Full of Life – Full of Troubles

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.

When Jesus Speaks

January 22. Today’s Readings – Matthew 9-10 and Psalms 22

When Jesus speaks in Scripture, you want to read it slowly or perhaps twice. Every time He opened His mouth to speak, He exposed God’s kingdom and God’s character. Here are three of my favorite thoughts from today’s reading:

  1. The kingdom of God is something so special that you “sell all you have” to get it. What exactly does this small statement mean to you and I? Think of the Jewish leader (Luke 18: 18-27) who came to Jesus wanting reassurance of his salvation. He had lived a good life and had obeyed the rules, but he hadn’t submitted everything to the Lord. When Jesus told him to sell all he had, he went away unhappy because Jesus had put His finger on the uncommitted part of this man’s life – the part he was “holding back”. So it is with us – we must not leave any areas of our life unturned when we come to Jesus. He must be Lord of all – and we too must sell “all we have” to buy the field that contains the treasure.
  2. The kingdom of God starts out fairly small in our lives – “like a mustard seed” – a simple prayer and act of faith – but it soon takes over our whole world in a wonderful way. We really don’t expect this when we walk into our first church service or our first gathering with Christian friends. We feel loved by God and deeply attracted to Jesus but it does not cross our minds that this Jesus will permeate every area of our lives.
  3. Matthew 12:50 says, For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”. The same passage in The Message Bible reads, “Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother”. Here Jesus concentrates on the importance of the family of God. Becoming part of God’s family is a more a significant step than being born into a natural family at birth. In God’s family, we have relationships that will last for eternity. Natural families without God last only a short time and serve only a small purpose in comparison to the Lord’s plan for the Family of God – The Church. Here’s a thought – Do we treat each other with the love and respect deserving of a “spiritual brother or sister” – one who we will share eternity with – one with whom we share all the most precious values of life?


  1. What does it mean for you personally to “sell all you have” in order to gain God’s treasure?
  2. In which way has the Kingdom of God started out like “a mustard seed” but developed into something very big in you?
  3. If our spiritual family is eternal – how should this fact affect our daily living?