1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all your things be done with charity.”
God blesses what is done through love. I think where we have failed is that we have neglected to us utilize the attribute of love. Love opens doors, and it really opens hearts. I actually think people allow you the opportunity to make mistakes if they know you really love them. Chapter 14 taught us to do things decently and in order. The only way those two things can be accomplished is when you do them with a heart of love. Everything must be done through love. We find that love will accomplish so much more than any other attribute.
- Love will allow you to Correct People: When people know that you love them they will allow you to offer correction.
- Love will allow you to Connect People: The heartbeat of any family is that of a loving heart.
- Love will allow you to Console People: If you love them then you will be able to comfort them by hurting with them.
Today’s Challenge: Make sure the things you are doing are being done because you love others more than your own self!
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Anything done for the Lord is not wasted time. My hope with this article will be to encourage the believer and local church member about their proper place in the ministry of God. This verse is a charge from a preacher to the local church that encourages of several things:
- It reminds the Church where their Victory
- It reminds the Church how to keep the Victory
- It reminds the Church how to maintain the Victory
The victory of a church is not found in a position, it is found in the person of Jesus Christ. God gives us the victory through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is who you must rest upon in all things.
The key to maintaining victory lies within vs. 58.
- Be Stedfast – settled and seated. The problem with so many people is that they are not settled on anything. They question everything. When God shows you something, or tells you something you must allow that to settle you.
- Be Unmoveable – means unshakeable. When we are unsettle on what we believe we become susceptible to being shaken by circumstances and people. There are people out there that want to shake you up. Just remember when you get shaken you usually spew and that is always a big mess.
- Always Abounding – means to stay engaged. Stay engaged in the work of the Lord. Don’t let situations or circumstances keep you from being engaged in Kingdom activity.
Remember the way a person maintains victory is when they realize that what they do for God is never in vain. Working and serving God is always a work that pays tremendous dividends.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t allow the situations, circumstances, or people around you prevent you from being what God intends for you to be.
1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
Contextually this verse is dealing with spiritual gifts. Specifically it deals with the gift of tongues. This article is not about the speaking in tongues.
I know what I believe about that, and I am sure you do as well. So I am not going to waste time arguing about something that will not change my mind or yours.
I do believe that regardless of what we do, God wants us to do things decently and in order. God has systems and has avenues by which things are accomplished through Him and I believe that wants us to do things in the same way. God teaches that no matter what we do they must be done decently and in order. The word “decent” has almost been completely removed from our vocabulary. The way we handle our business, the way conduct our lives, the way work, they way we look, the way we act, or even the way we talk has lost a sense of decency about it.
Then there is order. God has an order for everything. God has structured things in a way that will maximize our abilities. I don’t know why we argue with the way God does things and orders things. We must remember that God knows best. I think God wants us to keep our lives in order as well. We all experience chaos from time to time. However; God wants there to be order in our homes, churches, and within our families.
Today’s Challenge: Do things decently and in order!
1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I become a man I put away childish things.”
The process to adulthood can be an extreme journey. However; somewhere along the lines adulthood must occur. There should come a time in a young person’s life when they decide to put away childish things.
History teaches us that the age of adulthood has increased over the years. Just a few decades ago young men and women were getting married, building careers, and raising a family before the age of 20. Now, I walk into a mall and see 30 and 40 year old men playing video games.
I look back and remember the transition. I remember in college I still like all that stuff. I still enjoyed playing some NCAA football, and Tiger Woods Golf on the PS2. I remember playing golf about two or three times a week. However; I remember meeting my wife and my attention suddenly changed. I suddenly started thinking about things like jobs, homes, and family cars.
The transition taught me that I was moving out of childhood and into adulthood.
- Being an Adult is not determined by your ages: It is not about a person age. It is about their desires.
- Being an Adult is not determined by the beverages you can drink: Just because you are at the age to drink alcohol does not mean classify you as an adult.
- Being an Adult is not determined by the language you can use: I am still in awe at how using fowl language is called adult language. To me it seems to demonstrate a lack of vocabulary.
- Being an Adult is not determined by the movies you can watch: This is a paradigm that is confuses me. “It is not good for my kids, but it is okay for me.” Hmmm…does that make sense to you?
You see the mindset of adulthood has been distorted. Please remember that a title does not mean entitlement!
Today’s Challenge: If you are not a child, then start acting like it!
1 Corinthians 11:31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”
Self examination is a great thing. I think we get bogged down in examining the decisions and lifestyles of others and forget to look at our own lives. There is no doubt that we should all hold ourselves to a high standard. My fear is that we judge the greatness of our lives on the merits or mishaps of others. Often times we find ourselves making judgments about ourselves in light of the failures of others.
The Bible teaches us that we should judge ourselves. God wants us to live above reproach. In other words, we should live in such a way that people would have a hard time finding something bad to say about us. This is difficult because we want to make excuses for our behavior rather than condemn our own actions. I would like to write some key principles that will help us judge ourselves.
- Use God’s Word as a Mirror: If what you see being taught in the Bible does not align with the life you are living then there are obvious adjustments that need to be made.
- Jesus Christ should be the Mark: Paul pressed toward the mark. We do not need to compare ourselves to others. We need to constantly compare ourselves to Christ.
