“Jesus is Lord!”

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 12.

Okay, wait a minute. Paul says, “No one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Jesus is accursed!'” And yet, Paul, speaking in the Spirit of God, just said those very words. What’s up with that? His point is not that someone in God’s Spirit can’t even utter those words in any context. His point is people who abide in God and His Spirit know Jesus is Lord. Anyone who truly denies Jesus’s lordship is separate from God. No matter how spiritual they seem, no matter how nice they are, no matter what good works they do, they are not in God and God’s Spirit is not within them. In like manner, his point about those who say, “Jesus is Lord” is not that people separate from God are physically unable to say those words in any situational context or that they are unable to fake it. Neither is he saying that anyone who makes this claim is automatically right with God just by saying these words. His point is everyone who sincerely and truly confesses and surrenders to the lordship of Jesus has the same Holy Spirit we do. They may not have the same gifts, abilities, opportunities, and resources as we do. They may be at a different level of spiritual maturity. They may have a completely different ethnic background, skin color, gender, national history, language, socio-economic class, but they are filled by the same Spirit. Since we have the same Spirit, let us work together in the same Body, remembering we are not only members of that same Body but members of one another.

Monday’s reading is 1 Corinthians 13.

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Accursed & Cut Off

Today’s reading is Romans 9.

Talk about wanting to make disciples. Paul wanted to make disciples so badly, he said, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Think about what he is saying. He is talking about following in the footsteps of Jesus. As Jesus was made a curse on the cross and cut off from the Father for the salvation of all mankind, Paul is saying he wishes he could do the same thing for his fellow Jews. No doubt, only the sacrifice of Jesus saves, and if folks won’t submit to that, Paul’s sacrifice wouldn’t help them either. What an example for us. If I’m not willing to get outside my comfort zone or experience a few moments of social awkwardness, I could never declare I would be accursed for others. However that is what Paul was willing to do and what Jesus actually did. Let us follow in their footsteps.

Tomorrow’s reading is Romans 10.

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