YEAR 2, WEEK 19, Day 1, Monday, 8 May 2023

Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 8 May 2023:

Song of Solomon 8:8, 9 — We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

Purity should be guarded by the whole family, even by the whole community. How much needless pain is caused by acceptance of promiscuity and infidelity? It destroys people and society, but most importantly, it takes people out of fellowship with God.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 – But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

You will either act spiritually or carnally (like an animal) in any given situation. Selfishness reduces you to the same motivators to which animals and infants respond.

“Infants in Christ, God’s word says, “Grow up!” An adult can’t help but be an adult, but they can still act like a child. Certainly you have known adults who failed to mature in some area of their lives as expected of an adult and subsequently limited the effectiveness of their lives and robbed themselves of the fullness of life. Similarly, a Christian can’t help but be spiritual but can act worldly, failing to mature in sanctification, and remaining an “infant in Christ,” incapable of experiencing the life of an adult in Christ. We know that adults experience far more in life than children do. Are you living a full, mature, spiritual life, or are you letting worldliness get in the way? One of the easiest tests of your spiritual maturity is the quality of your relationships with others, particularly with those closest to you. If there is strife or separation, immaturity remains.

1 Corinthians 3:2, 3 — And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

The Corinthians were not maturing in their faith because they were still acting worldly, specifically, they treating each other just like the rest of the world does.

1 Corinthians 3:4 – For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

You may say you are “naturally” impatient, cynical, or (insert negative trait here), but God works in the supernatural realm. We are not called by be “merely human.”

1 Corinthians 3:7 — Only God who gives the growth.

We are but messengers of God’s word. The Holy Spirit does all the convicting and convincing.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 – For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Everything we do outside of genuine, selfless service for Jesus Christ, as a true disciple, is worthless. All that we do for self is meaningless, regardless of how much we say it was really for Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:19 — For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.

Just obey and teach God’s simple word. You don’t need to be clever, just faithful.

1 Corinthians 16:21 — So let no one boast in men.

It is VERY tempting for Christians to focus on popular preachers and pastors more than Jesus, to proclaim their pastor’s name more than Jesus, and to identify with a church rather than with Jesus. Don’t tell people about your pastor; tell them about Jesus. Don’t just invite people to your church, invite them to know Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:16-22 — Don’t build with the world’s wisdom.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 May 2023: Pay attention to your first responses to crisis, conflict, or strife. Do you at times think or act negatively and then say, “Well I am not really like that; I just got caught off guard.” How you first respond is a better reflection of what is in your heart than your calculated response.

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way, the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.” Pray that God will help you exterminate the rats that remain hidden in the dark. (1 Cor 3:4)

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