BRP Insight Post for Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Today we wrap up Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth with chapter 16. This chapter addresses Paul’s recommendation for a regular collection to help the Christians in Jerusalem who were suffering from the effects of hunger and poverty. Paul’s teaching encouraged helping the poor among us, following Old Testament teachings along the same lines. He also gave closing instructions and greetings to end the letter.
At times, I’m at a loss in how to interpret what I’m reading in the Bible, how to discern between the things that are meant to guide us for all time versus the things that have cultural implications. During those times, I pray and ask for God’s help in understanding what He wants me to understand and I also look at commentaries and people/sources I trust to guide me well.
Caring for the poor and those in need, for instance, runs consistently throughout scripture and seems to fall under the “for all time” category.
Verses 13 and 14 sums up so much of what Paul has written in this first letter:
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.
What if you and I approached every single day with these words in mind? What if our first thought in the morning was, “Today, I’m going to be on guard for anything that pulls me away from Jesus. I’m going to stand firm in my faith. Today, I’m going to be courageous and strong. Every action that I do, every word that comes out of my mouth will be motivated and covered with love.” What if our opening prayer of the day asked for Jesus’ presence and strength to do these things? AND, what if we went so far as to implore the Holy Spirit to convict us quickly when we failed to do these things? It would be life altering, not only for us, but potentially for those around us as well.
What holds us back from being these life-altered people? Doubt, fear, selfishness, feeling like our situation is so different and harder than anyone else’s - the excuses are many and often feel valid. In our own power and strength, we can’t live this way; supernatural power is needed. Lucky for us, we have it, if we choose to receive it:
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Executive Director of Education and Outreach