Todays readings.. Exodus 38, Psalms 100&101, 1Corinthians 8&9


    Love is, above all, an active quality; genuine love causes us to do things: it is a motivation from the heart.  The things love causes us to do are not things we do out of a sense of obligation, occasions when we say, “I suppose I had better …”

    We meditated on this as we read the start of 1 Corinthians Ch. 8.  Verse 3 tells us, “But if anyone loves God, he (or she) is known by God.”  When God, who sees all things through his spirit (Psalm 139), knows our professions of love for him are genuine – we are “known by God.”   But this is more than a one sided sense of knowing, to truly know God results in a two-way relationship. David’s Psalms show this, we read this morning, “Know that the LORD, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his” [100 v.3]

    We read a few days ago in Exodus, “Moses said to the LORD … you have said, ‘I know you by name … therefore if I have found favour in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you …” [Ch.33 v.12,13]  Knowing God comes through living and therefore working for and with him and knowing his ways; this produces the end result – the wonder of the realization that we are “working together with him” [2 Cor. 6 v.1].

    The great wonder of this, Paul told the Corinthian, is to realize that “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.” [1 Cor. 10 v.13]  Many believers in Corinth experienced temptations to continue to enjoy the fleshly advantages of “fellowship” in the idol temples and the feasting on the food that had been offered to the idols.  In human ways of thinking this food was special having been blessed by Temple priests: we have seen this happening in Indian temples.

    It is not difficult to see the modern equivalents, especially in prosperous countries in the things that the masses idolize.  In Corinth athletic sports were idolized, it is no different today; the spectators idolize those who perform successfully – and are idolised.  Paul’s pointed comment is – “Every athlete exercises self-control … they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” [1 Cor. 9 v.25]

Paul tells believers, “So run that you may obtain it … I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” [v.24,27]

    We can say that the ‘oil’ which ‘lubricates’ all our understanding and ways of thinking and resultant efforts to “run” effectively – isour love for God and our awareness that we are “known” by God.  The foundation for this is the extent to which we “know” – in our hearts – his word.