From Me to You
Gracious God, thank You for the fellow believers whom You have put into my life.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:1–9
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.
ReflectWe often sign off letters “With love,” but what messages do we actually convey in our communications?
Paul’s capacity for seeing the best in people is impressive. He calls the Christians in Corinth “saint” and “called” (2) and comments on their grace (4). He admires their gifts (5,7) and affirms their prospective future (8). Notice how he emphasizes their call to be holy (2).
How on earth can he do this, knowing what he does of them and what he is about to write to them in the rest of this letter? This was certainly a troublesome church—plagued with sexual irregularity, litigiousness, spiritual abuse and division. Was it just to soften them up for what he was about to go on to say? Was he blind? Or given to wishful thinking?
I suspect it was none of these things, but rather that he was able to see Christ, by his Spirit, already at work in their lives—changing their sinful natures and revealing huge potential in their discipleship. Such a positive and God-focused approach to other Christians is a great lesson for us.
How do you think of the people in your own church? Try looking at them through the lens of what God is doing in their lives.
Pray for your fellow believers as you think God sees them.