Lord, give us more ‘fathers’!

Scripture reading for August 4th: 1st Corinthians 4, Psalm 5, Proverbs 31

1st Corinthians 4: 9-15 “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.”

Paul was explaining how God used him in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To the world, he appeared as a fool and a man of weakness and someone to revile. He had no permanent home, and was destitute of worldly goods. He was slandered and spoken of as evil, even as one sentenced to death. He was sometimes without food and poorly dressed and was treated as the scum of the earth by those in the world. But Christ in him gave him power to bless those who reviled him and to endure the persecution and ill treatment and hardships and sorrows. His encouragement was those who received the message of Christ Jesus and became children of God. He became their ‘father’ through the Gospel. The new ‘household’ of God was clothed in the scarlet of Christ’s blood and had a secure position in God’s eternal family! Amen!

Psalm 5:5-6 “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”

Prayer: Father God, Your heart of love and mature witness expressed in the life of the apostles and in Paul’s life convicts me and inspires me. I long to see more lost people come into Your eternal family and be clothed in the scarlet of Christ’s sacrifice and then the white robes of His righteousness. I pray for more fathers in the faith to be raised up who will fully give their lives to increase Your family and glory!

Proverbs 31:20-21 “She (the excellent wife) opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.”

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