Daily Scripture Reading:
Monday, January 25: 1 Corinthians 8
The Corinthian Church continues to seek answers to questions in their everyday life. So here we see the question of food offered to idols. Paul makes it clear that the idol has no "existence" and there is "no God but one," however he is more concerned with the Corinthians' witness and the conscience of the weak. Paul's desire is clear, it isn't about the food sacrificed to the idol or not it is about whether or not we are a stumbling block to our brothers and sisters.
1. Considering the question of chapter 8, is there anything in your life that is a stumbling block?
2. How can you go about your day to day life that can cause hope or damage those around you?
Tuesday, January 26: 1 Corinthians 9
Here the conversation changes from some of the questions to more of a personal posture. Paul makes it very clear that in some capacity he has claim to reap spiritual rewards for what he has done. However, he states "but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel." You see, like Paul, we too have rights. Like Paul, we too have a choice to make as to how we will proceed. It seems Paul understood the long view and that while there could be temporary rewards and recognition the discipline of the long slog is what God calls us to. Paul points to the fact here that we are to run not aimlessly but focused, disciplined and under control.
1. What might God need to do in your life to help you run the race in a focused manner as opposed to aimlessly?
2. How will you prepare yourself this week to prepare and preach the gospel through your life?
Wednesday, January 27: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
The warning is clear: idolatry is very present. Paul reminds the Corinthians of generations past and the idolatry that so permeated their way of life. Paul also tells us that as a result of these sins God wasn't pleased, so much so that they didn't enjoy the promise and died in the wilderness. Very clearly Paul identifies for us that this isn't a way to strike fear deep into our hearts but as an example to a way of life, because the reality of sexual sin, grumbling and complaining or simply anything that can act as an idol in our life is a means of separation. In our folly we often think we can stand alone and defeat these things and Paul puts an end to that train of thought in vs 12-13. What Paul wants us to remember here is that we have a faithful, patient God standing beside us to help us endure and escape.
1. What idols have you placed before God?
2. How will you experience God's grace this week knowing he stands alongside to provide a means of escape and endurance?
3. How can you glorify God today, this week because of his faithfulness to you?
Thursday, January 28: 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1
Paul's desire is clear: flee from idolatry. What must also be understood is that as you flee you are a representative of the Lord. What must be understood is that the spiritual world wasn't discounted the way it is today and Paul makes it clear when you participate in certain behavior what comes next that as believers in Jesus is the reality that we have freedom but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be knowledgeable about our freedom. Paul's focus is that in your freedom you don't look to your interest but to your neighbor's interest. You look to operate from a place that glorifies God in all capacities. This is why he says "whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1. Do you have a mindset that considers your neighbor's interest before yours? Why or why not?
2. Are there areas big and small that you could actively change to "do for the glory of God?"
3. How will you imitate Christ this week?
Friday, January 29: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16