In I Corinthians 15.29-34, Paul addresses some behaviors among the people in the Corinthian church that are not acceptable in light of the coming resurrection. Starting in verse 29, he speaks of some behavior that involved individuals being baptised possibly on behalf of those who have died? The behavior and practice described in this verse is unclear and shrouded in mystery and scholars are not entirely sure what to make of it. However, the principle is clear, whatever this practice was, was not acceptable in light of the resurrection. Verses 30-32 speak about the hardships and difficulties Paul has faced and that reality that if there is no resurrection then all of his labor and striving is in vain, a point he made earlier in this chapter (15.14). Then in verse 33 and 34 he exhorts them to correct their behavior. He warned them not to be deceived, that bad company corrupts good morals. The interesting point about this saying is that Paul is quoting a contemporary poet of his day and using it in his argument. In other words, watch who you hang around with because your behavior will be altered by those who are not a good influence. In this context, it could possibly be don’t be around people who deny the resurrection. Then he exhorts them to stop sinning and become sober minded. For some in the Corinthian church the reality of resurrection was being lost and it affected how they lived.
This passage does a great job of showing that what you believe about the future affects how you live today. My question to you is, in light of the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of the saints, are you living a life that is in step with that resurrection reality? Are you involved in activities that line up with someone awaiting resurrection? Are you involved in activities or with people that pull you away from a life of serving God? The awaiting resurrection serves as a reminder and something to set our eyes on to help aid us in pursuing a life that is pleasing to God.
In Quantam Leap, Dr. Sam Bekett was a quantum physicist. He had a scientific experiment go bad and in result became trapped in “quantum leap” traveling from various time frames throughout history. He was morphed into all body types and had to fix the situation to try to get back home. He visited the Wild West, became a high school basketball star and even was even a prisoner seated in an electric chair. Each episode had forms of humor, drama and suspense with Sam hoping each “morphing” would bring him back home.
We know that our forever home will be in God’s Kingdom. We wish and pray for the Lord’s return. Unlike Sam in this story, we will be victorious in finally seeing our Heavenly Father. It is ours. All we have to do is commit, follow, have faith, lead and serve. Pray today to follow God’s will to be done in your lives. Pray for his coming Kingdom. The ultimate leap is coming: rejoice and prepare for that day!
~ Emily Moyer
FUEL Devotions: Weekly Theme – Becoming who God says you are
Hi! I’m Susan and I’ll be bringing you your devotions for the week. I’m what some of you might call ‘old’. (But I wish you wouldn’t). Instead of telling you about what I spend my time doing these days (momming and such) I thought I’d tell you a little about when I was your age, and introduce you to our topic for the week.
I grew up in the church, and was active in my church youth group. And even though I managed to make some pretty stupid choices and do some pretty dumb stuff, I also continued to believe that God had a plan for my life.
Trying to figure that out, I travelled to Mexico with a short term mission team 4 summers to teach Bible schools, and decided to attend Atlanta Bible College after I graduated. I knew God had something for me, and I was doing everything I could to run around and try to find it.
Maybe you’ve felt that way before. Or maybe you’ve wondered if God really does even have a purpose for your life.
I wish I could tell you that reading the devotions here for the next week will reveal to you everything God has for your future. Unfortunately, that’s not the way God works. He typically just reveals the next step on the path.
So that is what I’ll be praying for you this week. That He will show you the next step in whatever area you are seeking His will for your life. He is a good God.
We’re not going to be reading in just one book this week. But I will give you one verse to commit to memory:
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Sneak Peek of tomorrow’s devotion: What was God thinking when He created you?
Tuesday July 18
If you had a chance to look into the future and see what was going to happen, would you want to? If you had a chance to get a peek at God’s throne room in Heaven, would you want to? John is given that chance. While he’s physically in exile on the Island of Patmos in the middle of the Mediterranean sea around 90 A.D. during a time of great persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, he is given a vision of the throne room of God Almighty. He is able to see God seated upon His throne, surrounded by angels. He sees seven scrolls that have been sealed by God. The question is, who is worthy to unseal the scrolls and reveal their contents? The answer is: the Lamb that was slain. Jesus is the only one worthy to unseal the royal scrolls and reveal their contents. The scrolls reveal what is about to happen.
Notices that there are 7 scrolls just as there were 7 churches. In the Bible, 7 is the number of completion. It took God 7 days to finish creating the earth (including a Sabbath rest). The number 7 will keep occurring through the book of Revelation. It’s completion, God is finishing the new creation, bringing this creation to an end. 7 scrolls reveal God’s plan to bring this world with it’s evil to a close.
As the scrolls are opened they reveal war, famine, earthquakes and other disasters resulting in wide scale death. God is beginning to bring His judgment upon the earth, and He is vindicating his people who have died as martyrs at the hands of the evil empire. (it sounds a little bit like Star Wars- Empires and those who suffer at the hands of the empire).
Imagine that you are a Christian living in this time and you want to be faithful to God, but it’s hard when you see a powerful empire destroying your fellow Christians by the sword, or burning in the fire, or throwing them to the lions or the gladiators in the arena. It might be tempting at times to give up and give in to the seemingly overwhelming force of the empire. But then you are permitted to look into the future and see that, eventually, the empire is destroyed, and those who died the death of the martyr are brought back to life and end up the true victors. That is what is happening here. The Christians are given a boost of confidence by seeing the ultimate victory of God and his people.
The trials and temptations that you and I face today may be different from those of 1st century Christians in the Roman empire. We may be tempted to turn away from our faith in order to be popular among our peers at school, or to fit in at the university. We may be tempted to abandon our morals in order to have fun. We might be tempted to cut corners in our jobs to get ahead. We might be tempted to abandon our allegiance to Jesus Christ for any number of reasons. But what if we could see into the future, what if the curtain that separates us in time and space were peeled back enough for us to see a glimpse of God, of Jesus, of the future… how everything ends, and realize that God is victorious and those who oppose God will be defeated, and that the rewards to following God and being faithful to Jesus Christ are great. Would that help during times when we are tempted to turn away and abandon our faith? I think they would. And that’s the value of Revelation. It helps us to see beyond the here and now and base our decisions not on what’s happening today, but to see the BIG picture…. the grand and glorious victory of God over evil. Whose side do you want to be on?
(Photo Credit: https://www.versaday.com/Months/05/0516.aspx)