Read: I Corinthians 9:19-10:13
Think: Today’s reading begins a very significant (and familiar) stretch of teaching in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. For the next few days, I encourage you to highlight, circle, date, then make notes in your Bible or journal about specific verses in chapters 9-13 that speak directly into your life. For example, in I Corinthians 9:22, Paul writes, “I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” In I Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul discusses the goal of the race we are all running. He reminds us that we do not compete for a prize that will fade away someday, but we run to win our race and receive an eternal prize worth every bit of the hard work and discipline. Finally, in I Corinthians 10:12-13, Paul shares legendary advice that has been memorized by most young Christians, “If you think your are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so you can endure.”
Act: Which of these three passages “meets you right where you are at” today? (1) Are you in season of life when God is giving you opportunity to talk about His love with strangers, co-workers, or resistant family members? If so, do everything you can to build bridges and find common ground with those He brings your way! (2) Perhaps you are second-guessing all the effort and discipline you have been expending in your faith to be strong (rather than lazy)? Perhaps others are doing things you used to do or would prefer to do, but you are certain God is asking you to refrain from doing. Today, hold tight to Paul’s reminder that your prize for the race of faith you are running is not of little value, but its reward is the most precious, eternal prize of all! (3) Maybe temptation has been knocking and knocking and knocking at your door and you are tired, almost about to give in. Identify your temptation by name. Then the next time it comes knocking, shut the door on it—one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I am confident that God has a way of escape for you. Be on the look out for it. He promises to send a way out, but you have to take it! Journal about #1, #2, or #3.
Pray: Dear Jesus, these verses in Corinthians speak to me about my body, heart, and mind. I ask you to give me the courage to find common ground with everyone who is looking for You, to run my race to win it, and to always look for Your way of escape when I am tempted. I need You, Lord. Amen.
Be full of faith today!