The Unknown God

Today’s reading is Acts 17.

The Athenians were accusing Paul of preaching foreign deities. This accusation is very similar to the one for which Socrates had been executed in Athens a few centuries earlier. So, how does Paul start his sermon? “I’m not preaching strange deities or foreign gods. I’m preaching about this god–the one you don’t know, but you are concerned is out there.” This is the God who created all things. And if He is the creator of all things, that means something about His existence. How could this kind of God live in a temple we build? Why would this kind of God need our service? He has made all things and given us all the life we have. He can’t be represented by any statue we carve because the most that can represent is our own imagination. We are His offspring, He can’t be ours. All the Athenians knew of this God was that He might be out there somewhere. How well do you know this God? Let’s keep reading and getting to know Him better.

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 17.

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On Love and Knowledge

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 8.

God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. That is always true. However, we must take care. If we allow that truth to overrun every other aspect of our service, our knowledge will destroy our brethren and us as well. Our knowledge is to be governed by love. Just because I know something, doesn’t mean I am to live it. That approach is one of arrogance, being puffed up by supposed spiritual superiority. Rather, I am to lovingly humble myself before others that they may be built up in the most holy faith. We are to protect our brothers and sisters at every turn. We are to love them more than we love our knowledge. We are to prove our love to our brethren, not prove our intelligence to anyone.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 9.

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Flee From, Don’t Flirt With Idolatry

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 10.

Paul finally gets to the completion of his arguments about eating meats in idols temples. While he began admitting that the idol was nothing and therefore the mere eating of that meat didn’t mean anything whatsoever, he ends by pointing out that we who think we can control ourselves around idols are thinking too much of ourselves. Don’t flirt with idolatry of any kind. Flee it. Run for your life. Paul’s point when he says no temptation has overtaken us but what is common to man is not the basis for why we can overcome temptation in the next verse. Rather, his point is why would we think we are different from everyone else? Idolatry doesn’t just tempt the weak, it tempts us all. The best and only approach to idolatry is to run. That is pursuing God’s way of escape.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 11.

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On Love and Rights

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 8.

Paul begins a long argument against eating meats offered to idols in this chapter. I know on the surface it sounds like Paul is saying it is okay, but pay attention to the thrust of this and the next two chapters. He is mounting a strong case to stay out of idols temples even though some Christians are highly aware that the temples are useless and empty. His first argument is that of love over rights. And what a powerful principle we need to allow to govern us at all times. Think about the difference between allowing my rights to govern me versus allowing love to govern me. The former focuses my attention on me and what I can grasp for myself, often from you. The latter focuses my attention on you and what I can give up to bless you. Think about this, how would you want others to act when they are given this choice? Go and do likewise.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 9.

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