Psalm 116-118 1 Corinthians 7:1-19
“It is not important if a man is circumcised or not. The important thing is obeying God’s commands.” (1 Corinthians 7:19 NCV)
How does God want us to live in light of the soon coming of Jesus? You may have asked yourself that question. The Corinthians did, and they started looking at every part of their lives to make sure that they were doing the right things. Marriage and the actions in marriage joined the questioning. Should people get, or stay, married. Should married people have sex or should they refrain? (I mean what if Jesus returned and …. You know?) Should unmarried people stay unmarried or can they get married? What do you do if you’re married to an unbeliever? Paul’s response in general was that they should keep living as normally as possible. Don’t make major changes. Then, it got back to circumcision, which is what Paul used to talk about people who worked on following the Law. If you were already circumcised, don’t try to go back to being uncircumcised, which would be an interesting trick. If you aren’t circumcised, don’t get circumcised. The important thing is obedience to God.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the questions Paul was dealing with came from one group of people in Corinth telling others what to do. People who were married probably weren’t asking these questions unless someone else had attacked them for being married and acting like married couples. People who were about to get married probably didn’t look at their fiancé and question whether or not they should get married in light of Jesus’s expected return, unless someone else they knew and respected goaded them. The problem with so many people is that rather than seeking God when they have a decision, they depend solely on the counsel of others. Then, when they get advice that they don’t like, they blame God. The key to living as a follower of Jesus Christ is to live as God’s called you to live. Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, God can use you if you listen to Him and are obedient. When you go through difficult times, God will use them to minister to others, if you’re obedient to Him. Whatever happened in the past can’t be changed – and Paul used the example of circumcision. All that matters is that we live in obedience to God. Whatever’s happened in your past, give it to God and let your current obedience to God make your past a doorway into the lives of people who need to know the love of God.
Lord, I’ve done so many things in the past that I regret. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for redeeming my past so that others can learn of Your love because of my sins and mistakes. Help me to live obediently from today forward.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved