Morning Devotion 1/24/2013 - 1Cor. 4:6-12 "FOOLS FOR CHRIST"- By: Rev. K. Nisbett
6. Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us--and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! 9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now.
Paul had just finished saying, do not judge one man’s work in Christ over another—for God will be the judge. Now he asked the Corinthian believers not focus on either Apollos or him. He wanted them to focus on the written word, think on the message not the messenger. We too must learn to praise God, not the messenger. The people at Corinth were believers who receiving all kinds of “words” from God. Paul challenged them not to be puffed up or to think that one Apostle was better than the other. He asked, what did you ask God for that you did not receive? It was as if to say---are you still looking to hear something "special" from an Apostle that you haven’t heard already from the written Word? They were already blessed, what more did they want? He said they were living like kings. Some of us are already blessed, but we always want to hear that we will receive even more. When is enough—enough? We must learn to be content with what we have. Look around and see how blessed you are already----Don’t miss your blessings!! Of course God can always give you more, but will you ever be satisfied? Do you share your blessings or are you a hoarder? Have you ever tried to satisfy a child today? It is never enough---no matter how much you give them, you can’t get them to do right. No matter how much you do for them, you can’t get them to really appreciate what they have. Well, some of us are just like children. No matter how much God has already given to us-we are still not satisfied--when will we be satisfied?
Paul then brought their attention to the plight of an Apostle. He said that God had placed them on display. Yet, some of them were condemned to death--made a spectacle to the world because of their faith in Christ…but He gloried in what was happening to them. He sounded a little sarcastic when he said "we are fools for Christ’s sake—but you are wise in Christ--we are seen as weak—but you are strong. You are distinguished but we are dishonored." Brothers and sisters, if the only “ones” you “appreciate” or "listen to" are those who are seem to be “lifted up” for the world to see----and miss seeing the work of those in the trenches working for God who are viewed as “fools for Christ” you are probably missing a lot. I love that Paul did not mind seeing himself as dishonored. Although they were being mistreated by others, Paul was resolute to do what God had called him to do. Although they were: “Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure, being defamed, we entreat”. When God has called you to do something for HIS Glory—do not be weary in well doing. Do not worry when you meet up with negativity---God is faithful and HE will keep you. May God bless each of you as the Word of God is lived out each day in our lives. Peace.