Not talk but power!
Scripture reading for July 10th: 1st Corinthians 4
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love with a gentle spirit?” (1st Corinthians 4:10-11)
Paul considered the Corinthians believers as his own spiritual children. Through the preaching of the Gospel, he had laid a strong foundation for their spiritual walk and become their ‘father’. Their worldly behavior was bringing them into danger so he wrote to warn them and call them to imitate his own spiritual walk. This walk included hardship, suffering, ridicule, slander, and fear of death! (1st Corinthians 4:9-13) In spite of this, Paul worked hard and blessed those who sought to mistreat him! His life demonstrated the spiritual power of Jesus Christ living in him and helping him to show the fruit of love for the lost who would harm him.
The kingdom of God is not just a matter of words and spiritual ideas, but it is a kingdom of power! Christ Jesus enables His followers to live largely and generously in a hostile world. They live by the power of the Spirit indwelling them and love all in order to win them to Christ. This is how Paul urged his spiritual children to follow Christ! Does your live exhibit the power of Christ? Are you just talking the talk, or walking the walk of power through following the Holy Spirit! Will Christ come to you with a whip? Or love with a gentle spirit?