FOCUS ON GOD
Lord, as I open your Word, may your Spirit, rather than the spirit of this age, instruct me.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBring to mind four or five fellow Christians. As you concentrate on each one, thank God for them. What particular aspects of each are you most grateful to God for?
Paul typically started his letters with a combination of the traditional Hebrew and Greek greetings with a Christian twist. Grace was the Greek greeting, used by Paul as a recognition of the undeserved rich blessing that we have in Christ Jesus. Peace was the Hebrew greeting, perhaps reflecting Aaron’s blessing from Numbers 6:24–26, and drawing on ideas of wholeness, completeness – shalom. Paul’s greeting points his readers to the source of these blessings – ‘grace and peace … from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ’ (v 3).
The Corinthians thought that they were super-special, ultra-spiritual Christians. Paul acknowledges this as he thanks God for them. He says, ‘you have been enriched in every way … you do not lack any spiritual gift,’ but he points them to the source of the gifts and the greatness of the Giver. Notice how many times Paul refers to God and Jesus in these nine verses. The Corinthians are only special because of who God is and what he has done!
I love the song ‘I’m special’ with its reminder that my special-ness is not because of anything great about me, but because God has loved me and given his Son.*
List some of the things that God has done for you in Christ Jesus. How special are you? Thank God for his grace given to you.
Loving Lord, I’m thankful that life in you is more amazing than I could ever imagine. I praise you that I have been born again to a living hope.
*Graham Kendrick © 1986 Thankyou Music