Highlights In Today's Reading:
Called by God to be His (1:2). Stay focused on His mission (1:10-31). The "weakest" point and most "foolish" plan of God is far more powerful and wiser than men (1:23-25).This is "too" good to overlook (2:9)! God has revealed His wisdom to His people (2:10-14). Learn this Truth (3:6-7). Responsibilities of leadership (4:1-4,15-16, 20-21).
The Church at Corinth was divided over who was its most important leader. Some preferred Paul, others Apollos, still others Peter (1:12). But these men were only servants of Christ, who enabled them to serve His people. All praise should go to God, the Giver of all gifts. All Christians, in a spirit of unity, should realize their importance in the body of Christ through their prayers, tithes, gifts, talents, and witnessing to others; but no one should feel indispensable. The Giver of all gifts has arranged the members . . . in the Body, as it hath pleased Him (12:18).
Our only concern should be: "Am I doing all that I can with what He has given me?" We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Eph. 2:10). And we need to recognize how dependent we are upon each other, not only for fellowship and encouragement, but to fulfill His will in reaching a lost world with His Word. We are urged to have the same care one for another (I Cor. 12:25). We are His Temple builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:22).
A body has many parts; each part and function is necessary for the strength and usefulness of the whole body. Learn . . . not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another (I Cor. 4:6).
Why should we praise or give special recognition to those who seem to have "outstanding ability" any more than we do people with less prominent abilities, but who are equally faithful? Praise and recognition for all accomplishments should be given to the Lord: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1:31). This leaves no room for envying another person's ability or usefulness.
We are called into partnership with the Son of God, in seeking to save the lost, and in the teaching ministry of His Word. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. . . . every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God (I Cor. 3:5-9).
Thought for Today:
Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you (II Cor. 13:11).
1:21 the foolishness of preaching =foolishness to unbelievers; 2:6 perfect =spiritually mature; 3:1 carnal =worldly; 4:5 counsels =motives; 4:11 naked =poorly clothed; buffeted =treated with disrespect; 4:16 followers =imitators; 4:18 puffed up =arrogant, proud.
For I Cor. 1:19: See Is. 29:14. I Cor. 1:31: See Jer. 9:24. I Cor. 2:16: See Is. 40:13. I Cor. 3:19: See Job 5:13. I Cor. 3:20: See Ps. 94:11.
Pray for Staff: Bernice Rathbone (retired) • Government Official: Rep. Chet Edwards (TX) • Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa • Major languages: French and Bambara • Religious freedom despite Muslim majority • 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to God with your whole heart (Ps. 119:58,145).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:27