Today’s passage is another letter from Paul to the church in Corinth. In these verses, Paul exposes arrogance by contrasting the humble life of the Apostles to the prideful life of the Corinthians. The Corinthians believed that as Christians they were self-sufficient, while the Apostles suffered earthly judgment and circumstances for the sake of Christ. To many, the appearance was that the Apostles were weak, while the Corinthians were strong; but, to those who love Christ, we know that the Apostles were being guided by the Holy Spirit in the Wisdom of Christ. They were following the teachings and examples set out in front of them by Jesus Himself (Luke 6:28 & Matthew 5:44). Jesus directs us, as His followers, to love the unlovable and to pray for those who curse us, that they will be blessed. It seems like such a big ask at times, because in our flesh it’s easier to get angry, frustrated, or annoyed. But, as believers, we are called to speak like Christ, to walk like Christ, to listen like Christ, to pray like Christ, and ultimately, to love like Christ. Because, we know that only He will judge and that only He can save. So, our work is clear, we have to be His humble and loving representatives so that He can do what only He can do through us, and that is to bring more hearts to His Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (MSG)
9-13 It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, the leftovers that nobody wants. And it’s not getting any better.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for the example You set for me. Please forgive me when I fail, and help me to quickly acknowledge my sin, to repent, and to move forward on the path You have for me. Guide me to not judge others, to love when someone is unlovable, and to pray for those who curse me to be blessed. Help to quicken my soul to understand that when I’m being cursed it isn’t about me at all, rather it’s because of You and they don’t truly know You. I pray for those who don’t know You, may they have an encounter with True Love, You, Jesus. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Jen Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant