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1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Click on this link to read the passage. You may select your preferred version of the Bible after the link opens.

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4

Whenever I read this passage I think of those Christians who have led me to a relationship with Jesus Christ. This list includes a variety of people, but among the most influential of these was a small group of Christian women who began a Bible study group in which I participated for many years. These women knew Jesus in such a personal way and were able to relate to him in any and all circumstances. They ministered to me through a very painful marriage and gave me the courage to go on.

As I re-read these scriptures I recognized the reason they were able to minister to me so well. It was because the grace of Jesus was so visible in their daily lives. They put their full trust in Him. They spent time with Him daily in prayer and Bible study. And they lifted one another up in prayer on a daily basis. God blessed us all with a fullness of His Spirit that we never could have manufactured on our own.

Re-read the entire passage and you will find that it isn’t about how wonderful the Corinthians were. It is about how wonderfully faithful God was to enrich them in every way. In my Bible study group, it wasn’t how wonderful the women were (although they truly were wonderful to me). But the full picture is about how wonderfully God worked in and through their lives and enriched and blessed us all.

Father God, help us to seek You with all our hearts. And keep us from getting big heads over our own spirituality. May we always remember that is is not about us, but all about You.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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     28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 

     31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:28-33 (NIV)

There is something about watching a house being built that thrills me. The design of the house, the way the walls are constructed with the stud skeletons inside… everything about it excites me as I anticipate the finished home.

I once observed someone building an addition to an old house they were fixing up as I rode to and from work each day. It was exciting to see the addition take shape and I was feeling so proud for the owners, whoever they were. But then the work stopped and weeks passed, months passed, and the plywood that had been nailed to the outside began to curl outward and the house turned into a great disaster. It was apparent that someone had failed to consider the cost, either in manpower or materials, and now what had started out to be so grand had turned into a major embarrassment to the builders.

Jesus doesn’t want his followers to begin something we won’t finish, especially when it comes to our walk with him. He tells us his “yoke is easy” (Matthew 11:30) but that is when we are walking in step with him. Are we willing to walk in step with him when the road gets rough? Or are we only fair-weather friends? As long as everything is comfortable and rosy for us we will follow, but when misfortune comes our way we hold God responsible for it and resist the yoke instead of trusting it. If we are going to be true disciples of Jesus, we must count the cost and rise above our circumstances by staying in step with Him.

Lord, help us to be totally surrendered to you. Let us count the cost and count it all Joy as we trust you to help us to weather the storms that may come our way. Let us rise to the challenge and share your word with others, regardless of the cost.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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