Saturday, March 29, 2014

Prophecy a great gift

S- 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 NASB

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

1 Corinthians 14:12 NASB

So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

O-  This chapter of Paul's letter focus' on the truth that our spiritual gifts are for the purpose of edifying the church.   We as Christians must have a tendency, as I am sure the church in Corinth,  to begin to enjoy their spiritual gifts for the individual needs.   As Paul says the gift of tongues is there for you to speak to God, but does not edify one man.   Prophesy is a clearly spoken message from God to His people and therefore is for the building up of the church (either correction, exhortation, or education)

A - The application for me is to understand that I am to continue to seek and use the gift of prophesy.  No not for my own edification but for the education of others and for the church.

P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Above all things, LOVE

S- 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 NASB

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

O- What a shift in Paul in his letter to the Corinthians he is both tough, corrective and disciplined as well as fatherly, teacher and exhorter of the the church.   He goes all heart here as he dives in to describe all the gifts (spiritual or natural) and says we can be great with all of these but without love they are nothing, in fact in the end all that will remain is love and the need for these other gifts will go away because love will reign.

A - I found myself resisting journaling again on these same versus likely for dissappointment in myself that I haven't mastered what they say and I know they are as plain as day.  I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to keep working on it.  Keep reminding myself in all things love must be the primary foundation.   At work I can discipline... with love,  I can correct with love.  At home I can guide my children with love,  I can encourage and lead my wife with love.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for todays lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Humble servant attitude - all things to all people

S- 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NASB

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

O - Paul is really closing strong here in this letter to the church at Corinth.  He is asserting in this chapter both his rights as a Apostle, as an Ox at the threshing floor,  to receive support from those he is working for in the early part of the chapter and then lays down this statement which I imagine to be controversial and some without knowledge and understanding of Paul's heart and the Holy spirit's ministry might have called "conforming to the world".    But instead Paul describes a enduring legacy of his humble servatitude to Christ alone.  He became all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel.   He denied his rights for the sake of the Gospel,  he proclaimed his full rights for the sake of the Gospel  .... "so that [he] may save some".

A -  The application for me is to recognize that as a follower of Christ i will follow Him where ever His ministry is going.  If it means to the top of the mountain where I influence the masses then I must go.  If it means in the deep valleys of peoples lives in the hardest places that people live, then I must be willing to go.   The battle for peoples eternal souls and the delivery of the Good News of Christ must be waged where Christ is. 

P-  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you would continue to give me opportunities to minister your Good News to those you have placed in my life.  I confess I am unsure if I have represented you as boldly as you need me to.   I pray for the wisdom, discernment and boldness to continue to witness your grace in my life and your power in the lives of all those who would call you lord.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cause no one to stumble

S- 1 Corinthians 8:8-13 NASB

But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

O- Paul here is speaking to the church at Corinth whose culture is Greek and has many gods with many temples and sacrifices going on as part of their culture.  The church members new found freedom in Christ ame with the knowledge of the saving grace of Christ sacrifice on the cross, and with it a new found freedom in Christ.   Paul though recognizes that this is causing tension and perhaps disunity in the church between members who have found full freedom from the past and those that still struggle to find the fullness of freedom in Christ.  This could be for a number of reasons to include the fact the membership of the church probably consisted of both Jews who had lived under the old covenant and whose starting point was set at the fact that idol worship was a sin.  Others were likely gentiles who grew up in the culture of many gods, with many sacrifices to these false gods.   In either case Paul teaches the principle of humble servitude, with a heart to cause no man to stumble in their walk with Christ, even if that means giving up his rights.

A - The application for me  to recognize that I have found great freedom in Christ.  Sometimes I can walk so confidently in that freedom that I cause others to stumble.  In my case likely confidence begins to look like and even be arrogance, so I must guard my attitude to be sure I am more like Paul, a slave to Christ, giving up all my rights to represent Him.   If Christ needs mean to be without rights so that the lost may come to know Him I must be willing to do this.

P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for  your encouragement and inspiration to get back to journaling on your word.  I feel like I have so much to say and do, that the fear I have of staying in reflection of your word has left me clogged up.  Thank you for unclogging me.  I pray that you would continue to pour out your spirit on me so that I may be able to refresh and refine myself in your presence.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Loving my wife

S- 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 NASB

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

O - This passage from a letter from Paul to the Church at Corinth is likely addressing some very real incidents in that church.  The church was facing multiple wandering areas,  sinners within the church, in one case a man who was sleeping with his fathers wife.   The church at Corinth was not one of the typical Jewish culture, they were surround by much more of the Greek culture of multiple God's,  the Goddess of love I believe had her temple there.  It's not surprising Paul had to address the unrighteous behavior of even those who had committed them self to Christ.  Here in this passage we see Paul describing the role of a righteous husband and wife.  Since the sin of adultery and the temptation of flesh is so strong Paul lays out God's design for one man one woman.  In order to avoid sin a husband and wife are to serve one another's needs, but at the same time give authority to the other to care for and meet the needs of. 

