July 22 – Today’s Readings – 1Corinthians 1-2 and Psalms 22
If you get a chance, re-read Psalm 22 and highlight all the references to Jesus’ suffering on the cross – His prayer for himself and for the people – and His heart for God’s purposes. It’s amazing to realize that, so many years before Christ, this Prophet/Psalmist had “Messianic” insight by the Holy Spirit. Here are some “Jesus” portions of this great Psalm:
Vs.1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Vs.3, “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One”
Vs.6, “Scorned by men and despised by the people”
Vs.7&8, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him”
Vs.14, “My bones are out of joint”
Vs.15, “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth”
Vs.16, “They have pierced my hands and my feet”
Vs.18, “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing”
Vs.30 “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord”
We also begin the book of 1 Corinthians today. This Church at Corinth was a fascinating place. It was “blue-collar”, born out of Paul, Silas and Timothy’s second missionary journey. It had been influenced by several good preacher-leaders and grounded in many ways with a clear understanding of salvation by grace. However, this was also a Church that hadn’t developed so well spiritually. As you read through the book, check out how many times Paul corrects and instructs them in order to bring them to maturity.
The first thing I noticed was the importance Paul placed on unity and “getting along” in a Church. I personally believe that in an active and “alive” Church, there are very few things that are harder to keep a handle on than unity. Everyone is a preacher. Everyone is praying and seeking God. Everyone is in ministry. Everyone has strong opinions. Don’t get me wrong – this is the way a Church ought to be – alive and kicking. This “revival atmosphere” does require maturity though, and a strong sense of submission to one another. Each person must learn flexibility and honor towards others. This is one of the primary lessons the Corinthian Church was learning. “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.” (1Corinthians 1:10-11)
Here’s a thought for you – someone is going to have to “grow up” and be submissive!
1. Give another example from Scripture where a lack of maturity and unity caused problems in the people of God.
2. Give an example of how “submission” to one another promotes God’s plan for the Church.