July 12, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from July 11-12 are provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as a staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology.  He is married to Annie.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Honor One Another

1 Corinthians 11:27-34

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. 33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

In my freshman year of college, I played pick-up basketball with my suitemates. One particular game I ran toward the basket for a layup and jammed my thumb, swelling it fiercely. For days after, I couldn’t use chopsticks, open jars or even grab a tooth brush. I didn’t realize that such a small part of my body could be so valuable!

In this same passage, Paul is indignant with the Corinthian Church for abusing the Lord’s supper. He warns them to examine their hearts before taking the bread and wine, lest they bring judgement on themselves.

At first glance, this seems to be an issue of people simply being somewhat inconsiderate of one another. However, the issue at hand was that wealthy Christians were neglecting their poorer brethren. In that day, at common meals, the upper classes traditionally expected to receive food in greater quantity and quality than the lower classes. In this manner, the wealthy were dishonoring the poor and creating division within the church.

Honor among Christians is an extremely important idea in the Kingdom of God, and it is a key ingredient in creating unity within the church. It elevates the value of people even though the world may portray them as worthless.

Most of our churches will inevitably gather together people of different socioeconomic, relationship, and academic statuses. However, as believers, our goal is not necessarily to force all to be the same, but rather to view everyone as of equal value in the body of Christ—no matter their wealth, their family life, or their education. In fact, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:23 that to those who may seem ‘lesser’, the church should give a ‘special honor.’

Do you struggle with elevating certain individuals over others in light of their status in the world? What are some practical ways to actively uplift those who seem less honorable in the eyes of the world? Take this moment to examine your heart.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your church. Thank you for the diversity you have bestowed upon the body of Christ. However, I do struggle with favoring certain individuals over others for their worldly status. Help me to see your people with Your heart.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 10


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the significance of Paul repeating the word “one?” (v.4)
  2. What are the five spiritual roles Christ has assigned? Which gift do you believe you have or desire? (v.11)
  3. What is the purpose of achieving unity in the body of Christ (v. 13)

Notes

  1. Paul repeats the word “one” to emphasize the importance of unity. As believers we are under one baptism, one spirit, and one God.
  2. The five spiritual roles are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
  3. The purpose of achieving unity in the body of Christ is so that we may be mature believers, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Evening Reflection

In light of today’s lesson on honor, when was the last time you verbally honored someone whom the world might typically shun? In today’s morning devotion, you were encouraged to think of ways to honor people in your church. This Sunday, try applying one of those ways.

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