Showing posts with label I Corinthians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I Corinthians. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Remembering Christ At All Meals

The food and drink that we consume daily are not the true life through which Christians survive, though we need them to keep our dying bodies alive for this short period on earth. When we allow any meal that we take to represent The Communion or The Eucharist, we are acknowledging that our daily, entire lives are found in Jesus Christ.

We are remembering that we live and have our nourishment through him whom God has appointed as the only Savior of mankind. As many times as we eat daily, it can be a sacred event where we take a moment to recognize Christ.
When we acknowledge Communion in this way, our daily meals become a representation of the eternal life of the soul, which each Believer has obtained through the shed blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It also gives us many more opportunities to remember God's beloved Son.
Choosing to remember Christ at all meals does not need to replace the formal ritual of taking Communion with our churches or ministries. It can be an additional, Holy way to submerge ourselves daily in Christ, to walk in the Spirit more often.

I believe that Jesus meant that whenever food and drink passes our lips, remember Him, until he comes back for us. How blessed it can be to remember Him that often!

I Corinthians 11:23 

Other names for The Communion or Eucharist are The Sacrament, The Lord's Supper, The Last Supper, Holy Communion, Blessed Sacrament and Sacrament of the Altar.

Allowing each meal that we take to be a reminder to remember Christ Jesus, His sacrifice for us and that we live through Him.

Thoughts on the traditional, formal, infrequent taking of The Communion.









Sunday, January 30, 2022

Proclaim The Lord's Death Till He Comes

 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the new church, that he had founded at Corinth, the message for all of us today, that we should proclaim the Lord's death till he comes. (I Corinthians 11:23) He is reminding us all of what took place in that upper room when Jesus had his last meal with his Disciples. 

Jesus was telling them that whenever they had a meal, to remember that though He died in the flesh He was coming back again. He was saying let your eating and drinking of sustenance be a reminder that I was resurrected and I am returning to resurrect those who have died and rapture (change) those who are still alive on the earth at that time.

What does proclaim mean? It can mean to claim and act as if. It can mean to affirm. When we choose to claim the belief that Christ is coming back, we act everyday as if we know that he is. By our actions of taking a moment to remember him when we eat and drink, we affirm that we believe Jesus is alive and coming back.

When we choose that every meal that we take will be a reminder and proclamation of Christ's resurrection and return, we then have more opportunities to remember Christ. What about the Eucharist? What about Communion?

There is nothing wrong with practicing these formal procedures and traditions. Churches, ministries and Christian groups do it differently. Some have group Communion once a week, some once a month, some occasionally, some at special events. Some use grape juice and I imagine that some use fermented or alcoholic drink because they feel that they are being true to ancient, middle-eastern tradition.

Some use crackers, some use bread. Some insist on unleavened bread and other types of baked goods. There is no perfect way that Jesus meant for us to remember him when we eat and drink. 

If we take it the way that Jesus meant it, we will find ourselves with daily opportunities to remember him. That will be many more chances than if we recognize only formal Communion services.

When we only embrace the Eucharist events, we have a tendency to forget about Christ until the next Eucharist. It's as if we are being told that this is the only valid time that we can formally honor the resurrection and return of Our Savior.

In the Upper Room, Jesus Christ was giving each person a way to remember him everyday, as often as they each ate, whether they were together or not. If they ate together, fine. If they ate alone, fine. If they ate with a group of Christians, fine. If they ate with their families, fine.

I take Communion by myself at home whenever I remember or am inspired to and with whatever I have. I don't feel that I have to have a certain bread, cracker or drink to make it valid. My heart is valid before God. 

I am also training myself to remember, whenever I sit down to eat a meal, that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was resurrected from his death, is at the right hand of my Father God and is returning for me one day soon, whether I have died or am alive.



  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Evaluating Our Relationships

It is critical to our growth in the Lord that we associate ourselves with people who uplift us. At the end of a conversation with someone, if we exit feeling down, disturbed and not quite right, we should be wary and watch closely. If this happens consistently, something is wrong.

It doesn't matter if we are praying for that person, always lifting them up and trying to be a Godly example and inspiration to him or her. If we don't feel elevated and at peace at the end of any encounter with them, our growth in God will be hindered. We hear the following statement often and we should take it more to heart. Some people we will need to love and pray for from afar.

How often do we ignore this truth in the name of being good Christians? We are good Christians when we attend to our own advancement in the Lord first, at all costs. We are good Christians when we guard our hearts with all diligence. Our Father does want us to come to him with broken spirits and broken and contrite hearts but not through being ignorant about our detrimental relationships with others.

There is no doubt about it; we need to discuss with God if we should be closely associated with these types of persons. The ones whom we need to love and pray for from afar are the very persons who drain our spirits, depress us and prey upon us, whether purposely or unintentionally. It is difficult to deny these people access to our lives when they continually burden us with the same conversations, the same complaints and the same attitudes.

When we realize, however, that they never take our Godly advice and that they never do what we suggest to resolve their own issues, it becomes clear that our relationships with God are being eroded through our relationships with them. They are toxic relationships, a form of being unequally yoked. If we persist in the belief that we are slowly influencing them and that we are long-suffering for good, then we need to think long and hard and often about the wisdom of that train of thought. 

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits. (I Corinthians 15:33)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (I Corinthians 5:6)

We have to also be sure that WE are uplifting to others. If we are critical of them, unfairly judgemental, always oppressive, non-receptive to learning from them, bearers of bad reports, complainers, holier-than-thou, etc., then maybe we should be removed from their lives through their own recognition of the truth. It works both ways. 

