Read: I Corinthians 9:1-18
Think: Though it is Paul’s passion and privilege to share the Gospel, his main goal in today’s reading is to remind the church-at-large that its reputation (good or bad) will have a definite impact on how the Gospel message is received (and believed) within their community and culture. Paul makes the case that the Gospel message must be accompanied by a lifestyle that is congruent to its message. Paul simply wanted the church to be responsible to live (and practice) what they preach! This is a timely message for any church in any location, don’t you think?
Act: You’ve probably heard the quote: Your life might be the only Bible someone reads. In our culture, the sports community provides a great opportunity for Christian athletes and their families to “be the Bible that others read.” Recently, while watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee speeches, I was taken back by Tim Brown who told the story about the first time a NFL coach “swore him up and down” as a rookie. He said it was so unsettling that he met with the coach after practice to tell him that their relationship was not going to work if the coach continued to talk to him that way! I was surprised when he added, “And the coach and I worked it out.” Tim Brown talked quite a bit about his faith—and especially his mother’s faith. She had raised him in the church. She raised him to honor God publicly. In fact, a few of the inductees mentioned the same thing—that their parents wanted them to respect and honor God with their lives because so many people were watching. Today, as a member of Christ’s body on earth, consider how your life positively (or negatively) impacts your sphere of influence on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. Talk to God about specific ways you can make a greater influence for Him on your team, in your school, with your friends or family!
Pray: Dear Jesus, today’s reading is a good reminder of how I am an integral part of Your church—Your body—on earth. Today and everyday, help me be intentional about my words and actions, knowing that others are listening and watching and that my life is a Bible that others are reading. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Be full of faith today!