Friday, August 11, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:21 - 23 (TMSG) 21. I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift— 22. Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future—all of it is yours, 23. and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.

I like the way Mr. Peterson puts verse 23 in The Message. We are “privileged to be in union with Christ.” The New Living Translation and New American Standard say, “we belong to Christ.” That’s good and it’s true, for we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20, 7:23). We do belong to Him.

But often we forget that that is a privilege, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). It is a special honor to be called a child of God.

Not only is it a privilege but notice, we are “in union with Christ.”
In Him we have been made complete” (Col. 2:10).
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7)
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28)

Only through Christ Jesus and our relationship with Him, does life have true meaning. What a privilege to be His. Each and every one of us who call Jesus, “Lord” have that same privilege. That person you may not get along to well with at church, has the same privilege as you. Let’s keep that in mind as we go about our lives this week. We are not the only ones privileged to be in union with Jesus Christ. We must actively seek unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to honor our Lord.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:18 - 20 (KJV)
18. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

In chapter one Paul told us that through the wisdom of the world man did not come to know God, but by faith (1:17-31). He pointed out that Christ was made unto us wisdom” (1:30).

Obviously this is an important point. Here he emphasizes that if we (or anyone in the church) think they are “wise” it would be better to repent and recognize that God is a whole lot wiser! Otherwise we will be defeated by relying on our own wisdom.

What is he saying to the church? The same thing from a different angle, “Christ is to be the center of everything.” He is to be the center of your thinking, of your plans, of your meetings, of your conversation. No man can do that or deserves to be in that place, only Christ.

We need to be careful then that we do not glorify any human being, whether it’s Billy Graham, our local preacher or ourselves.

To God be the Glory.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:16 - 17 (NASB) 16. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17. If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

As the body of Christ we are the temple of God. He individually indwells us with His Holy Spirit, but it is in community, that is, together, each with His own unique gift, that we form the “body.”

That is why so often we are exhorted to encourage one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) 11. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

We are told to restore the one that has fallen away.
Galatians 6:1 (NLT) 1. Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

If one of our brothers and sisters in the Lord is doing harm to themselves, whether it is through drugs, living in sin, or something else, and we do nothing to help, God will “destroy them.” That weakens the body of Christ.

We need to constantly (“day after day” – Hebrews 3:13) pray for each other, help each other in anyway possible and love on each other with God’s Holy love in order for the body of Christ to be strengthened and to be a strong witness to those who have not yet come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:10 - 15 (NASB) 10. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13. each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Church – Jesus Christ is not only your Head, He is your Foundation.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes a particular “church” seems to be building on a different foundation? Perhaps it’s the foundation of “good works” or the foundation of “social events.” But when we build on any foundation that isn’t Jesus Christ it is NOT going to glorify Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing.

We need to look at everything we do, and ask ourselves is Jesus leading (as Head)? Is this event/activity based upon the foundational sacrifice of Jesus Christ for His people?

Yes, we have to individually ask these questions as members of the body. But, we also have an obligation to look at the local body of believers we are associating ourselves with and ask these same questions. If we find that there is a discrepancy, then we bring it to question in love to the authority/ies that are over the church. We, the church, are called to unity and, not just to “agree” with each other, but to agree that Christ is the Head of the body and He is the Foundation as well.

Monday, August 07, 2006

August 7, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:5 - 9 (NASB) 5. What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Church – be unified – you have the mind of Christ. You are not to be split into factions because one person might be more charismatic or “likeable” than the rest. God is the One who is important in your life. He is the One Who saved you. The Lord God is the One Who sent His only Son to die in your place – all of you, me and anyone else who thinks they deserve some kind of credit or special reward here on this earth. Only God deserves the glory, the honor and the recognition that He alone is God.

Church, “3. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” (Ephesians 4:3 – 6, NLT)

Hear the words of Jehovah:
I am GOD, your God…No other gods, only me. (Exodus 20:2a, 3)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

God’s Water is Better!

When we first moved onto our property about 9 years ago, there was relatively little “green” around. Lots of brown dirt & brown tumble weeds, but the only green things in sight were tumble weeds and a variety of other weeds.

We tried hard for a couple of years to put in a lawn. Granted, we live on a large piece of land but, over those few years we spent hundreds of dollars on various kinds of grass seed, fertilizer & peat moss. We also spent numerous hours, preparing the ground by hand & with tractors. Then we spent countless hours watering those precious seeds every day until a hint of green finally appeared.
The end result of all that work was a sporadic patchwork of green. It was disappointing to say the least.

Today, some 5 years after I had pretty much given up the hope of ever having a lawn, I sit on my porch looking out on our property and I see a blanket of green that I have had to mow at least once a week! You see, in the last few weeks we have had at least 5 inches of rain. God looked down on me and felt pity. He showered me with His water and it is beautiful.

Jesus Christ, God’s only and unique Son has water for us that’s even better than that which turned my grass green. In the Gospel of John, Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman and said to her about the water He has to offer,

Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14. but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. (4:13 – 14, NASB)

Not only will we have eternal life when we come to Him in faith believing in his substitutionary death on our behalf, but we too will have that “living water” to brighten and enrich the lives of others.

In John 7:37-38, Jesus said,
…If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’

• Is your life enriched by the “living” water that Jesus has to offer?
• Or are you trying to “water” it on your own with the “water” the world has to offer?
• Are you “watering” the lives of others with those “living” rivers flowing from your soul?

Thank you, Lord, for your “rain.” Thank you for “greening” up our lives through the living water offered by your Son, Jesus. Help us to enrich the lives of others with the overflow that you have poured into us.