A True Question of Selflessness I Corinthians 8

When we sign on for this amazing journey, we are to leave our selfish nature behind.  That really has two components—1. Our thought that by being good, we may be able to earn our way into heaven; and 2. Our attitude that my behavior is irrelevant to the life of others.  The call is simple, “Surrender your own desires to me and allow me to free you from the burden of sin and death.”  As Christians, we then are free to live a life that is free from rule based salvation.  But, we are not free from the impact we have on others.  If our behavior really drags someone away from God, we need to knock it off.  I have seen Christian mouths and attitudes do devastating damage to the non-believers.  In our culture, a fish on your business card is often a warning to run! We as God’s kids need to be the best examples of honesty and integrity.  We need to walk away from things we know cause others to question our faith.  There is no treat or activity you can give up for the sake of the Gospel that God will not out bless you with better things.  Whatever “IT” is in our lives, God is not requiring sacrifice for salvation—but, if you are hurting others—is it really worth it? Help me, Lord to walk in a way that draws men to you!

God Bless you

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

I Corinthians 7 art 2 Be OK where you are!

It is simply difficult to remain content in the circumstances you currently live.  Paul told the Philippians that he knew what it was like to be rich, poor, having excess and having nothing—the key for Paul was that he had learned to be content whatever the circumstances—He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. Each journey is different.  We look at others and their circumstances and assume they are so much better off than we are.  God has revealed to me and my family in recent times all the pain and struggle going on around us.  The levels of grief, fear, pain and unrest are at an all-time high.  We, as his chosen children are called to be different.  The primary difference is that we remain patient and content where he has us planted.

 Make no mistake, the act of living contented is extremely difficult and disappointing. We see others prosper, we watch raw pain in the eyes of friends.  We simply face the struggles in our life with little or no assurance of a better day.  That is why we have to be content and trust him.  He is the only real solution.  He provides, he reveals and he encourages us in the most extreme times of pain and disappointment.  It is a long journey…this is a short leg of it.  Help me Lord, to remain content to allow you to lead me. 

 God Bless You

 17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Be Content I Corinthians 7

It is difficult to live where God Has you planted.  Things always seem better anywhere else.  God is all knowing, all powerful and always present.  He sees the entire plan—not just our little parts.  As we trust him and become content in the place he has us, then we can watch him execute his entire plan and marvel at our role in the process.  We, still want to be in charge of our stuff—even when our track record for independence is deplorable. 

God says, learn to be content whatever the circumstance.  In the end, you will see an amazing transformation that will change your life and the lives of so many others.  Proverbs 3—Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your path straight—Help me Lord to trust and follow you.

 

 7 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. 18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. 19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.

20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.

Everything is NOT Ok. 1 Corinthians 6 part 2

God has not moved. While his grace is sufficient to meet our needs and cover our sin; his standards of surrender and holiness have not edged one bit.  It is our responsibility to walk and talk in a way that honors him and resembles his attitudes and actions.  Selfless not selfish; free not independent; humble not humiliated theses are the benchmarks that set us apart from the world. The more we walk and talk like him the fulness of our lives increase.  In addition, we are able to see others lives affected by his influence on us.  These are the reasons that Joshuas said, Choose this day whom yu will serve–As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

It is all permissible, but not all good.  Help me Lord to walk with and like you.

God Bless You

12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.

15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

18 Run from sexual sin!

Settle this Like a Family–1Corinthians 6 part 1

We have to act like family. All families have problems. Some can be extremely serious. But, because we are family, we have to learn to work our issues out among ourselves. We need not air our dirty laundry to the world. I am a lawyer. I am not saying the legal system is wrong. The Bible simply says that as believers, we should do everything in our power to solve our disputes in a manner consistent with family. Once again, God’s way is completely counter culture. We have to live selflessly and walk consistently in a manner worthy of God’s call.

If we do, we can be assured that God will honor us and make us whole—‘cause that’s what Dad’s do!

God Bless You

1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!
7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already.

A different Look and Expectation 1 Corinthians 5

We are called to be different.  We are to look different, act different and expect different among the family of believers.  In our culture, however, we are told to be tolerant.  The Media portrays selfish and sinful behavior as normal and selfless and Christ focused behavior as odd and judgmental.

