1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!–1 Cor. 6: 1-6 NIV
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Can you imagine what it would be like to attend a congregation where everyone agreed to take their complaints against each other to the congregation and accept their decision? Wouldn’t this be a good example for the world to see? Paul says we should be able to judge the trivial things ourselves. Anything short of salvation is trivial. Why do we ask the world to judge between us? Is it ego, greed, or revenge? Since we have access to heavenly wisdom, who could be wiser in judging than God’s children? We are all one family, the family of God. For us to ask the world to settle our disputes is somewhat like hanging out the family’s dirty laundry. The world is probably never going to recommend that we just forgive each other and move along since they look on humility and meekness with scorn. But that is exactly what the Holy Spirit recommends for members of the body.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.—Eph. 4:31,32 NIV
4 So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said, “No, you will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.” 9 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!”—John 13:4-9 (NCV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters?
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.–1 Cor. 3:10-15 (NASB)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Continuing our thoughts on building God’s Temple, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the foundation is laid, because He is the foundation. If we try to build on any other foundation, the storms and stresses of life will bring the house down. We must be careful in selecting the material we use to build on the foundation. If we build with world philosophies and religions, they will not stand and the work will be destroyed. But if we allow God’s Spirit to show us the materials and how to use them, then our work will stand. The gold, silver, and precious stones of our building will be faith, hope, and love. These three will abide forever. Anything less will not stand the test of time. If we build with these materials, the Temple will be decorated with the fruits of the Spirit:
22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.–Galatians 5:22-26 (NCV)
If we build with wood, hay, and straw, these would be such things as pride, greed, and hate, they will not stand the test of fire. The soul will be saved but it will be as if were snatched from the very jaws of death, barely escaping the fires of hell. Let us choose to live and walk after God’s Spirit and the example set by Jesus Christ.