Tag: one God

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.”

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Our God speaks and empowers!

Scripture reading for September 9th: 1st Corinthians 12

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:1-7 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 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; and 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 Corinthians church was full of people who were once pagans and served dumb idols. The term ‘dumb’ means the inability to speak. But in the church of Jesus Christ, we serve a God Who is alive and speaks and gives gifts and empowers! Paul wanted none of the church to be ignorant concerning the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives. He wanted them to grow in the grace of the gifts God had put within each member of the greater body. There is only one God, one Holy Spirit, and one Lord Jesus and when someone has been born again by the Holy Spirit, they will confess “Jesus is Lord.” They will never curse their Lord! There are also varieties of gifts of the Holy Spirit and varieties of service to the Lord, but our God is the only one to empower believers. These gifts and activities are all given for the common good, never to be boasted about or used for selfish purposes.

1st Corinthians 12:8-10 “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit, living in me and all who believe. Help me to grow more knowledgeable about the Holy Spirit and Your gifts that I might use the gifts you give to be a blessing to Your body, the Church. I proclaim by the Holy Spirit: “Jesus is Lord!”

1st Corinthians 12:11 “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, Who apportions to each one individually as He wills.”

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One mediator between God and man!

Scripture reading for October 17th: 1st Timothy 2:1-15

One of the main duties of a pastor is prayer.  Paul continued his instructions to this young pastor in the area of prayer.  Jesus, Himself, is praying for all of us as believers.  He is the only mediator between God the Father and mankind.  We as pastors must do business with Him!

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in the proper time.” (1st Timothy 2:1-6)

This simple instruction on prayer began with praying for those in authority.  God places all authority in the positions He desires.  (Romans 13:1-2)  We are to obey and submit to authority, but also pray for them, whether they are godly or not.  The prayers of godly people  for those in authority help to insure a quiet and peaceful life.   When authority is under a prayer covering, God’s people can also have freedom to spread the Gospel to all men.  God wants all men to be saved because all need saved.   All are sinners for who Christ paid the ransom of His own life blood!  Timothy and all who minister would do well to keep these facts in mind!

“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.”  ” I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to  worship God.” (1st Timothy 2:8-9)  Paul’s instructions to men and women in the church were given to help each fulfill the roles that God had given them.  Men, in that society, needed encouragement to be leaders in prayer in the church.  Women needed instruction in modesty and submission.   Paul was addressing problems that Timothy faced in Ephesus.  The principles he taught are helpful for us today.  Thankfully, Jesus is our mediator yet today!

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