Holy God, show me Your mercy and forgive my sin today so that I may come to You and Your Word with a clean heart.
Read 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psa. 27:8b). Take time to turn from everything else and seek the Lord’s face.
Did Paul think the coming again of the Lord Jesus was imminent? It seems clear he did. Was he wrong? Or should it be the church’s normal stance, in every age and at all times, to live and work not knowing the day or the hour of Christ’s coming and therefore continually living in the light of that day and the passing away of this world (31)? The fact that we have largely forgotten this mandate and some of the urgency of evangelism is an indictment on us, not on the apostle’s wrongheadedness.
Marriage is a good gift from God, but it can distract from the key priority of the “Lord’s affairs” (32,34). It is not wrong to marry but neither should we assume it as a right. Some will embrace the cost of singleness for the kingdom although, as Jesus stated, “Not everyone can accept this word” (Matt. 19:11). It is hugely costly, but many ministries (like Scripture Union) clearly demonstrate the quite remarkable “undivided devotion” (35) provided by single people (in many instances women). You can probably think of numerous examples of single people who have devoted huge amounts of time and energy over many years in the acknowledgment that they were able to do so because of their singleness.
The challenge of singleness is the challenge of single-mindedness–which applies to all, whether married, divorced, widowed or single. Paul lists some things that absorb our time and effort, make us inward-looking and tie us to this world (29-31). He includes retail therapy (30); today, shopping online, at the mall, for cars, clothes or vacations, occupies massive amounts of our time and money. What if we saw shopping in the light of Jesus’ coming, and truly saw that our possessions are not ours to keep (30)?
When did you last contemplate the coming again of the Lord Jesus? Make this the first of many days in which you choose to focus on it.
Father God, so often I tend to focus on what I don’t have rather than on what You have given me. Help me to stay focused on Your grace and gifts to me.
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