If we ask, God will give us seeing eyes and hearing ears to honestly evaluate our relationships so that we can walk in the light. The purity of our close associations is paramount to maintaining and strengthening our connection to God. Healthy relationships inspire and motivate us to higher heights in Christ Jesus.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)





Monday, October 26, 2020

What Is My Ministry Or Spiritual Gift?

Christians With Various Spiritual Gifts
As A Christian You Are An Important Member Of The Body

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and explained how the Spirit of God give various gifts and ministries to each Christian, it was not an all-inclusive list. I Corinthians 12:8-10 is an example list. It includes some of the personalities, talents and strengths that each of us may have. It is a short list outlined to help us to appreciate who we are and our own unique abilities as God has blessed us.

Many churches preach this list as the ordained and exact gifts of the Spirit, persuading many to feverishly search for theirs. Some teach that all of us have them in one form or another. This prompts some Christians to adopt one, deceiving themselves and others. Others promote them as motive gifts and say that we have one of them or none at all, leaving many Christians feeling inadequate and deficient.

Paul was ministering in the synagogue and founding what was to become a powerful and vibrant church. In listing possible abilities, he gave a sampling of the various talents that we each are blessed with. The Holy Spirit is not limited to this 9-point list so please don't feel coerced to fit yourself in to validate your relationship with God. There are more gifts, varieties and combinations.

To the question what is my motivation gift, I say get to know yourself. Learn what your  substance is, what motivates you, what activities fulfill you. What are you inclined towards? What do you feel compelled to do? It will be irresistible. Sometimes people will tell you over and over what you excel in. Stop brushing it off. If you find that your inclination is not listed in I Corinthians 12:8-10, please don't despair. That list is just an example.

You still fit in because your unique capacity, whatever it is, is a gift from God. Grow in it through the Holy Spirit who lives in you. God himself will make a place for it where you can thrive and be appreciated. As Paul said, you are, after all, an important member of the body. There are diversities of gifts, ministries and activities.


 

     

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

How To Take Communion In Faith

I was reading I Corinthians 11:23-34 this morning and taking Communion. I began to think about the burdens that Christians put on each other about the Eucharist. The scriptures 27-33 seem to some to mean that we must go over, recount and acknowledge our sins before we can take part in the Lord's Supper. While it can be helpful to clear our minds of ill will, we can't ensure, through a few quick thoughts, that we are perfect.

In verses 28-29 we are encouraged to discern the Lord's body as we take Communion. We are to perceive that Christ's sacrifice on the Cross cleansed us from unrighteousness. We are to recognize that He is at the right hand of the Father always intervening on our behalf. When we remember, at the time of Communion, that the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is able to cover our transgressions, past, present and future, we have discerned the Lord's body. These are thoughts that we should enjoy daily.

We can read the Bible daily and pray with sincerity so that the cleansing power of prayer and the transformational power of the Word is continually converting us. This will help us to exist in a state of discerning the body of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Take Communion with faith. Don't be afraid.

 


 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Charity From The Heart & Soul



Today I decided to read my old favorite scripture passage, I Corin 13. I think it is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. It opens like a great play or an outstanding opera, a magnificent pronouncement that swiftly reprimands and then immediately elevates. I can't read it without feeling lofty and so uplifted and inspired, with a new desire to feel and exude God's type of love towards self and others.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.

Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes in all things, endures all things. Charity never fails: but where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are tongues, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall vanish away.

We think of charity as the cutesy little song "Have faith, hope and charity. That's the way you live successfully. How do I know the Bible tells me so, the Bible tells me so!" Then we learn that charity means love. Maybe that is why organizations that help those in need are called charities. How can you reach out and give to others of yourself, your time and your money without having love for the recipients?


The Merriam-Webster online dictionary  shows the well-known meanings of charity:
  • generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering,
  • aid given to those in need,
  • benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.
The definition shown there that I think is most significant, and upon which the others are able to operate, is this:
  • lenient judgment of others.
In order to reach out and give to others we begin by choosing to think favorably upon their situations, their behaviors and their lives. We develop a considerate and forgiving spirit towards any offenses from them. We choose to believe that no matter who they are, what they are or how they arrived at where they are, they are worthy of our ministrations. They may not have taken our routes in life or think and believe like us, but they are worthy of our charity.

We should do better at remembering ourselves, as well. Often we strive to learn to love others unconditionally, but forget about ourselves. We should remember that true, pure, God-centered love is an outpouring of what is inside and a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. That other well-known saying that most of us have grown up on is charity begins at home.

Our first home is our heart and soul, that inner dwelling from which all thoughts and actions originate. We are worthy of our own charity, first of all. When we work with God to turn charity inwards, what we give will be untainted by unreliable, fleshly origins. It will be pure, true and long-lasting, and overflow and spill over to all in our paths, like rivers of living waters.

If you would like to give to yourself the greatest charity that exists, which is to be sure that you are Saved, say this simple prayer:

Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only Savior. Come into my heart, and save me. I was born in sin and you died for me so that I can know God and not be blamed anymore. Thank you for my new life. Show me the way to understand and turn away from bad things. I don't have to fear death anymore, and thank you for Eternal Life. Amen 







Sources:
Bible scriptures: KJV paraphrased (old English endings on words have been dropped)
Word definitions:  Merriam-Webster online dictionary