Discerning Christ’s body

Scripture reading for July 19: 1st Corinthians 11, Psalm 144, Proverb 20

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 11: 27-32 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.  But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”

 

The Lord’s table is for all believers but is not to be taken lightly or without proper reverence and understanding.  Each person should judge himself and repent of known sin or omission, recognizing that Christ Jesus took our sins in His own body on the cross.   Another aspect is recognizing the corporate body of Christ, the Church.  Repenting of division, strife, and lack of love also allows the grace available through Holy Communion to flow in our lives.

Faith Confession:  I believe that I should judge myself and my need of God’s grace as well as any sins against others in Christ’s body by repentance before partaking of Holy Communion.  It is a meal that heals for those who believe.

Psalm 144:1-2 “Blessed be the Lord, My Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me.”  

Tags : , , , , ,

All for God’s glory!

Scripture reading for July 18th: 1st Corinthians 10, Psalm 143, Proverb 19

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Paul ministered in a culture where there were Jews and Gentiles and those in the new church that had come out of both backgrounds.  There were idol temples that some in the church had belonged to and food sold in the marketplace that came from sacrifices to the idols.  Although he had liberty in Christ and prayed over his food, asking God to sanctify it, he was still careful not to cause others to stumble.  This again was love for God and others.

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me discernment in this pagan culture to know how to reach those caught up in it without compromising my walk with You.  I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me each day.

Proverbs 19:17  “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Under the Law of Christ!

Scripture reading for July 17th: 1st Corinthians 9, Psalm 142, Proverbs 18

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 9: 19-22 “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews.  To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 

Paul explained his own attitude of love for those God sent him to reach with the Gospel.  He tried to identify with people and meet them where they were living in order to win the right to share the Gospel with them.  His motivation was their salvation, not satisfying his own personal preferences or cultural upbringing.  He was mindful of the law of Christ which was loving God and loving his neighbors.

Faith Confession:  Lord, I want to love You and fulfill the law of Christ in loving those you send me to in order to see them saved.  Open doors for me to share the Gospel today.

Psalm 142:1-2 “With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I tell my trouble before Him.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Loving others at all times!

Scripture reading for July 16th: 1st Corinthians 8, Psalm 141, Proverbs 17

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 8:9-13 “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?  And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.  Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

Christ Jesus delivers us from bondage to the Law and gives us His law of love.  We are to love God fully and love our neighbor as our very self.  Paul taught what this looked life for him in the culture of idolatry he lived in.  He was free in Christ to eat anything, but did not want to cause any new believer or potential believer to stumble and return to idolatry.  He limited his ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’ in Christ for the sake of the salvation of others.  This is love in action as the Holy Spirit leads.

Faith Confession:  I can limit my liberty in Christ as the Holy Spirit directs in order to help weaker believers or potential converts.  Help me today to love others as You do in this time and culture.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”  

Tags : , , , , , ,

Bought with a price!

Scripture reading for July 15th: 1st Corinthians 7, Psalm 140, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 7: 20-24 “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.  Were you a bond servant when called?  Do not be concerned about it.  (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)  For he who was called in the Lord as a bond servant is a freedman of the Lord.  Likewise he who was free when called is a bond servant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bond servants of men.  So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”  

Paul was teaching the Church concerning the culture of the society in which they lived.  Slavery was common and Christ Jesus does set each person free from the bondage of sin.  But Christ does not demand that we immediately change the culture we live in.  He works from the inside out, freeing each person as they repent and respond to His Word and grace.  Each person should remain where they are in the culture and allow God to use them to bring light and truth, always walking in the liberty Christ provides.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price for the true freedom given me through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Help me to live in the culture of this world as salt and light to the lost and sharing the Gospel of freedom.

Psalm 140:13 “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your Name; the upright shall dwell in Your Presence.”  

Tags : , , , ,

Avoid deception!

Scripture reading for July 12th: 1st Corinthians 6, Psalm 139, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived:  neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. and such were some of you.   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.” 

Paul warned the Corinthian believers against deception.  Repentance was required for faith to operate and bring freedom.  If someone was still practicing sexual immorality or idolatry or any visible or hidden sin, they would not inherit God’s kingdom.  Those in Christ’s kingdom have turned away and allowed Christ to wash them and set them apart for God’s household.

Faith Confession:  I am not deceived but joyfully receive God’s truth and am thankful that He washed me and set me apart for the Kingdom and filled me with His Holy Spirit.  Help me to faithfully preach this truth today in a church world that has come under deception.

Proverbs 15:2-3 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.  The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

 

Tags : , , , ,

Exalt God’s Name and Word

Scripture reading for July 11th: 1st Corinthians 5, Psalm 138, Proverbs 14

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 5:9-12 “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?  God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.””  

The church at Corinth had an immoral person among their members who was living with his own father’s wife.  Paul explained how the leaders should handle this situation by putting that person out of the church.  The goal was their salvation and maintaining the integrity of Christ’s body.  This does not mean that believers must avoid immoral people of the world.  We are to be witnesses to them of Christ Jesus’ love, grace and call to repentance.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord for instructing Your Church to stand for holiness among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.  Help me to stand for Your Name and Word and reach out to the lost world involved in immorality.

Psalm 138:2 “I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.”

 

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Faithful stewards!

Scripture reading for July 10th: 1st Corinthians 4, Psalm 137, Proverbs 13

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:1-4 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.  In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.  It is the Lord who judges me.”

Instead of exalting church leaders, they should be viewed as servants of the Lord Jesus and stewards of the mysteries of God revealed in Him.  Each steward’s first requirement before God is faithfulness.  Only God can judge each person’s faithfulness and reward him.  We cannot even judge ourselves with accuracy.  Wait on the Lord and He alone will judge with truth.

Faith Confession:  I am a servant of Christ Jesus by God’s grace and a steward of God’s Word and truth revealed in Jesus Christ.  Lord, help me not to judge others or even myself presumptuously. I will wait on the Lord alone.

Proverbs 13:14  “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”   

Tags : , , , ,

God gives the increase!

Scripture reading for July 9th:  1st Corinthians 3, Psalm 136, Proverbs 12

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 3:5-9 “What then is Apollos?  What is Paul?  Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers.  You are God’s field, God’s building.”  

There were divisions among the church people in Corinth.  Some were boasting in Apollos and others in Paul and others praised other leaders.  Paul set the record straight.  God assigned each person a job to do and to Him each person will answer and be rewarded.  Exalting men or churches is a work of the flesh and brings division.  God alone is to be praised because He alone can save and add to the church.

Faith Confession:  I believe that God has assigned me my place and work in His body, the Church.  I can sow the Gospel, water with God’s Word, but only God can bring the increase, and to Him belongs all praise and glory!

Psalm 136:26 “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.”  

Tags : , , , ,

The Holy Spirit Reveals!

Scripture reading for July 8th:  1st Corinthians 2, Psalm 135, Proverbs 11

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 2:9-12 “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit of God searches everything, even the depths of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?  So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”

Paul explained that as the spirit of a person knows the inner thoughts of that person, so God’s Holy Spirit knows all about God and His thoughts that are hidden from the natural man.  But God gives His people the gift of the Holy Spirit that they might know and receive the hidden things freely given to those who repent and believe on His Son.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit living in me and revealing Whose I am and what You have freely given me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Help me to freely share this amazing treasure!

Proverbs 11:24-25 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withhold what he should give, and only suffers want.  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”  

Tags : , , , , , ,