them!

So, they both got of the donkey, tied it’s legs to a poll, and the man and his son then began carry the donkey into the town where the market was located.

As they entered the town, they had to cross a bridge over a river, and, they were such a sight … a man and his son carrying a donkey … that all of the people laughed and yelled and jeered and pointed.  The uproar frightened the donkey, who began to struggle in his ropes.  The man and the boy and the donkey all fell in the river, and, because his feet were tied, the donkey drowned.

Now, there would be no money to solve the problem that had occurred in the first place.

The morale of the story was, of course, that you can please some of the people, some of the time, but, if you try too hard to please everyone … you’ll end up drowning your donkey.

I can’t worry about what other people think … only about what God thinks.   If what I am doing is right and good in His sight, and if I work hard to do God’s will and to serve others and not to do things that will cause another to stumble, that’s it.  I must do all for the glory of God.  That’s what I’m here to do.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under I Corinthians, New Testament, Worry

What will other people think?

I Corinthians 10: 29b

For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? NIV

Paul is speaking here.  He’s addressing the subject of what to eat and when.  It seems, however, from the translation in The Message, that he has a much larger point than just rules about eating meat.

“But, except for these special cases, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said.” MSG

In my experience, disregarding the potential condemnation of other “small minded people,” is something that makes sense in principle, but, it is hard to accomplish in real life.

“What will other people think?” is a scary question for many of us.  I’m certain that it is a cause for worry.

In 2010, this question has many dimensions … too many to contemplate.

The most important opinion is God’s.  If what I choose to do is right and is of God, I can step forward in complete confidence.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Confidence, I Corinthians, New Testament, Worry

I Corinthians 7:32

I would like you to be free from concern.  NIV

Well, how straightforward is that?

Paul is writing to the church at Corinth.  My father gave me such an interesting perspective on Paul the other day.  He said that Paul did not get to go everywhere he wanted to go.  Instead, he had to be content with writing letters to the churches that he was really wanting to visit.  How blessed we are that this is the case!  If he had visited, we would not have his wonderful letters and all of the wisdom that is contained in them.  God had a plan.

If I go back a bit, starting in verse 29, he says, “I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence.  There is no time to waste; so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily.  Keep it simple — in marriage, grief, joy, whatever.  Even in ordinary things — your daily routines of shopping, and so on.  Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you.  This world as you see it is on its way out.  I want you to live as free of complications as possible.”  The Message

I find it so interesting that Paul believed that Christ’s return was imminent.  His words, to me, are as fresh today as they must have seemed to the Corinthians, centuries ago.  When I look around my world, I, too, believe that time is of the essence.

I also love the phrase, “deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts upon you.”  This is a wonderful tool to use when working to avoid worries.  If I can see the annoyances in my path for what they are — things the world has thrust upon me — it is easy to visualize stepping around them, dealing with them sparingly, and moving on to the important work of my Heavenly Father.

I will think about that today.

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Filed under Concern, I Corinthians, New Testament