Today’s readings.. (1 kings 18), (Jeremiah 44), (1 Corinthians 3)

How we respond to challenging events “will disclose the purposes of the heart” [1 Cor. 4 v.5] and reveal to our Lord – and to ourselves – if we are honest with ourselves – the real purposes, the real objectives that dominate our minds.  The Bible contains numerous examples of this and we read several today.
Elijah challenges Ahab and the prophets of Baal!  They had served Baal for the fleshly benefits they believed they were getting. Yet there were those who remained faithful to the Almighty and Obadiah had hidden and fed a hundred in a cave “because he feared the Lord greatly” [1 Kings 18 v.3]  Elijah had maintained a full conviction of faith – and even for him, his convictions faltered as we will read tomorrow – resulting in a valuable lesson.
Elijah challenged them all on Mt Carmel, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” [v.21]  What a lot of such “limping” there is today!   Opinions, but not convictions achieved by having real godly “purposes of the heart.”
Jeremiah in Egypt confronts those who have gone there, they also had “limped” between two different ways of thinking – and therefore of acting. They said to him, “We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven …” [44 v.25] Their reasoning was that “since they left off making offerings to the queen of heaven … we have lacked everything …” [v.18] This is another example of ‘limping’ between opinions – with no “purposes in the heart” other than seeing how their material needs could be satisfied.
In Paul’s words to the Corinthians we read, “I brothers could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk not solid food, for you were not ready for it.  And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh …”  [3 v.1-3]  How many of us are ready for the “solid food” of Scripture?   Reflect on the context of our opening quotation – it is when “the Lord comes who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.  Then each one will receive his (or her) commendation from God.”  The Lord is just about at the door!
There is conflict in Corinth and Paul urges them “that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written …” [v.6]  That is ideal advice for us too – and to behave accordingly – with conviction – having grown beyond being infants – also – not faltering between opinions- because, when “the Lord comes …” he “will disclose” all.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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