LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Lord give guidance to the world’s leaders and our local leaders. Teach us to humbly serve those around us; our family, our neighbors, and strangers. Strengthen us, fill us with courage, and grow our faith; Help us be Your body, bringing Your name glory. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and remember, you are the temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 MSG) Recap from yesterday “The rituals and sacrifices performed at the Temple were no longer necessary because Jesus had acted as the perfect sacrifice. Cleansing from sin came from faith in Jesus and being baptized into His new community the Church. We are the church and our bodies are the earthly dwelling place of God’s Spirit. When He lives in us and has dominion we are changed. Our lives become evidence that He is at work. We become characterized by His likeness; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control overflow out of hearts. At least that is the hope… But if that’s not the case, then what’s going on?” Paul saw a lack of maturity in the church at Corinth and here’s how he saw the problem. “But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way? When one of you says, “I’m on Paul’s side,” and another says, “I’m for Apollos,” aren’t you being totally infantile?(Paul identifies partisanship and disunity in the body as a key problem as well as selfishness and hedonism) Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working. Or, to put it another way, you are God’s house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely. (1 Corinthians 3:1-15 MSG) (Our job as children of God and followers of Christ is not to champion this person or that person, our job is to be so thoroughly identified with Christ that His will becomes our will. We will be held accountable for our choices and when that day comes we want God to say, “Well, done good and faithful servant” Not “Well at least you made it…barely”)
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/jeremiah/ for an overview of Jeremiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/colossians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Colosse. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Jeremiah 14:1-15:21 Chapter 14 begins with a description of what? What is the cause of it? In spite of this tragedy, what do the “professional” prophets keep saying? (v 13) Do these prophets speak truth or lies? Chapter 14 ends with an acknowledgement of who? Who is in charge? Especially of the rain? It seems almost daily, that we read of God’s judgment in one breath, and then in the next an encouragement to repent. I think we understand God’s longing to forgive. The question I want to ask this morning is, do we do the same? Do we long to forgive? Colossians 3:1-4:1 This is a great chapter. Very similar to Galatians chapter 5 with the fruit of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh. In Christ, we are a new creation. Verse 5 begins a description of what it was like to follow our earthly nature. What does this include? Verse 12 begins a description of what it looks like to be a part of God’s chosen people. What does this include? Which voice are you listening to? Colossians is a great book to read, because it is a “basics” for faith. It is the core of what we believe. Spend some time reflecting on Paul’s encouragement in this section. Proverbs 24:15-22 Fear is such a part of politics today. Fear is used as a motivator. And yet what does Solomon tell us in verses 19-20?