The whole batch

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

“6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

We often ignore the little yeast in our lives. Compared to the whole batch it isn’t THAT bad. However, if we don’t deal with it then it will impact the whole batch. That’s what sin does. They might seem little to us. They might lack in comparison to the chains that once held us but they are still chains.

Today what is the yeast in your life that needs to be removed? What is the overlooked sin in your life that is impacting everything else. We usually get focused on the big sin in our lives and that distracts us from ever dealing with the less prevalent sin in our life.   I know sin is sin to God but to us that isn’t always the case. We rank, we compare, and we justify totally unaware how dangerous the sin is we ignore. Let today be a day of reconciliation. Confess. Repent. Be empowered.

The whole batch

Praying for those handed over

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present,hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.”

Verse 5 can sound kind of cruel, right? Hand the man over to Satan. Ouch. Where’s the love in that?

The church wants everyone to stay inside the walls, but that’s not always the case. People sometimes remove themselves because they know the life they are living and the Gospel don’t mix. Our responsibility is to continue to pray for those who have left and the ones we’ve maybe given up on.

I’m a walking testimony of verse 5. I felt people gave up on me but the reality was they knew they couldn’t speak truth into my life because I was too busy living a lie. At that point in my life I was walking away and had to go through a process of my sinful nature being destroyed so that I could be saved.

Who are the people you might of given up on? Who are the ones that seem so far from choosing to live for Christ? Let’s pray for them today and trust the God that relentlessly pursues.

Praying for those handed over

Powerful gentle Spirits

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

“14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter oftalk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?”

We love to talk. Sure there are times we like silence but for the most part we love to talk. The problem is when talking becomes the “proof” of our faith, maturity, and growth. Paul writes that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” I’m not saying we don’t talk about salvation, hope, transformation, sanctification, and the grace God has poured in our life at all. I’m not saying that if we lost our voice we wouldn’t lose our impact. Sometimes I wonder about that. I feel God has given me a gift to communicate the Gospel, but how do I communicate the Gospel without words? How do you? The apostle Paul starts the don’t talk about it, be about it statement here.

The moment we decide to follow Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit dwells within and empowers us to live godly lives right now. We don’t need extra fillings or anointing’s we are complete we have the opportunity to live entirely sanctified because of the Holy Spirit. Most of us make this a process though and that’s ok but the moment our words are the strength of our faith we have talked to much and neglected the power of the Holy Spirit.

Powerful gentle Spirits

Made Different

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 4:6-13

“6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.”

Verse 7 is where I stopped and read over and over. Great reminder. Great introspection.

The reality is as followers of Christ we are made different, by the grace of God. We are given what we need for holy living, by the grace of God. Nothing we bring to the table will stay at the table the way we brought it. God transforms EVERY aspect of us the good, the bad, and everything in between.

What is the result of this change? Verse 12-13: “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.”

Does that describe how you react to people inside or outside the church? That type of living is tough and can only be lived by walking with Jesus Christ daily, intentionally, and obediently.

Daily, intentionally, and obediently describe the life we live when we are changed and the results aren’t just blessing those who curse or enduring persecution or answering kindly, but bearing fruit that produces worship and action.

Made Different

Wait for wisdom

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 4:3-5

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

We often makes decisions based on our education, experiences, and preferences. This is how the world makes decisions and this is why the church is reflecting more and more of the worlds way of “business” than God’s way of church.

How often do we bath a decision in prayer? Sure, we can pray about it once and feel like we’ve given it to God , but how often do we prayer until we KNOW we’ve received an answer from God?

Paul tells us to wait until the Lord comes before making judgments’ for when we do that God brings to “light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” We have to start, individually and as a board, waiting on the Lord because I am guilty as most to set a timetable and move quickly to meet that.

Waiting for wisdom ensures that we are making the right decisions, following the right call, and doing the right things in our lives. How are you practicing the Spiritual Discipline of waiting on the Lord?

Wait for wisdom

Faithful Servants

Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrustedwith the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

“Men ought to regard us as servants of Christ” – In order for this to happen we first must view ourselves as servants of Christ entrusted with the things of God for His people. If we aren’t viewing ourselves in this light then we aren’t following the example of Christ.

The danger of church leadership is the pedestal we can put ourselves on from time to time. Attitudes of “You know how many years I’ve been here?” or “Do you know how much I do for this church?” or “Without me this church would be in trouble” are dangerous. Of course we wouldn’t ever say those statements out loud (hopefully) but these attitudes can be seen through interactions, reactions, and actions.

The Church and leadership teams of churches don’t need amazing leaders we need amazing servants.   Worldly leaders tend to elevate themselves, but servants of Christ tend to elevate others. Therefore, servants of Christ are the leaders we need. Are you one of them?

Second question is are you being faithful to what God has called you to here? Paul writes that it is required that servants of Christ are proved faithful. Are we doing what we are called to do with pure motives, thoroughly, with love, and for His glory?

Faithful Servants

Confession

Psalm 32:1-7

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Holiness in me begins with confession.  Confession of my sin, brokenness, doubt, and struggles.  Confession of His worth, Holiness, love, and existence.  Confession of my weakness and His strength.  Confession of my ignorance and His wisdom.  Confession that I am lost and He has direction.  Confession of my lusts and His purity.  Confession of my lies and His truth.  Confession of my flesh and His Spirit.  Confession of my thirst and His well.  Confession of my fears and His mercy.  Confession of my unworthiness and His grace.  Confession of my servanthood and His Lordship.  Holiness in us starts with confession, so what are you confessing today?

Confession