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Showing posts from August 7, 2016

Focus

In the dog days of Summer it's hard to think about anything serious but here's a focus that can change your life. People in Corinth were struggling with many issues as they matured as one of God's churches. Every sort of vice was peeking out from behind its curtains and I have heard it recommended that if you are a new pastor this is the first book from which to speak because you will hit the major issues present in your church today. They had good and proper questions of Paul as they moved from the previous state of debauchery to a new life state of spirituality. There were marriage questions, unmarried questions, widow questions, divorce questions, grief questions, happiness questions, personal property questions, and more. Chapter seven of 1 Corinthians specifically responds to these questions. Paul brought them back into reality when he said, "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short." (7:29) Paul was saying that life was short and that they needed t…

Bought

To buy is to obtain by purchasing with money or valuable jewels or metals. It can also mean to get by sacrifice or sweat equity. Some people buy into the Stock Market or into enterprises with the hope of future gain. However, the principle remains that the thing purchased must be worth the price paid for it. The word bought is used often in Scripture. Abraham bought a field from the Hittites wherein was a burial place which he used for himself. (Gen. 25:10) For 100 pieces of silver, Jacob bought a plot of ground where he pitched his tent near the city of Shechem. (Gen. 33:19) Joseph bought all the land of the people of Egypt for Pharaoh during the seven year famine. (Gen. 47:20) Boaz bought from Naomi all the property of her dead husband and two sons and acquired Ruth as his wife. (Ruth 4:9) David paid fifty shekels of silver for the threshing floor of Araunah and built there an altar to the Lord for sacrifice. This became the building site of the Temple. (2 Samuel 24:24) The questio…

Body

How is your physicality connected to your spirituality? For many believers today there is no connection. They can do whatever they want with their body and still sit in church with a seemingly unburdened conscience. It is remarkable to see how unattached the body and the spirit of a person can be. Paul spent much time in the book of 1 Corinthians dealing with sins committed in the body. It seemed like he could never emphasize enough the connection of the body to the spirit. He spoke of a higher purpose for the body than merely fulfilling its own strong desires. He said, "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." (1 Cor. 6:13) "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (6:19-20) Two declarations are made in these verses: one, you are not possessed by you alone b…

The Greater Benefactor

Cyrus King of Persia was moved by God to make a proclamation to rebuild God's Temple at Jerusalem. He requested of the Israelite people a remnant to go back and start the work. He gave them money and the articles of the Temple which had been originally taken by Nebuchadnezzar when their captivity began. Ezra, who was in favor with the King, became the individual who would lead this group back. He had spoken so highly about the God of Israel and His power that he "was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect [them] from enemies on the road." (Ezra 8:22) So, Ezra divided out the money and articles of value to many trustworthy men and they traveled west to Jerusalem without incident. Ezra praised God at the evening sacrifice after they had come to Jerusalem and said, "Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness…He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God…, and he has given us a wall of p…

Who are You?

Identity is essential to resting in life. So many do not know who they are and this makes them restless; striving constantly to find their identity; to separate themselves out from others. Every child goes through this as they mature emotionally and mentally. Some find their identity in sports, intellect, beauty, or other so called "important" things. But still within them there is a void; a dark place unable to be filled by the "light" they give it. So who are they and you, really? Paul speaks to the tempest filled church at Corinth, Greece to help them understand who they are. He speaks of their leaders first in 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16. This church was divided about who they followed and Paul told them it was not Apollos, or Paul, or Peter or any other person, it was Christ. He said that all their leaders were "co-workers," all on the same plain and God was the leader of them all. They were not to choose one leader as more significant than others but res…