Reflection March 29

 

 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.  I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.           1 Corinthians 10:12-17

 

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

A stern warning:  convicting me in the past, continuing to invoke fear and awe in me, bringing verses to mind:

                Proverb 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

                Proverb 27:21 “The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a man is tested by the praise accorded him.”

                Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Seth preached:  Do I seek to be seen? By others? By God?

As others praise me, for my gifts, strengths, talents, abilities I am tested. Will I succumb to pride or will I be humble? As others praise me am I drawn to please others rather than God?

When our hearts are tested by the praise of men, when we are tempted to stand on our own, let us humble ourselves before the One who gives us grace and His Holy Spirit to be able to humble ourselves. Tozer says, “The humble spirit is that childlike, Christlike temper, which is exclusively the effect of the almighty power of God upon the heart.”

When temptations to stand come, God “will provide the way of escape.” Ryrie calls it literally “the way out.” Will I take it? Will I heed the injunction of Paul:  “flee from idolatry”? The Amplified Bible says “shun – keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be – any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).” Am I purposeful in fleeing? The Message says, “So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.”

With whom do I commune? “I am a companion of all those who fear Thee,” Psalm 119:63.

The Message says “Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is.” We share His blood and body when we share communion:  “For we [no matter how] numerous we are, are one body, because we all partake of the one Bread [the One Whom the communion bread represents].” (1 Cor 10:17 Amplified)

We are one body.  Ephesians 4:15-16 says “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

Communion. Google defines it not only as “the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared” but secondly as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Communion has its origin in the word “common.”

We are common people.

We share Christ in common.

Might it be common for us to humbly share and love deeply during Lent and beyond.

Pride vs. humility.

“In the character of a Christian, humility is the one thing needful. Where this is wanting, all is wanting.” (Tozer)

“all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

Lori Nowack

Harvest