The AMI QT Devotionals from February 27-March 5 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee who serves at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY
1 Corinthians 5:4-7
When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
I’d say football is probably the ultimate team sport; and if you are an avid football fan like me, you might have noticed that Terrell Owens (T.O.), for the second year in a row, did not get voted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On paper, this is an outrage; T.O. ranks 2nd and 3rd in all-time yardage and touchdowns, respectively, by a receiver in football history. One could make an intelligent argument that T.O. is one of the five greatest receivers in football history. In the end, I have no doubt that he’ll eventually get into the Hall of Fame, but for now, voters are making a statement: you can’t act like a selfish, ornery child for most of your career and expect to be immediately granted football’s highest honor.
You see, for all of his talent and on-field accomplishments, T.O. was notorious for having problems in the locker room. He routinely demanded that his quarterbacks throw him the ball more often; he fought with coaches regarding game plans and other players about who knows what. There are even reports of him getting into physical altercations with team personnel. During his career, T.O. played for five different teams, because after a season or two, teams consistently didn’t think the on-field production outweighed the off-field drama. The “me first” attitude became too damaging to the team.
People are often shocked to hear that churches will discipline members, remove people out of leadership, or in very rare instances, excommunicate them. It feels ungracious. But if you read today’s passage you gain an understanding of why discipline is required. First, we hope that drastic measures will wake the person up so that they will eventually repent and come back and have their “souls saved” (v. 6). Second, and more to today’s point, is that sinfulness, like yeast in dough, has a way of spreading and spoiling the entire church. While it is important to be gracious (since we’re all sinners), no one individual is more important than the team. So, are you aspiring to be a prima donna, or a team player?
Prayer: Jesus, please remind me that the church as a whole is your beautiful spotless bride and You died for her. Please help me to play my part in the church well and faithfully, never putting my agenda ahead of Yours. Help me to love being on Your team. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 10
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read Matthew 18:15-20: If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[f] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
Questions to Consider
This passage is obviously foundational to church disciple, but let’s glean more general lessons about church from it.
- What authority has Christ given to the church? How do you interpret v. 18?
- Based on vv. 19-20, what promises did Jesus give to the church?
- How does this information impact your view on the church?
- In this passage, the church was given power to declare who was genuinely part of it. And these decisions were not arbitrary or insignificant; they are bound in heaven. This is why when the entire church (more than one congregation) agrees to a set of doctrines or condemns one teaching as heretical, it is a serious matter.
- First, Jesus says that God promises to listen to the church’s prayer, and He promises His presence when they gather together.
- Personal application question.
Today we talked about the importance of the church. When it comes to your faith, would you say that you are individualistic? Do you believe in the power and importance of community? Will you let the church speak into your life, or do you always have to push your agenda? Simply put, are you a team player?