Even the church culture has relaxed and taken the view that we are to be seeker friendly and should not judge lifestyles.  This was the same culture Paul faced in Corinth.  The Corinthians were a very secular culture with a propensity to run to sin.  Paul was clear, we have to live in the world, but within the family, we must be different.

Such is the case with our modern church family.  We have to live in our very secular culture, but we should be different and expect different from those within the culture.  Help me, Lord, to be different and to encourage different from others.

God Bless You

3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit.[b] And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church.[c] I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed[d] and he himself[e] will be saved on the day the Lord[f] returns.

6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.[g] 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread[h] of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread[i] of sincerity and truth.

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.

Entering the Fray I Corinthians 4 part 2

Following Christ can take its toll.  When you decide to jump into the fray, you can expect to be attacked.  You can assume the world is going to make fun, attack and completely fail to understand you.  In addition, you can be sure the enemy will do everything to make you ineffective and useless to God.  That combination rarely equals a great time of fun.  If we are willing to face the adversity that accompanies our desire to please God—then we will see God do amazing things for and through us.  As we are journeying, however, it will always be a journey fraught with adversity and adventure.  That is why we must rely on God to carry us through.

Seek first his Kingdom.  Rely upon his strength, wisdom and provision to carry you daily.  Then, he will allow you to experience him in a way the world could only long for.

Thanks God for your provision and strength.

God Bless You

10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.

14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.

17 That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.

One Judge Several Contests 1 Corinthians 4 part 1

As in most areas of life, God knows when we judge ourselves and others, we are working with limited knowledge and information.  In my world, it is easy to grant myself a pass for bad attitudes or wrong choices.  I meant well, or, I did not mean to act that way…Still, God has all the info on us and others.  He not only knows the amazing things we do, but, he knows why we do them. Paul did most things right as a Pharisee–but for the wrong motive. In Chapter 13, the first 3 verses scream that motive is as critical as activity.

 If we look at folks and realize they have a back story and baggage we no nothing about, then it could cause us to reserve judgment and simply look for ways to encourage bless and serve them.  It could also allow us to look at our own lives honestly and with a desire to seek him in our attitudes and choices.  It is too easy to allow the enemy and circumstance to cloud or color our thought and judgment.  It is equally simple to hide behind a smile or mask and fool the world into believing all is good and we are perfect.  God says do not judge others and do not hide behind your own rationalizations and intentions.  Simply follow, pray and seek him each day—then allow him to do the judging. While the concept is relatively simple, it is extremely difficult to carry out.  Help me Lord to submit, listen , follow and reserve judgment of myself and others.

God Bless You

 1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

Master Building–I Corinthians 3

Does it matter how we spend our after we begin our journey with God? Absolutely!!! Our focus and attitudes in life as God’s Kid is the building on top of our foundation of eternal life.  We are saved by grace, but still are called to set our hearts and minds on eternal things.(Colossians 3:1-2).  It is really critical that our life as a child of God resembles the selfless and passionate pursuit of Him.  As we seek him and become like him, not only are we blessed on earth but we are building an amazing treasure in Heaven.  If, as his kids, we focus on building an earthly kingdom—we, will find that our heart reflects a stronger desire to be on earth.  We will miss countless blessings here and a bounty when we join him for eternity.  Help me Lord to live with an eternal perspective.

God Bless You

10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

Speaking the Language

Speaking a foreign language was never a gift for me.  I always avoided it in HS, trudged through it in college and have endured the cultural change that demands it in life now.  Truth is, it is so much easier to read the subtitles.  They are so nicely translated so that I can get the gist of conversations based on the kindness of a translator.  In the spiritual realm, as a citizen of heaven, I have the luxury of understanding the language of heaven.  When I started my journey with Christ, God’s spirit became my spirit.  That spirit allows me to call him dad!  (Hebrews 6).  I can see things from God’s point of view and respond to his direction and leadership with understanding and confidence.  People without the Lord in their lives think the God talk and behavior is foolish and senseless.  The language is foreign, and the behavior is not consistent with the culture we live in.

 

We are blessed to be able to understand and follow God’s lead in our lives.  His direction provides freedom in a world of chaos.  It is incumbent on us to be the ambassadors and translators of his word and direction.  Through us those who seek him can find him.  We therefore must practice the language and culture of our land.  Help me Lord to follow your culture and speak your language.

 

God Bless You

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,

“Who can know the LORD’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?”

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.