Today's Word for Pastors...
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Today's Preaching Insight...
During the past year, we have been preaching/teaching in the book of 1 Corinthians. We now come to the latter part of chapter 14, in which Paul discusses corporate worship. His theme is orderly worship.
Remember, in chapter 12, he stressed the importance of the spiritual gifts that are given to each believer. He used the metaphor of the body, noting that each individual believer is a part of Christ's body. We are noble creatures individually. But that nobility is enhanced as we come together in the community of faith, each of us having an essential contributory part. There is a synergism in which the whole body becomes much greater than the separate functioning of the individual parts.
Then you remember how Paul quickly shifted gears to stress the temporal nature of these gifts and the importance that all of our religious activity, in fact all of our life existence, be undergirded by agape love. So, we've noted that 1 Corinthians 13 was not intended primarily to be read at weddings but to underline the importance of living a life motivated by agape love. In it, the Apostle Paul stresses the incompleteness of our human existence, encouraging us to know that some day that which is now incomplete will be fulfilled when we will know as we are now known by Jesus Christ. We also are humbled by his reminder that we now see in a mirror dimly. But when we are in heaven, we will see clearly that which is of puzzlement in this life.
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The Dying Man and Cookies
An elderly man was at home, upstairs, dying in bed. He smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies baking. He wanted one last cookie before he died. He fell out of bed, crawled to the landing, rolled down the stairs and crawled into the kitchen where his wife was busily baking cookies.
With his last remaining strength he crawled to the table and was just barely able to lift his withered arm to the cookie sheet. As he grasped a warm, moist chocolate chip cookie, his favorite kind, his wife suddenly whacked his hand with a spatula.
Gasping for breath, he asked her, "Why did you do that?"
She replied, "Those are for the funeral."
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