Category: 1st and 2nd Corinthians

God is Love!

Scripture reading for September 10th: Isaiah 45-48, 1st Corinthians 13

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. . .”

Paul, as a godly pastor, knew that any discussion of spiritual gifts must involve love. The Holy Spirit opens a flow of God’s love in the hearts of His people. (Romans 5:5) God’s love is a perfect love and must be explained to those coming out of an idolatrous culture. God’s love is patient and kind, not arrogant and rude. It does not envy or boast and is not irritable or resentful. God’s love flows from the infinite source of His heart for He is Love! O how we need the Holy Spirit’s river of God’s love!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You demonstrated God’s love for us through Your life, death, and resurrection! Fill me with Your love that I might demonstrate it to the world You send me to.

Isaiah 45:22-23 “”Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By Myself I have sworn; from My mouth has gone out in righteousness a Word that shall not return: ‘To Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.'”

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Empowered to do good!

Scripture reading for September 9th: Isaiah 41-44, 1st Corinthians 12

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:3-7 “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord’ and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God Who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

The Corinthian church flowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Paul wanted to help them understand what these gifts were and how the Holy Spirit empowers His people for service. First of all, the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ as Lord. No one can curse God and be filled with the Holy Spirit. No one can confess Jesus Christ as Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The varieties of gifts, activities, and service given by God to His people through the Holy Spirit for the good of all, never for harm or evil.

Faith confession and prayer: I am thankful for the Holy Spirit enabling me to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and Your gifts to empower me to be a blessing to Your body, the Church and to reach the lost with the Gospel.

Isaiah 44:3-5 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”

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Remember!

Scripture reading for September 8th: 2nd Kings 20, Isaiah 38-40, Psalm 68, 1st Corinthians 11

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

Paul gave further instructions concerning the Lord’s supper to the Corinthian believers. Some there had been taking this sacrament without proper understanding and personal repentance. The partaking of the bread and cup were to be done in remembrance of Jesus Christ, Whose body and blood they represented. They were to examine their hearts and repent of known sin because Jesus Christ was coming again for those eagerly awaiting Him. The cup of the Lord’s supper was prophetic of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, ushering in the Church as Christ’s eternal ‘Bride’! Proper wedding garments come only through Jesus’ sacrifice!

Psalm 68:24-26 “Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary–the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines. “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O You Who are Israel’s Fountain!””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the bread and the cup, representing Your body and Your blood, shed for my redemption. I look in anticipation to Your return in power and glory for Your people!

Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles’ they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

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Do all for God’s glory!

Scripture reading for September 7th: Isaiah 36-37, Psalm 123, 1st Corinthians 10

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Paul concluded his remarks about eating meat from idol temples with an appeal to a simple principle: Do all to the glory of God! We should not purposely try to offend or condemn others whose conscience may be weak or undeveloped in these matters of choice and limiting our own freedom. Our goal should be the salvation of as many as possible and we should act and work to that end, glorifying God by fulfilling His purposes.

Psalm 123:1-2 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to our God, till He has mercy on us.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will keep my eyes on You and with Your help, do all I do to Your glory! May there be a great harvest of souls saved from destruction!

Isaiah 37:16 “”O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth.””

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That I might save some!

Scripture reading for September 4th: 2nd Kings 18-19, 2nd Chronicles 32, Psalm 67, 1st Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 9:19-22 “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but being under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”

Paul carefully explained his heart of serving others who were different than himself. He identified with them in their unsaved state so as to be able to share with them the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ that they might be saved. He had great freedom in Christ, but limited his own freedom to reach those lost in sin and cultural idolatry. Paul sought to imitate his Master, Jesus Christ, who came to seek and save the lost.

Psalm 67:1-2 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His Face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.”

Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Lord for the freedom from condemnation and judgment I experience in Jesus Christ. Help me to limit my liberty as You direct to reach those still in bondage and see them saved.

