Sunday, February 5, 2017
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for February 12, 2017: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37; Theme: taking it one step further; song: They will know we are Christians by our Love 1 Corinthians: As Paul went around the countryside teaching people a new way, he realized that he had a lot of work to do and that he had to keep at it. People are generally smart about the ways of the world. But we have to be constantly reminded of the things of God. When we learn one thing, another things comes up. That is perhaps why Paul points out that the people were spiritually young minded, but that he had to work so that they could get more mature. He also knew that there were other teachers who were not as dedicated as he was. So he also warned the people to watch out for false teachings. But his last lesson is my favorite. That none of us have the monopoly on teaching – we all have an important part. One plants, another waters, another reaps the harvest. The harvest is not about us but all of the work that others have put into it. Because it is not our ministry, it is God’s. But he wants us to do our part in faith. Matthew: This lesson could be called not this, but that. Jesus tells the important parts of faith – fidelity, honesty, helping. But Jesus points out that being a Christian means going above and beyond what is expected. John Wesley point this out in stewardship also. Tithing is a mandate in the Jewish faith, everyone is supposed to give ten percent. But Jesus takes it one step further. He says that if it takes more, then give more. Do it all to the glory of God. And know that God gives us what we have, so we are called to give back and to obey God. Know that everything that you do is not about God, but about you. So don’t swear on your own abilities, you don’t know when they will fail. But trust and allow God to lead you where you need to be. If you use your strength you will get tired, if you use God’s strength you will do the impossible. Being a Christian is a lifestyle not just a moment. Questions: What part has God called you to play in the building of the kingdom? How can you let others help you? What do you have to trust to others? How can you go further in your devotion to God? What areas of your life do you need to work on? How can you trust God more?