Today's chapter: 1 Corinthians 1
This short video will help you read this book in the right context.
DON'T SKIP THE INTRODUCTION: In our fast paced lives we always just want to cut to the chase, to fast forward through the boring stuff at the beginning and get to the point. Paul's letters always seem to follow the same pattern as they open, so it's tempting just to skip over the first few verses. But look at what you miss when you don't soak those words in:
You are part of the Church - a gathering of people belonging to God. You are connected to these people in Corinth who lived millenia ago, and "all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." This letter was written to you!
You have been sanctified (made holy) and you are considered by God to be a saint (a holy person).
The two things that you need above all else each day - grace and peace - are given to from both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as you read these words.
YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED: It's nice being short of resources, either as an individual or a church, because it gives cover for not accomplishing what we should have. We often say, if we had more time or a bigger budget we could have done this or that instead of just thinking about it. But today's passage takes that excuse away, since you are told that "you do not lack any spiritual gift (v7)" and that God is faithful in keeping His promises to you (v9). So what is it that's keeping you from contributing more to God's kingdom?
KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING: There's lots of pressure in the 'church industry' to put out a crisp, efficient, good looking 'product.' We want our web site to look awesome, our services to be beautiful and appealing, and our programs to meet every need of our community. Of course we must do our best to ensure all we do in the church is done as best as we can, but today we're reminded that all of the bells and whistles are secondary. It's not about having an awesome celebrity preacher (v10-15), or a vision statement that's super innovative and relevant (v18-31). Paul writes that we are not to preach "with wisdom and eloquence (v17)," but rather in such a way that we focus on the power of the cross (v17) and that we "boast in the Lord (v31 & Jeremiah 9:24)."
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is faithful, and He has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Be willing to look foolish to the world as you live for Christ (v18)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: