DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
APPLICATION: I was in conversation yesterday with a few apartment tenants in a large city, and I overheard them talking about the warnings of eviction that were threatened by their landlord, and I believe it seems like an appropriate illustration, just as in the case of our upbringing, as they both open the door to discuss how God’s holy people are set apart unto Him. It is evident that in the case of our parents, they wanted no bad thing to distract from what they were teaching us at home, for parents try to help their children learn to always aim for what is best in life for their own good. It also goes to say that parents want to teach us that if we see behavior that is opposite to what we aim to live, then we should force ourselves away from that person or persons who lead that lifestyle. Similarly, landlords aim at finding the best tenants who will pay their rent on time and treat their building and fellow tenants with due respect. When either of these things become questionable, the landlord seeks to evict that questionable tenant, with hopes of finding one that better suites the desires of the landlord. Now, when Jesus gets a hold of our heart and invites us to let Him in, He teaches us in His Word how it is that He wants us to live so that He might be best represented, so that other non-repentant sinners may be wooed into the Kingdom. So we start to spend a lot of time around church, and with fellow believers, so that we may grow from each other’s strength and encouragement. But what happens when a ‘bad apple’ finds their way into our fellowship? I believe that our Scripture perfectly supports the very old proverb that says ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’! You see, Christians have become so accustomed to ‘loving like Jesus’, that we tend to forget that an important part of loving is to also discipline those who are about to ‘spoil the whole bunch’. In our parents home, if they don’t discipline bad behavior or otherwise breaking their rules, then our siblings quickly catch on to the fact that the rules set by our parents are not really intended to be followed seriously. All of a sudden we see children grow into maturity and expect to view the rules established by police and community leaders in much the same, lax way. Dear friends, I am convinced that there is nothing more serious than us trying to please our Heavenly Father. In Deuteronomy 17:7, the Israelites were told by God that when they discover ‘one bad apple’, they are to rid themselves of that evil. Paul quoted that Scripture to the church in Corinth as he taught them how to rid themselves of the evil that may come in their midst. I believe that for those who have been around for a while, we can look around and see where many standards have been lowered compared to what our ancestors understood from the Scriptures and tolerated in the church. I can only wonder what God might have to say to us on Judgment Day. Is He pleased with the way that we are interpreting His commands, and the little twists we are making to them in the name of politically correctness, or in the name of ‘love’? I believe that if we find reason to question our decision on some of these ‘evil’, controversial, or otherwise borderline things, then perhaps we need more time with God – on our knees and in His Word, until we are convinced that we are obedient to His will. When we question evil in someone else, the whole church may look back at us as also being imperfect. So let’s begin with getting ourselves better aligned with God’s perfect law, design, and will. If we are pleasing in God’s sight, then the same should carry over as we assume leadership in our churches and strive to rid them of evil.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: In obedience to God, we are often called to love one another. But at times, it also means disciplining, as needed. I believe that God will bless us when we do both of these things for His glory, and for no gain of our own.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the love that You extend to all your children – even during the times that You love us enough to discipline us. Please teach us daily to: love like You first loved us; judge honestly and fairly like we expect from You; always seek out the best in everyone; and to always present ourselves and Your church as holy in Your eyes, just as You are holy. Lord, You know how badly we fail in life, but thanks for Your forgiveness and strength to go on. May the people see Jesus evident in every fiber of our being, and therefore no condemnation for our failures already covered by Your precious blood. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!