A -  What a great reminder and exhortation to me to be sure I am surrendering myself to my wife.  To be sure I am meeting her physical needs , and not focusing on my own.   This is my husbandly duty.  Often times I think I am meeting her needs well, when in fact I am simply serving her in the way I would want to be served,  which has a good heart, but still leaves parts of her needs unmet.  For my wife part of her physical needs are simply quality time.  At this stage in our life this means quiet , peaceful, adult conversation, full of warmth and sharing, with no condemnation. 

P -  Dear heavenly Father , thank you for today's important message for me to love my wife and you have commanded and designed me to do.  I pray Lord that you transform my heart and mind to see my wife as you see her, to love my wife like you love her,  to treat her like the child of God she is, and treasure the gift in her you have given to me.   I pray all this in Jesus name.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Christ's finished work - our zeal for God's house

S- Psalms 69:9 NASB

For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

Psalms 69:20-21 NASB

Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, And for comforters, but I found none. They also gave me gall for my food And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

O - This is a psalm of David who was full of the Holy Spirit.  He had the ability to both reflect on his own experiences and seek the Lord, as well as in this case prophecy what Christ would go through one day.  In the New Testament we see the example of Christ zeal for His house when he overturns the money changers tables.    In verse 20-21 we see in the end the great reproach that Christ faced in the end.  During most of his life Christ, though he at times walk with opposition , found favor wherever he went.  In contrast in the end - He stood alone, reproached by all, comforted by none.  Then the Roman guards who had shown no mercy before this point, while Christ was on the cross gave his gall and vinegar as prophesied here.    All of this in fullfilment of our perfect atonement, our living sacrifice for our sins.   Christ perfectly represented the atonement sacrifice, and once and for all paid the price for our sins.

A -  The application for me is to first and foremost live in the truth that Christ is my savior.  To not ever forget the passion he has for my salvation and the zeal he has for God's house.    I must always remember not what I have done, but what finished work He has done on the Cross.   Second I need to seek to be like Christ and have the zeal for God's church consume me, to never lose the passion to see His church alive and well , here in Hawaii , and throughout the world.   I must also recognize like the reproach Christ faced there is is a cost to serving Him.  The cost is not death, for we have eternal life through Christ.  The cost at time will be persecution and lack of sympathy and comfort.  These are all temporal and of the flesh, and Christ's spirit and God's love is sufficient to help us through those time of being abandoned by those around us.

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank  you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  Lord I pray in this season that I do not lose zeal for your house.  While I can't say I am directly serving your house, my zeal remains and my support of the priests you have placed to cover your house maintains.  I pray over this summer the opportunity to tithe to the strengthening of your house at the sand island New Hope ministry center.    I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The structure on the foundation

S- Psalms 37:1-8 NASB

Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. Trust in the L ord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the L ord ; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the L ord , Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the L ord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NASB

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

O - Words of Wisdom from great men of God ,  David and Paul.   These words are about where we put our trust (foundation) in .    When we build it on the solid unmoveable, unchanging foundation of God through Christ, the foundation will always remain.   We though build on these foundations and when we build we will be distracted, tempted, and discourage by the environment around us.  Circumstances and treasures of the world may cause us to focus on the wrong the thing or build with the wrong materials, but we must build in a culture of faithfulness and righteousness.  We must build with the provision and strength of the Lord and not our own strength.   We must rest in the Lord because this is His command, this is our provision, and it is in the rest of the Lord we grown in patience and peace, so that we might not out of anxiousness or fear.   If our heart and spirit are right when we build, the structure that sits on the foundation of Christ will stand the test.  If we do not, the good news is though our structure my burndown our foundation will remain.

A -  The application for me is to recognize that I have a solid foundation in Christ.  I have built many things on that foundation, some have burned down,  others remain.    The things that remain are of God the things that have faded were not of God.  When I rest in the Lord,  spend time in devotions listening,  grow in patience and waiting on the Lord  have the ability to hear his still quiet voice and can know what it is He wants me to build.   My temptation lies at times in my own impatience and creativity.  When I live in my head only, and not in my heart I can create things that are not of God.  I am reminded to take daily time to seek the Lord to ask what I am to build next.

P - Dear heavenly Father thank you for todays message, may it be sealed to my heart.