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Are You Recognizable?

Daily Reading: 1 Corinthians 4

Scripture Focus: We are fools for Christ's sake… we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless… When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (1 Corinthians 4:10, 11-13)

Devotional Thought: Being a Christian is not easy. Paul's life demonstrated that for the Corinthians. His life makes our lives seem simple by comparison! If he was not completely confident in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, he would never have endured the lifestyle that went along with proclaiming the gospel – persecution, beatings, mocking, hunger, thirst, imprisonment, exile, and loneliness – to name a few. It is one of the many compelling evidences of the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. People were so utterly convinced of it that they were willing to lay down their lives to defend it.

Paul's message to the Corinthians was basically, "If you are comfortable as a Christian, you are probably not doing it right!" If we are doing it right, the world will think we are fools; we will be emotionally persecuted and maybe even physically persecuted for our faith. The world will see us as “scum... refuse” (v13). What marks us as believers? “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat.” This runs counter to the way most people live their lives, and the world despises it even as they are drawn to it, as the conviction cuts to their very God-created core.

Do those around us recognize us for what we are? Do we have the faith to lay down our own pride, comfort, and rights -to trade them for humility, persecution, and deference to others? Paul entreated the Corinthians to imitate him. He was not perfect, but he was demonstrating to them what it looked like to "lose your life to gain it" (Matt. 16:25). Let this be our prayer for our own hearts, that we would be willing to lose everything for the sake of Jesus.


Prayer: Lord, help us to desire you more than comfort, more than riches, more than pride. Give us the grace to be humble servants to others, reflecting the light of your love to the world around us.

Psalm of the Day: 44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. 45 For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive. 47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD! (Psalms 106:44-48)

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