God’s Work

Don’t you just hate it when you’re forced to take sides – or at least someone tries to persuade you to?  Sometimes it is perfectly possible to see both sides of an argument.  Or if it is a choice between people, they may both be your friends, and you don’t want to have to choose.

1 Corinthians 1:10-18  (CEV)

Taking Sides

10 My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don’t take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. 11 Several people from Chloe’s family have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12 They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ.

13 Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? 14 I thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 Not one of you can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 I did baptize the family of Stephanas, but I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.

Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work.

We have already been introduced to the Corinthians.  Now that Paul has established the basis for what he wants to say, he turns to their difficulties, for much as there are blessings and good things happening, there are also problems arising.

Factions are appearing within the membership, arguments over who they follow.  Some are saying they follow Paul, some Apollos, others Peter, and some just that they follow Christ.  Paul is quite blunt with them – he doesn’t want any special glory or recognition.  He knows that salvation is not through him, so why are they arguing about such a thing?  We are perhaps used to reminiscences about previous Ministers, and different people having their favourites, but this is even more than that, it seems to be people placing their whole salvation in one of the leaders.

Paul wants to point right away from that.  He is not the rescuer.  He is the messenger.  God sent him to tell the good news, not to be the good news.  He points only to God – none of it is about him.  Why can’t the Corinthians see that and agree on it?

The same is true for us.  Whatever part we are called to play in God’s work, it remains his work, not ours.  Whoever is our Christian idol, however much they have helped us, it is still God’s work that they are doing, and our focus should be on him, not any human being.

Lord,
it can be so nice
to be flattered;
for people to tell me
how much I’ve helped them,
even shown you to them;
but help me
always to remember
that it is your work,
not mine.

May my life point to you
and not me,
in all I do

It’s All About You, It’s not about me

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