FIRST IN, LAST OUT: Jealousy was one of the first sins to invade Adam's mind, and it will be one of the last to be flushed out of you as you become more and more sanctified (being made holy like God). Jealousy is a fundamental aspect of the human condition (v3), but today you read that you've been lifted out of that sinful human condition (v16), therefore work hard each day to let go of the jealousy that stubbornly persists within you.
GOT MILK? Milk production is in important part of our local economy, and we now understand the benefits milk provides at all ages of life, but in Paul's day, only infants consumed it until they could tolerate solid food. One of today's biggest problems in the church is that far too many are content drinking the same milk they've been drinking since early in their Christian life... a Bible verse or two here and there, maybe some Christian music now and then, and a couple of prayers a month. Don't be an infantile Christian. Work hard to develop the mind of Christ that you've been given.
BECOME FIREPROOF: You've probably seen those California neighborhoods on the news that had a firestorm roar through. All that's visible is dozens of chimneys, except every so often a house will have remained standing in the midst of the blackened rubble. Often it's because that homeowner invested in more fireproof building materials. Think of the activities that you will do today and this week. When (not if - v13) God's cleansing fire comes through, which of your accomplishments will remain standing? What can you do to increase that activity in your life?
BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH: After reading v12-14, it may seem that our salvation depends upon our ability to build a fireproof life, but v15 gives some relief. Even if as a Christian you build a shoddy life, you will still be saved. Remember that there's a tension within the Biblical teachings on salvation: we are certainly saved by grace alone, through faith alone because of Christ alone, but we also will be rewarded for the good things we do. Remember, you've been commanded to be building up treasure in heaven (Matt 6:19-21).
CLOSER THAN YOUR SHADOW: What a massive statement Paul makes in v16: You are God's temple, and God's Spirit dwells in your midst. Keep that in mind as you choose the words you say today, and even the words that you think!
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is the one who makes all things grow (v6-7)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Become a fool in this word so that you may become wise for God's kingdom (v18).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: