3D Devotion 7.23.2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019      1 Corinthians 1:1-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Paul,  called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ  through the will of God, and  Sosthenes our brother,2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who  are [a]sanctified in Christ Jesus,  called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ  our Lord,  both theirs and ours:3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Spiritual Gifts at Corinth4  I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him  in all [b]utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as  the testimony of Christ was confirmed [c]in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly  waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8  who will also confirm you to the end,  that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9  God is faithful, by whom you were called into  the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,  that you all [d]speak the same thing, and that there be no [e]divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are [f]contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that  each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of  Apollos,” or “I am of  Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?14 I thank God that I baptized  none of you except  Crispus and  Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of  Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,  not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
18 For the [g]message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the [h]disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a [i]stumbling block and to the [j]Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Today's scripture has three parts.  First, there is a greeting and thanksgiving, second, there is an exhortation to brotherly love and unity and finally, there is a proclamation of Christ crucified as a means of advancing God's glory.
It seems that Paul is saying, let's keep the main thing, the main thing. Use the gifts that we have been given to shine light on Jesus Christ and continue to grow in the light of his love!  Remain focused on God's gift of love and grace through Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross.  Put aside petty differences. Work for the glory of God, acknowledge the power and wisdom of God, and proclaim the Gospel.  
How are you using your spiritual gifts that God has given you?
Where is your focus?
What stumbling block prevents your from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Lord, Lord Jesus, thank you for your gift of life on the cross. Open our hearts to receive the gifts that you have given us and to see that life comes from you alone.  Amen.  
Sheila Freeman

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