3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.
– 2 Cor. 11:3 NLT
Paul continues to warn the Corinthians about impurities in the church. These warnings apply to us in today’s society as well. In the first century, the people had gods of every description. They built temples in honor of them and offered sacrifices to them. Everyone did what was right in their own minds. We have the same thing happening In our society. We are conditioned to be tolerant of the beliefs of others. While this is good from a worldly viewpoint, it leaves us open to hearing false teachings and to being bullied by those who don’t believe this. But the down side of tolerance is that we get used to whatever we are being tolerant toward. Once we do that, we lose the ability to see it as the enemy of Jesus. Then we are open to accepting a “new” revelation, a “new: gospel and yes, a “new” Jesus. The deceptions blind us to the truth. There is only one way to heaven. That has always been true, is true today and will be true forever.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6
We must be alert and diligent to keep those teachers and teachings from being taught in our congregations. These people who sneak in and try to pervert the pure Gospel have a place reserved for them in eternity.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. — Jude 12, 13
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
34 Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction.35 Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them. — Joshua 8:34, 35 NLT
After God had given Jericho and Ai into Joshua’s hands, Joshua built an altar of uncut stones on Mount Ebal. There, they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar just as Moses had commanded them to do. Then Joshua read every word of every command that Moses had ever given to them. This was done in the presence of the entire assembly of Israel including all of the foreigners. Moses had written five books that contained approximately 124,910 words (depending on the version you use). At an average of 200 words per minute, this was almost an eleven hour reading. The building of the altar, the offering of the sacrifices and the reading of the scrolls was quite a lengthy service. This kind of devotion to God is what prepared the people for the southern military campaign. Perhaps, it is time for our country to take a break and worship God in this manner.
To be successful in the battles of this world, both natural and spiritual, we need the strength that only comes from the Lord. If each of us committed to spending a day in prayer, worship and thanking God for our country, then perhaps God would take those sparks and start a wildfire of praise that would envelop the whole country.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. — James 5:16 NIV
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.—1 Cor. 7:32-35 NIV
Paul continues to tell the Corinthians and us that the fewer concerns we have in this world, the more time we can devote to God. Again, Paul is not saying that we should never get married. He is reminding us that for a marriage to work, it takes a huge investment of time and caring. He even goes so far as to tell us how to do that in Ephesians 5. The spouses must be as devoted to each other as Jesus is to the church. But the deeper question I see here is this: If you weren’t married, would we spend any more time with the Lord? The same is true of riches and possessions, those can take us away from God. It appears the point Paul is making is that if you are not entangled in the cares of the world, you are freer to go if God says “go”. If our hearts are set on loving God, we will make time to do that regardless of our situation. God wants us to love and serve Him in every situation and He makes a way for each of us to do that. He wants us to depend on Him to take care of our concerns.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.–Psalm 55:22 NIV
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.–1 Peter 5:6,7 NIV