Love builds up!
Scripture reading for September 5th: 2nd Chronicles 29-31, 1st Corinthians 8
1st Corinthians 8: 1-6 “Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but One.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as indeed there are many “gods” and many ‘lords’--yet for us there is one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and for Whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things and through Whom we exist.”
The culture that the Corinthians lived in and came out of to come to Christ was filled with idolatry and places to worship those “gods” and “lords” in gluttonous feasts as well as sexual acts. Paul warned the believers about their need to show love and not just boast about this knowledge that the idols were nothing and their freedom to eat the food sacrificed to them. Love looks out for those whose consciences are still weak and being developed to help them know truth. We restrain our freedoms based on our knowledge in order to help our weaker brothers and sisters until they can grow stronger. Love always builds up.
1st Corinthians 8:11-13 “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.”
Prayer: Lord, in this idolatrous culture, help me to be mindful of how I can show love to those new in the faith who are still not fully trained in righteousness and knowing You and Your ways. Thank You that You are the One God and the Living God Who created the universe and Who gives us life. Forgive me when I let pride in my knowledge of Your Word and You cause me to act improperly towards other believers.
2nd Chronicles 30:17-20 “For there were men in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the Lord. For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the Good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”