Wednesday 31 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

10 God has given me the grace to lay a foundation as a master builder. Now someone else is building on it. But each one should build carefully. 11 No one can lay any other foundation than the one that has already been laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 A person may build on it using gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw. 13 But each person’s work will be shown for what it is. On judgment day it will be brought to light. It will be put through fire. The fire will test how good everyone’s work is. 14 If the building doesn’t burn up, God will give the builder a reward for his work. 15 If the building burns up, the builder will lose everything. The builder will be saved, but only like one escaping through the flames.

The apostle Paul built up the Corinthian Church by the grace God had given him. The foundation Paul laid is Jesus Christ then others build on top of this foundation.

Paul now finds the church dividing themselves into “Paul’s followers” and “Apollo’s followers” and so he had to seriously point it that this is wrong. He warns them that no matter what they were going to build, they should build with care. As eventually, fire will test the quality of each man’s work. Some people get rewarded, some don’t.

This passage is one of my favourites. I have made it my motto, because everything I do and have done today will be tested by fire/Jesus tomorrow (one day). If it is burned up and doesn’t survive, I just totally lose it, no matter how much time/money/effort I have put in.

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me by Paul’s message. The true work is work with you. Please help me to review my work according to your world day by day.  My work will be in vain if I don’t work with you in my life. Amen.

Written by Allen Leu

2 replies
  1. Dimity Milne says:

    I frequently get discouraged by the enormity of bringing Jesus to a so needy world, it seems so hard for people to understand the gift he offers. This passage reminds me that those who plant the seed and those who water it are not important, but still our efforts are valued by God. It is His responsibity to bring our work to fruition. Ours is to be humble and have faith in His unfailing love for mankind and His infinite power and wisdom.

  2. David Newton says:

    I think the key is to ‘build carefully’. Pause and consider before you undertake any activity, and pay attention the foundation you are building upon before you start. – I agree with Dimity, it can be frustrating.

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Tuesday 30 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

5 After all, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only people who serve. We helped you to believe. The Lord has given each of us our own work to do. 6 I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God made it grow. 7 So the one who plants is not important. The one who waters is not important. It is God who makes things grow. He is the One who is important. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. The Lord will give each of us a reward for our work. 9 We work together with God. You are like God’s field. You are like his building.

Paul is clearly concerned in this passage to not overstate his position, his influence, and his role in the Corinthian church. He is God’s servant; God is by far the chief worker; and Paul is a privileged servant and co-worker.

This is a good reality check for me, in life. I’m very quick to overstate my role, or my part to play, in lots of different situations. But Paul encourages and challenges me, both in his security and humility. He is secure in the knowledge of what his privileged role and purpose is. And he is humble, knowing by far God is the key player in his life and his call and his work.

God, please show me how to cultivate the same security that Paul expresses here; secure in my purpose, and thus not overstating my significance or my influence. Help me instead to be more concerned to make sure that all those around me know that you are He who has called me and works most mightily and powerfully through me.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    It is always good to be reminded that it is ‘God who make things grow’. — I wonder if Paul was thinking of Jeremiah 9:23 when he wrote this passage.— Excellent Prayer Rob – Thanks

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Monday 29 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:1-4

3 Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t speak to you as if you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as if you were following the ways of the world. You aren’t growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies. 2 The words I spoke to you were like milk, not like solid food. You weren’t ready for solid food yet. And you still aren’t ready for it. 3 You are still following the ways of the world. Some of you are jealous. Some of you argue. So aren’t you following the ways of the world? Aren’t you acting like ordinary human beings? 4 One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Aren’t you acting like ordinary human beings?

Gosh Paul is unhappy with his friends in Corinth in this passage. I am always amazed how much choice God gives us about how connected with Him we want to be. It’s up to us. We can stay as children of the faith or we can put some effort in to grow up and mature. Growing from a child to an adult takes time, effort and learning – the same is true for growing up in the faith. What sort of things are you doing to learn more about God and your faith?

Some of our maturity comes from what we believe. As we grow up in faith we get a better and stronger idea of what God wants us to focus on. God thinks unity is important, He thinks individuals are important, He thinks living a life of peace and grace is important. All these ideas mean that arguments about theology or splits in the faith family because some believe one person while others believe another person are probably not what God would like us to be doing. No wonder Paul was frustrated.

Lord help us to want to grow up in the faith – that it is a priority in our lives. Please help us to see where we need to learn more. Lead us to the ways for us to learn more that work for us – books, courses, podcasts, spending time with someone further down the track, group bible studies, quiet time etc. Thank you that you want to lead us along this process and that you have a way that will work for each and every one of us.

Written by Therese Manning

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    There is a corresponding passage in Hebrews 5:11-6:3 that encourages us to grow up by continuously training ourselves to distinguish good from evil. Modern Life has become so complex it is becoming much harder it draw a line between right and wrong!