- Listen to the way other Perceive You: Many times you can judge yourself based on the way those closest to you will describe you.
Today’s Challenge: Judge yourself. If you do it right you may be able to avoid the judgment of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
The Lord made us in such a way as to glorify Him. We are to give God glory in every part of our lives. As I think about this today, I have to assess the vanity within my own life. How much of what we do has nothing to do with the glory of God? So much of what we try to accomplish and try to achieve is pure emptiness. God takes us to the smallest of practices. God tells us that something as simple as eating and drinking should be to His Glory.
We must remember that we were made to glorify God. In whatever we do it is to be so that God can get maximum glory. I am afraid that the majority of life’s activity is spent giving more glory to our self than to the Lord.
I am of the opinion that there is plenty of liberty within the Christian’s life. Religion is constricting, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is liberating. God gives us the liberty to do what we want, but reminds us that we better be doing it for His Glory!
Today’s Challenge: Assess your life’s activity. Go through your daily routines and see just how much of it is done with the mindset of giving God glory.
1 Corinthians 9:22 “To the weak became I as weak, that might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some.”
This is one of those verses that if you are not careful can be taken way out of context. This verse does not mean that we give up holiness and the character of Christ in order to win people to Him.
If you were to study the Gospels you would find that the Lord Jesus never changed His character or lowered His standards. I also want to point to the fact that He never required them to come to Him. He went to them. He accepted them where they were.
While the Lord does not want us to change our convictions, I do believe He would desire we embrace our culture. The personification of Christianity today is that of snobbery. Rather than embrace people at their level, we expect them to rise to ours. The problem is that we need to realize we are the same level to anyway.
Paul was willing to change His methods while keeping the same message. He had the attitude that He would do whatever He could in order to see souls saved. Somewhere along the line we have created this specific religious mold that expects people to look like us, act like us, and talk like us. We have made our religious standards and convictions the plum line when the reality is that Jesus should be the plum line. Paul was willing and able to present to everyone in such a way that He could get to them on their level.
Let’s put this on the bottom shelf. If you are talking or reaching out to an unchurched person then guess what…they are have no idea what church is all about. They are not going to understand church talk. They probably are not going to know what words like “saved” means. The key is to get the Bread of Life on a level to which they can read it, and reach it. That is what Paul did. He brought the Gospel to the level of those He wanted to reach. He utilized their culture and customs to His advantage.
Prayerfully we will learn to embrace this Bible verse!
Today’s Challenge: Get the Gospel on the level of those you want to reach. Ask God to help you embrace them in such a way that your actions, attitude, and language will win them to Christ
Remember: Our Goal is not trying to get people to be religious; our goal is to get them into a relationship with Christ.
1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”
The Bible teaches us that we are defined by what we do way more than what we say. This verse is clear that if we love God, then all parts of our lives will display evidence of that fact.
I have heard the words “I love God” many times. However; the actions and lifestyle of those that say that often display a greater love for self rather than a love for God.
While our words carry a certain weight, our actions make our words way more valuable. I believe that God wants us to have a testimony that says “this person loves God”. I want us to really assess how we are known by others. When someone says our name, what is the first thing that they say about you? When being described by someone else would the phrase “They Love God” ever come up in the conversation?
My fear is that so many Christians would not carry such a description. I want to be known as a person that Loves God!
Today’s Challenge: Think ahead to your grave stone. What would be the description under your name? Here is what I want mine to read:
“A Man That Loved God!”
1 Corinthians 7:20 “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”
Consistency is one of the great character traits of the Lord. Thankfully He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is no doubt that there are things the Lord does differently, because the times are different. However; when the Lord gives us an instruction, that instruction will not change. I also believe that the Lord wants us to live in that same manner.
- We all have a Special Design: God designed us so that He could use us.
- We all have a Specific Duty: We learn here that God has a job for each of us.
- We all have a Sovereign Destiny: God has a unique purpose of all of us.
The Lord has placed a specific calling in each of our lives. We need not argue with that calling. We also do not need to try to change that calling. We must live in our calling. We must abide right where God called us. It is important that we realize that we can’t improve on an instruction from the Lord.
Today’s Challenge: Bloom where the Lord planted you!
1 Corinthians 5:6 “You glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
Even the smallest of sins are dangerous, destructive and deadly. When we allow just a tiny bit of sin into our lives we are flirting with disaster. God is using the illustration of leaven. By placing just a small amount of leaven in a lump of bread will cause it to rise. The same parallel can be seen with sin. A little sin can cause anyone to fall.
Let be clear… the phrase “little sin” can have more than one meaning.
- It could be a sin that most people would overlook. I have always been puzzled as to why we hold different sins to a different standard than others….God don’t. God looks at all sin the same way. Please understand, that just because people may overlook your sin does not mean that it is not deadly. Those are actually the ones that can take root the fastest.
- It could be sin in small amounts. Rather than looking at it from a standards issue, we can look at it from a size issue. We consider flirting with sin, or dabbling in sin as okay. Give it an inch and it will take much more than a mile.
People use comments all the time like “What a little of ________ going to hurt?” Well if it is sinful, then it is going to hurt badly. Maybe not immediately but the more your flirt with it, dabble in it and embrace it the worse it will become.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t allow “little sins” to take root in your life! They are just as destructive as all the other ones!