Today’s reading: Num 28:1–31, 1 Cor 10:23–11:16, Ps 23:1–6
Today’s theme: Free to serve
We have been made free in Christ, but that freedom itself is a test of our standing and heart in Christ. How will we use it, to serve ourselves or to serve others? We should of course do the latter, we have been freed to lovingly serve and build others up in the body of Christ.
Daily dedication and devotion
And you shall say to them, This is the food offering that you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a regular offering. Numbers 28:3 (ESV)
All these sacrifices find their ultimate fulfilment in Jesus, with the different types of sacrifices pointing towards various aspects of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross.
In this case we can also see a message for us directly. We should dedicate ourselves to consistent, daily, repeated (within each day, possibly the morning and the evening), times of prayer and reading the Bible (studying it and thinking it over). See Romans 12:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
1 Corinthians 10:23–11:16
Use freedom to serve others
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23–24 (ESV)
The Corinthians were very much concerned with their rights and their freedom to do what they wanted to do and what pleased them. Paul reverses this and explains to them and to us that, the freedom and rights we have in Christ are not for our own benefit but so that we can become servants of all (Mark 9:35), purposefully building up fellow believers.
Paul bases this thinking on the teaching and example given to us by Jesus in His sacrificial suffering and death on the cross. Let us lay down our rights, freedom and lives to serve and build others.
Will this bring glory to God?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
Paul was dealing with a new question in the church about eating meat that had been used in pagan sacrifice, this seemed like a grey area to the Corinthians which is why they asked the questions and contended over the issue.
Paul gives us a great test for assessing all the things we are not sure about… we can ask ourselves this question: “Will this bring glory to God?” We need to ensure that this is the overarching motivation in our hearts for everything that we do. We cannot compartmentalise our life so that a part of it brings glory to God and the rest is for our own pleasure – our entire life should bring glory to God.
Will this lead to salvation?
just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:33 (ESV)
Another guiding principle for our thinking and behaviour is the desire to see others saved.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 Corinthians 11
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