    This is an excellent message and one that I recently taken to heart. Thank you Therese!

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Sunday 28 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 2:14-16

14 Some people don’t have the Holy Spirit. They don’t accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. Things like that are foolish to them. They can’t understand them. In fact, such things can’t be understood without the Spirit’s help. 15 Everyone who has the Spirit can judge all things. But no one can judge those who have the Spirit. It is written, 16 “Who can ever know what is in the Lord’s mind? Can anyone ever teach him?” (Isaiah 40:13) But we have the mind of Christ.

God is spirit.  Those that want to understand and relate to God also need to be spiritual.  No point trying to understand the things of God with the natural mind. It just won’t make sense.  As Christians our spirits come alive to God through Jesus Christ.  Our spirit is then able to communicate with God’s spirit. Jesus knows what God’s spirit is doing and we have Christ’s spirit within us.  The spiritual realm has been opened to us through Jesus – we can get insight into what is going on!

Often I find myself getting frustrated and disappointed that those around me just don’t see the God I know and love. A God who longs to reach out love, heal and forgive. This passage of Scripture reminds me why they just don’t get it!  It clearly says they will see the ways of God as foolish.  It encourages me to pray for revelation and not to carry the criticisms of those that are yet to understand God at a spiritual level.

Dear God, thank you that we have the mind of Christ.  What a privilege it is to know what you are thinking and doing!  We pray that by your grace others will have this same connection through your son, Jesus.  Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

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Saturday 27 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 2:6-13

6 The words we speak to those who have grown in the faith are wise. Our words are different from the words of the wise people or rulers of this world. People like that aren’t going anywhere. 7 No, we speak about God’s secret wisdom. His wisdom has been hidden. But before time began, God planned that his wisdom would bring us heavenly glory. 8 None of the rulers of this world understood God’s wisdom. If they had, they would not have nailed the Lord of glory to the cross. 9 It is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love him.” (Isaiah 64:4) 10 But God has shown it to us through his Spirit. The Spirit understands all things. He understands even the deep things of God. 11 Who can know the thoughts of another person? Only a person’s own spirit can know them. In the same way, only the Spirit of God knows God’s thoughts. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world. We have received the Spirit who is from God. The Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us. 13 That is what we speak about. We don’t use words taught to us by people. We use words taught to us by the Holy Spirit. We use the words of the Spirit to teach the truths of the Spirit.

Verse 9 from this passage is frequently quoted, usually in reference to what a wonderful place heaven is going to be.  On reading through the passage thoroughly though, I have realized that you cannot quote verse 9 without quoting verse 10 – there isn’t a full stop between the two verses!  God’s spirit is what reveals to us, “the things God has prepared for those who love him”.  Verse 12 talks about us receiving God’s spirit so that we can know the wonderful things that God has freely given us.  And this isn’t just for when we are in heaven either!  It means that God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, is revealing to me the wonders of God and all that He has for me right now!  It is through the Spirit of God that I get to know God, not by my own reading, not by my own effort, but by the working of the Holy Spirit.  I don’t have to wait for heaven to see wondrous things from God!  They are all around me all the time, if I would just listen to the Spirit of God revealing them and Himself to me! It is like putting rose-coloured glasses on, but instead they are “Holy-Spirit”-coloured glasses!

Lord, help me to listen to your Holy Spirit revealing more of you and your work to me.  Help me to have a heart sensitive to your leading and prompting.  Help me to see you in all that I do and see around me!

Written by Ps.Jen Irving

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Friday 26 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

2 Brothers and sisters, when I came to you I didn’t come with fancy words or great wisdom. I preached to you the truth about God’s love. 2 I made up my mind to pay attention to only one thing while I was with you. That one thing was Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. 3 When I came to you, I was weak and afraid and trembling all over. 4 I didn’t preach my message with clever and compelling words. As I preached, the Holy Spirit showed his power. 5 That was so you would believe not because of human wisdom but because of God’s power.

What a passage!!

Paul was not a noted speaker – which was what the Greeks, the Corinthians, really loved, the erudite debates of philosophers!  Paul, though well trained, was not a noted rhetorician, he was no orator!

So what was Paul’s appeal.  It was not to a fine sounding argument, Paul knew that the next ‘better’ argument to be spoken would likely persuade people to believe in it.  Paul was not about mere argument.  Paul had encountered Christ, he had been transformed by Christ and that ‘spoke’ volumes, indeed it screamed!  Here was a Christian hater now preaching Christ – try to argue against that!

No argument is more powerful than the transformed life in Christ.  No doubt there were miracles and healings as well that accompanied Paul’s preaching and teaching, yet the testimony – I was lost and now I am found – or – I was blind but now I see – who can argue against that?

So where does that leave me?

Does the life I live truly represent a ‘transformed life’?  Do people see Jesus when they look at me?  Do I see Jesus when I look in the mirror?

