SOAP 11.9.10

But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!
1 Corinthians 6:6

This ties in closely with my SOAP from yesterday. Paul is again observing how believers are treating each other. In this passage he is talking about believers bringing lawsuits up against each other. In this day in age, everything is done with a contract and with a lawyer because people are afraid of getting ripped off or getting sued. In the early church, it doesn’t seem too far off. I think the heart of the issue is not the lawsuits in and of themselves but really how do we treat others believers and nonbelievers. As followers of Christ do we treat others with kindness, respect, integrity and selflessness? Or we out to get ours; make sure no one messes with us. The most important part of this verse is the last part and this in front of unbelievers. Paul was greatly concerned with how this looked to the outside world. Just like yesterday with unity: the world understands anger, dysfunction, cheating and greed. Why continue to give them something they expect? Let’s treat everyone with integrity and walk in unity with fellow believers. When it gets difficult and we feel hurt or disagree with someone, let’s have the guts to work it out together not put our grievance on display for the whole world to see.

I must continue to seek integrity first in the way I do things. May I say what I do, do what I say and do the right thing. It makes everything else so much easier. I will continue to challenge myself to follow God in being an example of Christ to a world that does not understand but greatly needs Him.

Lord,
Thank you for your word that is challenging and continues to cut deep to my heart. Help me to walk with integrity and treat others with kindness and respect. Help me to see them the way you see them. Help me to have the grace and godly confidence required to have fierce and necessary conversations with other people. Lord I pray that the way I live my life would be an example of your love and sacrifice. Bless my marriage and family. Bless Grace Church. Provide for your church and help us to be a source of love and blessing to our community. Bless Generation Grace. Continue to help us reach out to the young people of Clark County. I love you. Amen

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SOAP 11/6/10

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:3
But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back in those weak and miserable principles? Galatians 4:9

How I love Galatians! It must have been very difficult for one who had lived by the law for so long to live differently. Life for so long had been defined by what you could and could not do. Even hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is hard to give up your old patterns and ways. However, speaking from experience, how lonely and tiresome is it to try to do the works of faith without God. Paul seems confounded by the ability of the galatians to simply turn back to their old ways. How could you go back once you are known by Jesus? How could you go back after beginning with the spirit? Aren’t you aware that your human effort can only get you so far and usually with great effort and pain? Tradition and habit is powerful that way. As a believer, we need to continue to be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit and be aware that those who are newly saved come with a ton of baggage, history and habit.

For me, I am too far into this to be so foolish! Why is it so easy for me to try to attain my goal by my own effort? This is why daily devotions and getting to know God better is so important. I can read John Maxwell or Andy Stanley until I am blue in the face but I can’t become the leader I want to be without being in a relationship with God and knowing his word.

Lord,
I pray I would do things by the Holy Spirit and not by my own power. Help me to rely on you and not return to my old ways. Help me have compassion for others who are leaving their old habits and ways behind for a life for you. Thank you for your continued blessing in my life. Bless today. Help me to pour into a generation of young women. Amen.

Art for sermon graphic The Holy Spirit Comforter for the Uncomfortable: