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Freedom and Confidence

Daily Reading: 1 Corinthians 11

Scripture Focus: Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11.27-28)

Devotional Thought: I serve communion monthly in the church I pastor. The Nazarene Manual stipulates that I serve it at least quarterly. I have friends who observe the sacrament weekly. Weekly, monthly, or quarterly, there is the danger that we will fall into habit as we partake of the Lord's Supper - that we will fail to realize and appreciate the significance of the act.

The Lord's Supper is an act of faith and grace. Faith on our part, grace on God's part. It brings to us spiritual life and strength. We should be conscious of that fact whenever we eat and drink it.

Paul told the Corinthians that they were not to eat and drink in "an unworthy manner." To do so would be to desecrate the body and blood of the Lord Jesus! But, what is "an unworthy manner"? Beacon Bible Commentary says this: "The adverb unworthily refers to a balancing of weights and so means 'of unequal weight' or 'improperly balanced.' The attitude of the person does not balance with the importance of the occasion. If a person partakes of the Lord's Supper in a light and frivolous manner, without reverence and gratitude, or while indulging in sin, or while manifesting bitterness against a fellow believer, he is partaking unworthily" (p. 420).

But, we are not turned away from the Table in despair. Paul says to examine ourselves and then to eat and drink. In other words, search our hearts, confess our sin, and receive the grace of God. I want that kind of freedom and confidence at the Table!

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your body which was broken for me and your blood which was shed for me. Help me to live confidently in your grace. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 23 Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; 24 they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. 25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. 26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; 27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. 28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! (Psalms 107:23-31)

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