2nd Chronicles 32:8 “”. . . . .with him (the king of Assyria) is the an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”

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Known by God!

Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Chronicles 29-31, 1st Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 8:1-3 “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.”

Corinth was a pagan city with an idolatrous culture. Many idol temples worshiping various ‘gods’ were in the city and animal sacrifices were offered to appease these ‘gods.’ Christians knew that these idols were nothing and that eating meat from the sacrifices would not harm them. This knowledge made them proud–‘puffed up’, and lacking in love for those caught in this idolatry whom God loved and wanted to reach. They did not know enough about God’s love and their need to restrain their liberty to reach lost sinners. We should rather have God ‘know’ us because we love Him and the lost than to have religious “knowledge.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with a river of Your love through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me to love others caught in the idolatry of these times and reach them with Your love.

2nd Chronicles 30:8 “Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you.”

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The appointed time is near!

Scripture reading for September 2nd: 2nd Chronicles 28, 2nd Kings 17, Psalm 66, 1st Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 7:29-31 “This is what I mean, brothers; the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”

Paul was writing to the Corinthian church concerning the perilous times that they lived in. He believed the time was short to live for Christ on this earth and that eternity would soon be entered by all. In light of life’s shortness and eternity’s great length and advantage, believers should live with eternity in mind. They should not let relationships, emotions, or greed and attachment to the world’s goods take center stage. All these pass away when we stand before the Lord. Fulfilling God’s will is foremost!

Psalm 66:8-9 “Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of His praise be heard, Who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today to live for eternity and proclaim Your great love and redemption through Jesus Christ. Thank You for reminding me again that the appointed time is near!

2nd Kings 17:38-39 ” . . . You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear the Lord your God, and He will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.”

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Our body is a Holy Temple!

Scripture reading for September 1st: Isaiah 33-35, 1st Corinthians 6

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 6:15,18-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!” , , ,”Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? Your are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Corinth was a city known for it’s gross sexual immorality. Many church members had been saved out of that culture. Paul patiently explained that as believers, they were now part of Christ’s Body which was holy. By taking their bodies and joining them sexually with another person that was not their spouse, they were sinning against their own body and the Holy Spirit Who lived in them. God purchased us with the price of His own Son’s blood! Let His Glory shine through us in holiness! This is everlasting joy!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I welcome the Holy Spirit to my body! Thank You for redeeming me with the precious blood of Your body. Shine the light of Your holiness through me bringing glory to Your Name and everlasting joy!

Isaiah 35:10 “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads’ they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

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Dealing with gross sin among believers.

Scripture reading for August 31st: Isaiah 30-32, 1st Corinthians 5

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.””

There was gross immorality in the church at Corinth. Paul wrote to them concerning the handling of this problem. The world is full of sexual immorality but it should not be in the church. God’s Word is clear concerning this truth. Those who claim to be ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’ and are living in immorality, idolatry, drunkenness, or other sins are not to be taken into the fellowship of the church unless they repent. Those inside the church must be disciplined by church leadership. God will take care of those outside.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for clear instruction for Your church in dealing with gross immorality among those who call themselves believers. Help Your leaders to faithfully apply this instruction.

Isaiah 30:15 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling . . .”

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Christ-like character in me!

Scripture reading for August 28th: Isaiah 26-29, Psalm 65, !st Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:9-13 “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.”

Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth about his life as an apostle. He felt like he was on display and viewed by the world as a fool. He was physically weakened and buffeted by persecution and worked to supply his own needs. When reviled, he chose to bless. When persecuted, he patiently endured. When openly slandered, he humbly entreated. The world and even some in the church often do not understand Christ’s grace flowing through His appointed leaders as examples for them. In all this, Paul kept on correcting, blessing and encouraging others to follow Christ Jesus.

Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness your Your house, the holiness of Your temple!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for the examples of mature believers in Your Word and in the churches I have been a part of. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit to live a life of humility, peace, love and faith even when mistreated or slandered.

Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

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