When a person fails to think through the implications of a “get rich quick scheme”, their decision to act is usually influenced by greed and recklessness, not common sense. For you hear it all the time – If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is. But that still doesn’t stop foolish people from being duped and cheated everyday. For it’s so easy to fall into the devil’s trap of running after riches… and instead ending up in ruin.
These verses can give us great insight into what it takes to combat doubt and fear in our lives. The first part gives us clear directions as to what our responsibilities are. We are to be steadfast trusting in the Lord at all times…calling on Him first, and not as an afterthought. We are to turn our back on our old sinful ways, but even more importantly, it says we are to not tolerate or enable sin to remain in our house. This is called compromise, and unfortunately many a Christian household has crumbled when questionable moral concessions have been made. As we work on our responsibilities, we can as Job 22:26 says, ” Find delight in the Almighty and lift up our face to God.” For when there is no longer the guilt and shame of sin weighting us down, we can lift up our head and look straight into the eyes of Jesus with a clear conscience…free of self-doubt and fear.
Paul had not been with the Believers of the Church in Corinth for about three years. But he had gotten wind of the abuses that were happening concerning the Lord’s Supper…or if you will, Holy Communion or the Eucharist. Here he was instructing them to stop and soberly scrutinize and determine whether they were worthy of taking Communion…before they partook. When something becomes so ritualistic and automatic, we tend to perform it without thinking…going through the motions without allowing it to impact us. We are to examine ourselves first, before we participate…for who better to ascertain our own spiritual condition than us? And don’t worry, what you choose to ignore…the Holy Spirit will be faithful to point it out!
In times of danger and distress let it be You, Lord, I go to first. Not after I’ve already tried everything myself and failed miserably, but to call on You from the very start. For You, Lord, are my shelter and refuge…and a safe haven from the storms of life. And I know You’re with me…ever watching over and surrounding me with Your encouragement and love… constantly reminding me of the promises within Your Word, the Bible. I thank You Lord for loving me. Amen.
I admit when I first read this verse and the concept of the Sevenfold Spirit, I was baffled. Here they are listed…God’s empowering of the coming Messiah… the Spirit of the Lord, truth, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and piety. Then I followed this idea to the book of Revelation where John writes about the Sevenfold Spirit four times in his revelation of Jesus Christ, (Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6). Finally, I followed it to Galatians where it is called the Sevenfold Graces (or Fruits of the Spirit) given to Believers by the Holy Spirit…truth, power, love, self-discipline, wisdom, judgement, and life. The Sevenfold Spirit is one of those wonderful mysteries of God that I may never understand, but still stand in total awe of.
You’ve probably heard the old saying…If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Oh that we would take that to heart the next time we’re frustrated or angry and our children are close enough to hear us. Careless words confuse and at times frighten children, even when the words are directed at a car that just cut you off or at your spouse. For children feel the angry emotions and then can mistakenly blame themselves for your outburst…even if they had nothing to do with it. ( Interestingly enough, I’ve found this reaction to parental bickering does not go away with age). Romans 14:19 reminds us, ” Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.”
In I Peter 3:12 the Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 34:15 when he writes, ” For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers.” Peter was writing to God-fearing Christians, encouraging them to endure the persecution that was prevalent at the time. Persecution can take on many type of faces. It can be internal physical affliction that drags us down…or it can be external forces that exasperate and irritate us. Peter wanted to show that regardless of the kind of persecution…God’s loving mercy is everlasting and always near to those who love Him.