Father, help me to live the transformed life that those around me will see Jesus and so enter into faith in Him as well!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 25 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. He chose what is not considered to be important to do away with what is considered to be important. 29 So no one can brag to God. 30 Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God’s wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31 It is written, “The one who brags should brag about what the Lord has done.” (Jeremiah 9:24)

The wisdom of God is often mistaken as foolishness. What sort of people does God look for? God chooses those who have nothing to brag about.

It’s not important how important we are, before we were saved, we lived in darkness. Our talents did not save us – God chose us! We are called by His love. God wants us to know that we have nothing to brag about before Him, but that we are completely indebted to Him. We are in Christ because of God’s work; God elects His people in order to bring honor to His name.

Boasting in ourselves is an illusion that we have some power in ourselves and can succeed through our own abilities. We are deceiving ourselves; God will puncture our pride and shatter the illusion of self-sufficiency.

When we trust Jesus, God makes us right with Him, within ourselves, and with other people. Christ’s character is gradually revealed in us as we learn how to handle life according to God’s wisdom. God alone is the source of our salvation. If you feel inadequate, God can use you. If you have Jesus, you have the secret of true success. Jesus has purchased us from the power of sin. We can only boast in Christ.

Lord Jesus, forgive me if I have boasted in myself, I pray I do not rely on what I have, or who I am, but that I rely totally on You. Help me to do what You want me to do, right where I am, and to have You delight in how you are glorified in my life. Your wisdom is amazing – Thank you that you are continually changing and teaching me.

Written by Cathy Croft

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Wednesday 24 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

18 The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 It is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise. I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart.” (Isaiah 29:14) 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where are the great thinkers of this world? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. 22 Jews require miraculous signs. Greeks look for wisdom. 23 But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it’s foolish. 24 But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and others. To them Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

As there are divisions happening in the church, Paul explains that the only thing any one of us can boast in is Jesus.   It’s got nothing to do with who we are, who led us to the Jesus, how smart we are, or what position in society we hold.

I am so grateful about that!  I have friends – well educated – and to them believing in Jesus is very foolish, others have seen or heard of miracles (signs) and still don’t believe.  Jesus dying for my sins really is not reasonable, but as Paul says in verse 24 “Christ is the wisdom and power of God” and my faith can rest on nothing else but this.

Lord thank you that the Gospel is so simple, my faith in Jesus. Help me not to get carried away with the latest favourite teacher or church or such but to remember that Jesus is the only one that I should be boasting in.

Written by Suzie Hodgson


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Tuesday 23 July, 2013

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

10 Brothers and sisters, I ask all of you to agree with one another. I make my appeal in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you won’t take sides. You will be in complete agreement in all that you think. 11 My brothers and sisters, some people who live in Chloe’s house have told me you are arguing with each other. 12 Here is what I mean. One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter.” And still another says, “I follow Christ.” 13 Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I’m thankful that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 No one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 It’s true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to use the kind of wisdom that people commonly use. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.

Divisions in Church. People taking sides and choosing their favourite leader. This is not God’s desire for his people. I find so much peace in the family of God, in His Church. This is one of the defining characteristics of my experience of Church life. Here Paul paints a picture of divisions identical to the kind that the world commonly experiences. Where is the internal peace that the Church is intended to manifest?

I am not called to a certain brand of theology, neither am I called to follow a certain spiritual leader because I like his/her style. I am called to follow Jesus, the person. All of us who belong to Jesus are united not by an ideology, not even by a creed. I am united to other Christians by a person and Jesus is not divided.

Lord, because of you I always have unity with other’s in your family. Because of you I have more in common than I have differences. Lord you are our love, you are our vision, you are our strength, you are our hope, you are our peace and you are our God!

Written by Andrew Mellor

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Monday 22 July, 2013

1 Corinthians1:4-9

4 I always thank God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus. 5 You have been blessed in every way because of him. All your teaching of the truth is better. Your understanding of it is more complete. 6 Our witness about Christ has been proved to be true in you. 7 There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don’t have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8 God will keep you strong to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

How can Paul be so confident that God will act in a certain way? How can he be so sure that God will do one thing and not change His mind and do another? To me, the ways of God are, more often than not, a complete mystery. How come Paul is so sure of what God will do?

In verse 8-9 Paul uses some big ‘absolutes’ in his letter to the Corinthian Church. “He WILL keep you strong” “God WILL do this”. How do I get this confidence?

Maybe the answer is Jesus Himself.

Paul was absolutely sure of God’s faithfulness because the transaction for his salvation was bought with nothing less than the blood and life of Jesus, God’s son – the very person who wants to do life “in partnership” with us too. v9. Because of Jesus I can have rock-solid confidence that God is on my side. He will fight for me. He will help me. He will keep me safe in this life so I don’t miss out on the eternal life with Jesus. He is faithful. He will do it.

Oh Lord, may my faith grow to be as strong as Paul’s. I know you will never let me down.


Written by Boudy van Noppen

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