July 20/1Corinthians 10

Paul ended chapter 9 by telling the Corinthian Church that it takes a disciplined life to consistently bring glory and honor to God. If we are going to be an effective witness for Jesus we must set aside time to meet with our Lord in prayer and bible study just like one would meet regularly with a personal trainer. The Holy Spirit is our personal trainer so staying in fellowship with Him does take discipline. To have a healthy physical body we must discipline ourselves in the area of eating, sleep and exercise. We must discipline ourselves to stay away from those things that would hurt our bodies. It is no different when it comes to having a healthy spiritual life. We must stay away from those things that would hurt our souls.

So in this chapter Paul warns the mature believers not to become overconfident in thinking that they couldn’t fall into sin.

Verses 1-4 > Paul is saying here that the nation of Israel was privileged to have all the necessities of life provided for them, a visible cloud to guide them and miracles to overcome obstacles > parting of the red sea and yet with all of this going for them they still turned from God to sin. Today we have God’s word to guide us, the Father, Son and Holy Spirt dwelling on the inside of us, the blood of Jesus that has washed away our sins and given us a clean record, God’s grace, immediate access to God by prayer; wow we are privileged and yet we still from time to time turn from God to sin.

1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) — 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Verses 5-12 > Paul is saying that good beginnings don’t always translate into a good ending. Again he uses the nation of Israel as an example of those who started out well but because of the lack of faith and discipline they didn’t end well. They overindulged in the area of food, drink and sex. They weren’t very disciplined. Kind of like most people who make New Years Resolutions. They may do well for a few weeks but then they lose their discipline and things go south in a hurry.

It can be this way when we first come to Christ. We are on a spiritual high, we feel really free and contented, our prayers are being answered, we read our bibles and pray, we fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, God seems really close, and things are generally going well. Then there comes a time when the high might wear off a bit, prayers don’t seem to be getting answered, other things get in the way of our reading and praying time, summer comes and it is just too hard to leave the lake and come to church, God doesn’t seem as close and things really haven’t been going that well lately and the next thing you know we are doing things that do not bring glory to God.

We started well but in order to end well we must continue in our spiritual disciplines like reading our bibles, prayer, blessing others and meeting regularly with our brothers and sisters. That is why Paul issued this warning. That is why he disciplined himself; nobody else would do it for him and nobody else will do it for us either. If we hang in there times of refreshing will come back to us. We will sense the presence of the Lord. Sometimes God sort of steps back just to see what is really in our hearts.

2 Chronicles 32:31 (NLT) — 31 …God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.

In verses 5-12 we see that the nation of Israel lacked discipline in the area of food, drink,(gluttony) idol worship(idolatry) and sex(lust). But did you notice the other area where they lacked discipline in that Paul ranked right up there with the other sins? Yep that’s right > grumbling or complaining. They weren’t disciplined enough to keep from grumbling and it got them killed! Who would have thought, Right!

Complaining kills the spirit within you. Complaining is the same as unbelief. When you complain you are complaining about God the Father the one who allowed you to be in this situation in the first place. Your complaining says to God that he is not a good father and he doesn’t know what he is doing and that you know better than Him. It is liking shaking your fist in his face! If you were disciplined to read your bible you would remember that God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. And the purpose is to mold you into the character of his son Jesus!

Romans 8:28–29 (NLT) — 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

God loves us so much that he uses all of life to instill the character of Jesus within us. He knows that this character is best for us and those around us. When I was sick as a child my mom would give me this awful tasting medicine. I didn’t like the taste but I knew that mom loved me and she didn’t want me to remain sick. Sometimes life doesn’t taste so good but I know that Father God loves me and that he knows it is best for me so I take it without complaining and by faith I say thank you; then spirit within me remains alive and in tune with the Lord.

Hey Hilltop if we truly want to be mature Christians and bring honor to God we must have discipline. We don’t want to just start our Christian life well we want to end well. I believe we all could use a little discipline when it comes to the area of complaining. Particularly with the heat we are going to have in the next couple of days! Do I hear an AMEN!

Philippians 2:14 (NLT) — 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Amen! 🙂

  2. Mark Gundersen says:

    God promises that you will be tempted but that you can stand up to the temptation with God’s help. The temptation will cause you to lean on God and his word. That of course means that you need to know his word. After this year we will have went through the New Testament and next year the study plan might be some or all of the Old Testament or even the whole bible.