Monday: The Mind of Christ – 1 Cor 2: 10-16
Paul makes a clear distinction between those people who are sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and those who are driven solely by success in the physical and material world. A person whose only goal in life is to accumulate wealth and possessions is never likely to understand the true nature of divine generosity. While someone whose thoughts and ambitions never rise above his or her immediate situation is unlikely to recognise the hand of God at work. Let us pray for the mind of Christ and the sensitivity to recognise the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Tuesday: No One-Man Band! – 1 Cor 3: 1-9
Here Paul highlights the spiritual immaturity of the Corinthian church. It was divided by factions, with the congregation aligning themselves with the various leaders – those who’s preaching had brought them to faith as opposed to those whose task it was to help them to grow spiritually. Factionalism is something that’s still evident in churches and it inevitably leads to conflict. Using the analogy of a growing plant, Paul points out that no spiritual leader can ever be a spiritual ‘one-man-band’. We are all powerless without God.
Wednesday: What are You Building? – 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15
Paul seeks to reinforce his point with another analogy – this time building. Paul was an evangelist – his primary mission was to lay the foundation of the church by preaching the gospel and drawing men and women to Christ. This meant he was constantly on the move – trusting others to carry on the work he had started. When the Lord comes again each of us will be judged on how well we have performed our allotted task. Do you know what that God-given task is? How well are you performing?
Thursday: Builder or Destroyer? – 1 Cor 3: 16-23
Paul regarded the church in the same way that Jews regarded the Temple. It was the core of God’s Kingdom on earth. If members of the church were actively sewing dispute and dissension they were, in effect, seeking to destroy His Kingdom. Firstly, by limiting the work of the Holy Spirit, because where there is strife, a spirit of love cannot flourish. And secondly, by causing splits and division that could ultimately lead to the church’s destruction.
Friday: Leave Judgement to God! – 1 Cor 4: 1-5
It’s oh so easy to judge others! And it can be hard for us to ignore or even challenge the constant barrage of fault-finding and criticism that seems to surrounds us every day. What those who pass judgement on others forget is that a time is coming when they, in turn, will be judged. Not by their peers but by God. We should always remember two things. Firstly, God has the ultimate prerogative to judge. And secondly, no-one will escape His final judgement.
Saturday: It’s Not Just You! – 1 Cor 4: 6-13
Perhaps one of the hardest things for us to do, particularly the men, is to accept that whatever we have achieved in life comes only through the grace of God. We often hear people say; “I’ve worked hard to get where I am – I deserve my rewards.” What they forget is that their strength, their skills and their brainpower were, in the final analysis, not of their own making. Even, at a spiritual level – salvation cannot be earned by our own individual efforts. Humility and gratitude can be our only response to the grace of God.