Devotions

Monthly Archives: July, 2016

ALL to the Glory of God

The reason for using our Christian freedom carefully and selflessly is none other than to glorify God. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “so, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” When Paul is talking about eating and drinking, he is referring to the food and drink offered to idols while at the same time implying that the most routine, ordinary tasks, like eating and drinking, should be done to make much of the Lord. Our entire lives should be focused on the purpose of bringing honor and Glory to an awesome God!

Our lives can be lived in one of two ways. Either we honor God with our lives or we dishonor God with our lives. John MacArthur states in his commentary on 1 Corinthians that “God is dishonored when anyone sins, but He is especially dishonored when His own people sin… In the same way God is especially honored and glorified when His people are faithful and obedient.” If our freedom in Christ causes us to sin, or anyone else to sin in any way, then God is especially dishonored. If we prevent a brother or sister to bring less glory to God by doing something that is “lawful,” then we become disobedient and dishonoring to God. If we prevent an unbeliever from coming to know Christ with our freedom, then we are dishonoring God! In verse 32 Gods word continues, “Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God.” This includes all of humanity whether they know Jesus or they do not!

“Give no offense” is echoed in Philippians 1:10-11, “so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” If our freedom creates offense, impurity, and blame, then God is not glorified or praised! Does the use of our Christian freedom in ALL areas of life glorify God? Do they take away from the glory of God? So, whether we are at work, school, home, church, in the presence of believers or unbelievers, eating, drinking, brushing our teeth, attending the Lion’s game, or whatever we are doing, let us do ALL things to the glory of God!

 

Matt Hatton
Student Ministries Director

Does My Freedom Look Out for the Interest of Others?

When seeking to do “all things” in expressing our Christian freedoms, it is very important that whatever it is that we are doing does not cause us to sin in any way and at the same time creates spiritual growth and advancement of the Gospel in our own lives. The next standard that Paul writes of is found in verses 24-30, “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?  If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?”  Does what you are doing affect those around you?

Does an unbeliever turn even more away from God and want nothing to do with it because of something that you said, did, or even allowed to happen? Have you offended an unbeliever or even another believer with your Christian “freedoms?”

When you are acting upon your Christian freedoms, does it cause your brothers or sisters in Christ to sin? Does it make them uncomfortable in the slightest? If so, then we should not act upon those certain freedoms. There should be no excuse or loopholes that we try to work our way through and around. “Well it’s their fault they were looking at me and has nothing to do with what I’m wearing” or “they’re the one who should be putting up safeguards for themselves, I shouldn’t have to for them.” If you find yourself saying or thinking that sort of thing, then you are without a doubt not being edifying or God honoring with your Christian freedom.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” It is important to make sure we do not lead others into sin, but what we do and say should also cause them to grow! Often our problem is not that we are unaware of right from wrong or beneficial from hurtful, but the problem is selfishness from selflessness. We know when we should or should not do something; instead, we often do what we want no matter what because that is all we care about! I will end with this, 1 Corinthians 10:33, “not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” Are you looking out for your own good or the good of others with your freedom?

 

Matt Hatton
Student Ministries Director

Does it Cause You to Grow?

As followers of Jesus, we are commanded to do everything to the glory of God! In 1 Corinthians 10:31 God’s Word directs us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This command seems elementary at first glance; however, the way we live proves otherwise. Many areas in the Christian life make it hard to “do all to the glory of God.”  One of those areas is addressed here in 1 Corinthians 10. One of those areas is the controversial topic of Christian “freedom!” What am I supposed to do about the things that are not specifically addressed in the Bible?  Are they right? Are they wrong? This church or pastor says it is right while this other church or pastor says it is wrong. What should I do?

If there is no definitive answer to the question of what is right or wrong because our answer is based upon the one who is answering the question, then we may need to ask some new questions when it comes to the area of Christian freedom. In verse 23 Paul writes, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” When Paul says “All Things,” he is referring to all things that are not covered in the Bible as being permissible. What do we do when nothing is written down?

Instead of asking, “am I allowed to do this,” ask if it is “beneficial or edifying,” Is what I’m doing, having a drink, smoking, watching a certain movie, wearing certain types of clothes, talking a certain way, or going to the Lion’s game, going to be beneficial or edifying? Does my activity/behavior cause spiritual advance or growth in my own life? Does it help me to grow and others be drawn to Christ? (Note: You may have another issue altogether if you enjoy going to a Lion’s game just to watch them lose.)

Does whatever you freely choose to do cause you to stumble in any way? Have you been led to sin because of the movie you were watching or because of the people you were hanging out with? Maybe it has not torn you down or caused you to sin, but maybe it has not caused spiritual advancement either. Does said behavior/activity cause you to grow? Do you love Jesus more because of it? Do you seek and want to know more about God and His kingdom as a result? ALL things are lawful, but not always helpful.

 

Matt Hatton
Student Ministries Director

Game Changer

Let’s be honest, the beginning of 1 Corinthians 10 is a rough read.  So far, it has made us feel pretty low and unworthy about ourselves.  It seems like there is this giant list of rules to follow and no matter how hard we try, we cannot follow the rules.  Do you ever feel like that?  Be encouraged though Church!  When you get to verse 12 there is HOPE!

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT).

These verses are awesome!  God seems to use this Scripture in people’s lives to convict and overcome!

Like Paul, I will use myself as an example.  I love to win.  Maybe you can relate to that or maybe you cannot.  I cannot understand how people participate in any competition and expect not to win.  The whole “It’s just a game” attitude is “just annoying” to me.  I love competing and winning so much that it is very hard for to enjoy even a simple board game if I do not win.  I know; it is pathetic!  However, it is how I am.  If there is no hope for me to win something, I usually give up.  That is why I love 1 Corinthians 10:13!  I carry the same attitude of “winning” into my spiritual life.  If I know that there is hope to defeat temptation, I try to do everything possible to WIN!

Because of Christ, we can win against temptation.

 

Tommy Youngquist
Children’s Pastor

Rogue Model

 

Yesterday, we talked about living to impress God and not others.  After verse five in 1 Corinthians 10, Paul continues to use the Israelites as an example to us of how NOT to live. Check these next verses out:

“These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did.  The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry” (1 Corinthians 10:6-7 NLT).

Is Paul talking about the Israelites or current day Americans?  He continues to list things that we should not be a part of: sexual immorality, testing God, and complaining.  Paul ends this saying by writing this to us:

“These things happened to them as examples for us.  They were written down to warn us…” (1 Corinthians 10:11 NLT)

It seems like Paul is very clear on what is unprofitable for us to take part in.  Do you agree?

Why do we continue to do these things and live like the Israelites?

 

Tommy Youngquist
Children’s Pastor



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