1 Corinthians 4:12-13 What Are You Willing To Go Through?

We work hard with our hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world–right up to this moment. 1 Corinthians 4:12-13

Very few people are able to take cursing or trouble and accept it without retaliating. It goes against their personal rights and will usually fight back.

Some will go to the authorities to fight back, while many will physically or verbally fight back. This can easily be seen by the amount of violent crimes that occur on a daily basis.

Paul talks about all the things he and his co-workers go through to spread the gospel message. When things are done bad to them, they endure it and are kind, though often seen as the scum of the earth.

Throughout the world there are many places where believers are looked down upon and often hated. The belief of Christians goes against the norms of this fallen world and the world does not like it.

As a result, the world will treat believers badly, by cursing them, persecuting them and slandering them. The treatment that believers can receive is not any different then how Jesus was treated by the people.

How the believer reacts to these types of treatments is what makes all the difference. Many will slip into the ways of the world and react in the same way as the world does, striking back with a vengeance.

Unlike the world, neither Jesus nor Paul struck back at the people treating them wrongly. They answered with strong, but kind words that pointed the people to God. They turned the other cheek when struck, rather than strike back. Doing this is showing God’s true love for all people.

As you stand strong and true for God and speak His word to all people, you will face times of trouble from this world. People will speak badly about you and may even physically try to harm you.

You have a choice as to how to react in each and every situation. You can react as the world does and strike back. Or you can choose to react as Jesus did and continue to show His love with no vengeance. One way will cause the world to fight more, the other way will point them to Jesus.

What are you willing to go through for God?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to strengthen and guide you; that you will know the love God has for all people; and that God will strengthen you to make the right choices in every situation.

Romans 12:9 Sincere Love

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9

Love is a word that people use very loosely. Nearly everything and anything can be loved, yet while being loved is being destroyed.

While people claim to love others, very often they are leading those very same people down a path of destruction. The world does not have a true standard of what real love is about. Love is often what is in it for the person doing the loving at the moment, with no regard for the future.

Paul tells the people that love must be sincere. This can be done by hating evil and holding on to what is good.

Jesus was the perfect example of what love truly is and how it must be sincere. He was willing to give His life for those who hated Him. He stood up against evil and held onto the Father, who is good.

Claims to love God and others abound inside the church. At the same time these claims are made, people hold on to sinful habits or sinful things.

True and sincere love will flee anything this evil or has the appearance of evil.

It is common for people to watch evil movies, or step into some other evil action, immediately after going to a church service and worshipping God. They don’t hate what is evil, but love evil, when it is in the form of entertainment or for their short-term benefit.

Sincere love will not make excuses for allowing for evil, but will hate all forms of evil. The focus of a believer will be to please the Father, which is being holy and living a holy life, holding on to that which is good. This is done out of love, not to earn salvation.

You must be willing to ask yourself if your love is really sincere.

When you have some free time to do whatever you desire, what is it that you are willing to do? Do you allow yourself to step into things that are evil? Or do you choose to hold onto the things of God that are good and holy?

Find out what God calls good and focus on those things. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the evil things of this temporary world, but be caught up in the things of God that will last for all eternity.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have God’s true love in your heart; that God will strengthen you to hate what is evil; that you will cling and hold on to the good things of God; and that your love will be sincere before God and all men.

Romans 7:4 Die To The Law To Bear Fruit

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

Most people on the earth desire freedom from some law or another. Very few people like to have restrictions placed upon them, though most get used to having those restrictions.

People like to do what they want, when they want and how they want. They will break the law in order to do what they desire.

Paul tells the people that, in Christ, they have died to the law so that they may bear fruit for God.

It is common for some believers to push talking about the law. They are quick to point out what a person can and cannot do as they follow the letter of the law.

Others in the church are the exact opposite. They point out that they have died to the law, so they don’t have to follow the law. In doing this, they often live in purposeful sin.

Dying to the law is a person who is no longer following the law in order to be saved, but obeying the law because of his great love for God and people. The more a person strives to obey the law in his own power, the more he realizes that he cannot do it. Only in Christ can a person obey the law of God.

Once a person dies to the law to be saved, he is free to be able to do more for God, bearing fruit. His heart is no longer focused on trying to be saved, but knows he is and lives that way doing the work for God.

At the moment you repented and believed in Jesus, you were saved from sin. You do not have to do any special works in obeying the law to be saved.

Now as a believer, you have to do works because of what God has done for you and out of love for Him. Focus your attention on doing what God wants you to do, and you will not have time to disobey His law and sin. As you bear fruit for God, you will not walk in sin.

God has more for you to do, than sin has for you to do.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be free to be His witness on this earth; that you will know you are saved by faith in Christ Jesus; and that you will obey God out of love, not to earn salvation.