~1 Corinthians 12:14-15~
“For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot says, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?”
I’m sure you have heard this a million times that the body of Christ is one made up of more than one sinner, but do we really take the time to think about the body of Christ. I haven’t until this moment and as I think about it more and more it becomes more and more amazing. It blows my mind that God has made everyone different in their own way yet when we are focused on Him and His purpose for us as a body we can dwell in unity. Yes, there will always be those people that always disagree and never want to cooperate but they are still God’s children. He loves them just as much as you and I. I have to think back to Thursday while our team was walking to the disabled hospital. I was feeling attacked by the enemy and was in my head way to much. While walking next to Dana(another intern) I told her that I was feeling attacked and I don’t know why. We proceed to try and talk it out and at the end we finally just prayed. I didn’t feel immediately different until I actually stepped foot into the first room and I felt the Lord change my heart. If it wasn’t for Dana taking the time to talk to me and pray with me my heart toward the kids would have never changed and I wouldn’t have been impacted the way I was. So how does this tie into the body being one. Dana didn’t look down on me for feeling the way I was feeling, instead she came along side and helped me up. As a body one part can’t function without the other. We are one in Him and He can do mighty things if we stay one in Him. One mind, One love, One Spirit, One purpose In Christ!
~1 Corinthians 9:19~
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more.”
Jesus spent His time with sinners. He loved them unconditionally and literally died for them. Do I have this same love for others and am I willing to let go of my routine in doing things and adapt to another culture. All I can think about is that in a few short weeks we will all be leaving, heading back to America for a few short days and then will be living in a whole different culture for six months. I have to ask myself am I ready for this? If I am to be honest no, but am I willing to allowing God to break me and mold me into someone that is willing to step out of their comfort zone so He can work? Yes, I know that He will prepare me for this life of missions even if the mission is staying in my home town and serving and allowing Him to use me there. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. I am so looking forward to how He is going to use each and every person and can’t wait to see them surrender it all to Him and allowing Him to move in every aspect of their lives. Times will get tough in this time of transition but it is all in His hands.
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
(9)“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. (10) For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls. (11) Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? (12) Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.” It says in verse 9, “Two is better than one.” When trying to withstand temptation and sin it is always a good thing to have a friend by your side. I look at what one of the guest Pastors said the other day that a good friend always has your back. I have one of these friends back at home, her name is Jenna she has always challenged me to grow closer to the Lord and has always picked me up when I am down. When I am being attacked by Satan she has always been one to put me back on the right path. I see the “two can withstand him” and all I can think is that with a friend it is so much easier to fight Satan or any opposing force that is trying to tear me down.
“And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” the more you have on your side the better. Two is better than one and three is better than two. This really kind of explains itself. The more you have with you the stronger you are especially if they are sold believers
~1 Corinthians 9:22~
“to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak . I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. He didn’t judge anyone on their race, ethnicity, or what they believed in. He loved them for who they were. He loves everyone for who they are. Do I love people for who they are and just for who they are or do I expect something out of every little thing I do for another person? If you had asked me that question a few months ago I honestly do not know if I would have been able to answer that question with an “I am doing this for other and to the glory of God” but now being in Antigua, Guatemala with others, who their soul purpose is to serve others for His glory it has really taught me to let go of myself and the things I want and the desires of my heart, to turn those wants and desires to Him and allow Him to change my heart and to fully love Him and others with my whole heart in a way that I have never done before. I dedicate this year to Him and as we start to prepare for our 6 months on the field I am excited to see how He works in me more and more and through the rest of my team.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Liberty a big word meaning the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on ones way of life, behavior or political views. I am incredibly blessed to live in a country that yes there are laws but there aren’t restriction on political views, the way we live or the way we are allowed to live. Yes, society has its ways of moving me in the “right” direction to live but thats a whole other subject. When Christ died on the cross He gave me freedom, freedom from sin. When I sin I am acting in the flesh therefore I am using my freedom not for the glory of God but for my own fleshly desire. When I am using it for myself then who am I thinking about…others or myself? When I act in my own sinful desires it only makes me more selfish, the more selfish I become the more I become like this world and less like Christ.
1 John 2:15-17 says, (15)“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.(16) For all that is in the world—the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.(17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” I am to be of God not of this world. So this leads me back to liberty. What am I using my liberty for? Is it to bring glory to God, to allow Him to use me to further His kingdom or is it for my own selfish sinful desires?
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”
I love that these two verses say the exact same thing. Makes me think that this is a commandment that God really wants me to follow. I see in Col 3:20 that Paul says, “obey your parents in all things” all meaning everything. Everything they tell me to do wether it’s big or small, important or non important, something I would really love to do or something I strongly dislike, I need to do it…why? Because God tells me to! In obeying my parents I am then in return obeying God. There is no big explanation for “why” rather than the God who created me and so graciously gave me parents that love me more than anything told me to. I would be no where without my parents, I know this sounds clique but they have been my rock. Whenever I needed anything, whether it was money for food, or advice on how to deal with a situation or even just a hug because thats all that would solve the current problem they were always there to lead back to Christ and be my physical comforters.
Lord, I thank you so much for the parents you have given me. You know all that they have done and sacrificed for me and the moments they have lead me back to You and what Your Word says. I love them more than anything and miss them dearly. Lord I ask that You would be comforter when all I want to do is see them and hug them. I thank You again so much for the loving parents you gave me and the life You have blessed me with.
Application: Today I am going to start writing letters to my parents while I am here thanking them for everything they have done for me letting them know how much it truly means to me that they have always had my back, lead me back to Him and His word and constantly telling me how much they love me.
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness.”
Earlier in this chapter Paul is saying how Jesus died so that we could be unified. He died so that we can be free from our sin and not be a slave to it. (verse 6) “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” We are new in Christ, our old self, the one that desired to sin and loved it, is dead and now we find a new life in Christ. (verse 7) “For he who has died has been freed from sin. (verse 8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” Sin makes us slaves to this world, when in sin you have no freedom, therefore you are bound to the sin, therefore you obey this sin and do whatever it leads you to do, you are a slave until you surrender the sin to Him and He will set you free. In letting go and surrendering it to God, you are being obedient to Him and what His word tells you to do. Sin leads to death but obedience leads to righteousness. Obedience leads you closer to Him. You start to live a life that is more focussed on His love and the forgiveness that you do not deserve.
Lord, thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. I do not deserve it and will never do anything worthy enough to earn it. You love me and gave yourself for me, you forgive me when I sin against You and You never give up on me. I want to be obedient to You and Your word. Help me to die to myself and live for You and Your Kingdom. Lord be my strength when sin tries to creep its way back into my life. Help me to live obedient to You.
Application: Today I will write out Romans 6: 6-16 hang it in my closet and through out my time memorize it knowing that acting in obedience pleases Him. The one who loves me unconditionally.