1 Corinthians 11 Devotional – Day 4

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

OMNIPOTENCE  God’s omnipotence refers to his power to do what he decides to do. Omnipotence derives from two Latin words, omni, “all,” and potens, “powerful,” and means “all-powerful.” Numerous passages speak to God’s omnipotence:

    • In context, the rhetorical question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27) implies that nothing is too hard for the Lord.
    • Jeremiah also says to God, “nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).
    • Paul says that God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
    • God is called the “Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8), a Greek term (pantokratōr) that suggests the possession of all power and authority.
    • The angel Gabriel says to Mary, “With God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37)
    • Jesus says, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

However, there are some things that God cannot do. God cannot do anything that denies his own character. For example, Scripture tells us that God can’t lie:

    • In Titus 1:2 he is called (literally) “the unlying God” or the “God who never lies.”
    • The author of Hebrews says that in God’s oath and promise “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrew 6:18, Grudem’s translation).
    • 2 Timothy 2:13 says of Christ, “He cannot deny himself.”

Additionally, James says, “God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13). Thus, God cannot lie, sin, deny himself, or be tempted with evil. He cannot cease to exist, or cease to be God, or act in a way inconsistent with any of his attributes.

Praise the Omnipotent God.
Praise him for making and sustaining the universe. Praise him for providing a way for salvation. Praise him that he rose from the dead. Praise him that he nothing is too hard for him.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for Christian Challenge as students meet tonight at River.
  • Ask God to challenge students to walk with him and to bring unbelieving students to saving faith.
  • Pray that God would direct us as a church to be faithful with the stewardship he has given us regarding student ministry.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

1 Corinthians 10 The Message

1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

14 So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

15-18 I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That’s basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God’s altar entered into God’s action at the altar.

19-22 Do you see the difference? Sacrifices offered to idols are offered to nothing, for what’s the idol but a nothing? Or worse than nothing, a minus, a demon! I don’t want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself. And you can’t have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won’t put up with it. He wants us—all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?

23-24 Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

25-28 With that as a base to work from, common sense can take you the rest of the way. Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don’t have to run an “idolatry test” on every item. “The earth,” after all, “is God’s, and everything in it.” That “everything” certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop. If a nonbeliever invites you to dinner and you feel like going, go ahead and enjoy yourself; eat everything placed before you. It would be both bad manners and bad spirituality to cross-examine your host on the ethical purity of each course as it is served. On the other hand, if he goes out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to god or goddess so-and-so, you should pass. Even though you may be indifferent as to where it came from, he isn’t, and you don’t want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.

29-30 But, except for these special cases, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said. If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!

31-33 So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory. At the same time, don’t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren’t as free as you are. I try my best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:
“8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”

There is much in this passage that we don’t understand. There is much, however, that we do understand. Some things that stand out here in these verses are:
1. God has designed us to live in mutually beneficial, interdependent relationships.

2. Our relationships, our interactions, our community worship…is on display for the entire cosmos. Not just humans but angels and of course, God himself, watch.

3. It is good to be a woman, and it is good to be man. But both men and women are made by God for God.

You are made by God for God. This means you are to live to bless others. The application of good theology to life will always look like love for others. To fail to love others is to fail to understand who God is and why he has made you.

Leave a Reply