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Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday's Message: Reality Check

Reality Check:  
I Corinthians 4:8-21
"Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?"

This is an odd passage of Scripture; one that can be easily misread.  Some sarcasm and implied statements are made here, and if they are taken seriously it can change the entire meaning.  Paul was dealing with a group of people who had elevated themselves in their minds to a very haughty place.  These Corinthians no longer saw their need for strong preaching or for old-fashioned, archaic rules.  You see, they had it all figured out.  There was no need for them to suffer the persecution that Paul and those who traveled with him had endured; they had a better way to build their church and live their lives.  This mentality, I fear, is still prevalent in the church today.  No doubt, at times we have all been guilty of questioning some sermons we have heard preached that contradict our understanding or opinions.  I am not proclaiming the perfection of men of God, but rather the authority of the God they serve.  We must be careful not to adopt this arrogant, satanic habit of constantly questioning or criticizing truth.

Christ established and ordained local churches and over them He appoints pastors to lead them.  We all need to be a part of a local church with a man of God to guide us according to the Bible.  It is a very wise and humble decision to place yourself and your family under the authority of a pastor and a local church, but more importantly it is very Scriptural.  The wrong doctrine and direction crept in the Church at Corinth because they became “puffed up” and stopped following the man of God.  Believer, please make the wise decision to be faithful and loyal to your church and your pastor.

Ask yourself these question:
1.       Do I see myself the way that God and my Pastor see me?
2.       Do I have a spiritual mentor? If so, who is he?
3.       Do I allow a mentor to point out areas of weakness in my life?

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