Tuesday, March 27, 2012
But maturing, being better, or attaining any sort of gift does not matter if I don't have love. Building the body of Christ, the Lord's work, will be nonexistent if I don't have a 1.) love for God and 2.) a love for people.
1 Corinthians 13:13, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Sunday, March 25, 2012
There are a variety of roles that Paul talks about in chapter 12; first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Not everyone possesses every gift. In verse 31 it says, "But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way."
The reason I should desire higher gifts is to build up the body of Christ to unity of faith and understanding of Christ. It is God's will that everyone become mature to the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Practically, I can not settle. I should always be striving to be better. I should strive to grow in relation with Jesus, and to help build up the body of Christ in love. I can never become complacent or lazy. When I settle I am not experiencing the "more excellent way"....I am missing out.
How do you "earnestly desire" higher gifts? What does that look like?
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
God has given me a specific gift. Sometimes I forget how God has blessed me and I envy other Christians. I want to be blessed like them. This is how I lose focus. I am a steward of my gift. I am a steward of God's grace. How will I show this grace to others? How will I bless them? How will I help build God's house? How will I feed his sheep?
Ask yourself these questions.
I know God has blessed me with creativity and sometimes it's challenging to focus it where I should. A lot of the time I want my creativity to reveal how awesome I am. But when I do focus that creativity on loving people and showing God's grace, it brings God glory.
1 Peter 4:10,"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
Monday, March 19, 2012
As I continue to through 1 Corinthians I read about the Lord's supper in chapter 11. It was kind of complicated to think about at first but it became more clear. Jesus said to "eat his body and drink his blood." This was a metaphor for Christians to realize that He sustains us. He is our nourishment.
I think that the last supper was a model for how we are to eat every meal....remembering Christ.
Jesus is my spiritual food. Just like I need food everyday, I need the Word of God to sustain me daily. The word is how I know Jesus and feed on Jesus.
In verse 33 it also gave me understanding on being part of the "body of Christ." It says, "So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another." When I am with other Christians I am to show them love and patience helping them along. This ties in with John 21:14-17 which I have posted on before.
Food is necessary for life. Without continued nourishment, there is imbalance and malnutrition.
Read 1 Cor. 11:17-34 and you will see that remembering Christ when you eat will be both nourishment to your spirit and body.
Mom, this one is for you :)
Saturday, March 17, 2012
God is. It doesn't matter what I do unless I acknowledge who the Lord is. He is the creator. He is good.
What does this verse mean to you?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Lately I have been thinking a lot about a metaphor Jesus uses in the Bible. The metaphor is that Christians are the sheep and God is the shepherd. In John 10 Jesus says that he is the shepherd and we are the sheep. In John 21:15-17 Jesus says that if we love him we will feed his lambs, tend his sheep, and feed his sheep.
Yesterday I memorized Psalm 100:3, "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
Thinking about this metaphor has been very humbling, but also very uplifting and faith building. First the idea that I am a sheep gives me a sense of humility. Sheep need someone to tell them where to go and when to do it. Sheep are not at the top of the food chain if you know what I mean. But grace be to God that he has us. We are his. He is our shepherd.
So understanding this metaphor has given me a peace about living. Jesus is guiding me. He is involved in where I go, what I do, and when I do it.
How am I supposed to feed, tend, and feed (John 21:15-17) the other sheep if I myself am a sheep? I think Jesus is calling me to love and care for those who are his. As a christian, my love for God is shown when I care for the "body of Christ"–another metaphor for Christians.
This has been what I've been meditating on lately. What are your thoughts?
Saturday, March 10, 2012
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."
Paul says that our knowledge can limit us concerning idols. "If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know." My knowledge about God is so small. In verse 3 "But if anyone loves God, he is known by God." I need to get this. As a Christian it isn't about how much I know, but who I love. It's about whether God knows me or not. My love for Him proves that he knows me.
Then Paul says that there is no other god. The idols are made up.....they are "gods" or "lords."
1 Corinthians 8:6 "yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."
I want this scripture to sink into my heart. I want to realize this on a daily basis–that my life is from the Father and through Jesus, and for the Father and through Jesus. Jesus is why I am am alive and why I live. God knows me because of Jesus. All of these other things in my life don't matter. I let these little "idols" get in the way loving God like I should.
I want to love God.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This verse is both humbling and exciting!
I also referenced Psalm 36, and 1 Corinthians 7:17, which I memorized. “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”
After reading these passages today, I see again that there is absolutely no room for arrogance. I need to be reverent and humble in God’s presence because God has assigned me a life to live. He has a plan and that plan is to serve him. If I serve him, his fierce anger will turn away from me. How exciting is that!?
What are some practical ways that I can serve God?
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
The verse today is 1 Corinthians 6:11, "but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God."
This has huge implications if you ask me. It the verses right before it talks about those who won't inherit the kingdom of God. "And such were some of you."
I am unrighteous, I am sinful, I don't understand God, so what hope is there? But I am cleansed and set apart for His name's sake! This is an intense thing to really understand this verse and to let it effect my life. Its easy for me to forget that and live how I want, or feel condemned for the sin I have.
This verse gives me a confidence that 1) I can live according to the spirit and walk worthy of God, and 2) when I do mess up, I still have confidence that God is cleansing me and making me new.
Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." life