Psalm 119:1-88 1 Corinthians 7:20-40
“You all were bought at a great price, so do not become slaves of people.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NCV)
In the midst of the discussion about marriage, Paul discussed our status in society. Then, he went on to give advice about those who were single. When you look at 1 Corinthians 7 in context, there’s one theme that runs through the passage, how can you best serve the Lord. If you’re married, stay married – there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re single, stay single – you may have an advantage as you serve the Lord. If you were a slave, gain your freedom in life if you could, but realize that even though you may have been a slave to a man, you were free in the Lord. Were you free when you came to Christ? You needed to remember that you’re a slave of Christ. Whatever your situation, you were bought at a great price: the precious blood of Jesus. Don’t become slaves to people in any way: debt, fashion, employment, etc. If you seek to please people, you’ve enslaved yourselves to them. If you seek to honor God, you’re showing your freedom in Christ.
We live in a trouble-filled world. It’s easy to get caught up when those troubles hit. We get a medical diagnosis that shakes our faith, like cancer. We get tragic news about family members. We deal with idiots at work – either coworkers or customers. The car has a flat. We’re running late and run into a traffic jam. We don’t know where our next meal is coming from. We’re not sure how to get clean water for our family. Some of those concerns are first world problems, others are third world problems, and still others are universal. The cliché answer to why we go through those troubles is disturbing, even if you’ve read Job. It would be easy to give in when those troubles hit and, as Job’s wife advised, “curse God and die.” Whatever troubles we go through, though, God stays with us. He comforts, strengthens, and encourages us. He made an amazing investment in us when He paid the penalty for our sin with the blood of Jesus. Troubles may come, but the should never drive us into a desire to be accepted by people. When troubles come, they should drive us into the arms of our loving God. Whatever our situations may be, we have a common call: to honor God where we are and show His love and grace to others.
Oh Lord, I’ve tried to escape from where you’ve put me a few times. I wanted to change my status or location because of what people thought or because of my own desires. Remind me of how much You love me right where I am. Remind me of the price You paid for me. Let me be obedient to Your love and share that love wherever I am.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved