My mom and I went to the Seahawks vs. Texans game last Sunday. If you like football this was a game to watch. In the entire history of the NFL there have only been six games where both teams had four passing touchdowns and over 400 yards gained. Crazy high score.
On the Seahawks side of the ball we had some issues. Defense wasn't holding. The offensive line was - um - poor. Our running game was terrible. So terrible in fact all of our running weapons had a combined negative yardage. Except our quarterback. Russell Wilson was quite simply phenomenal.
The book of 1st Corinthians was written to a church in division. The believers in Corinth had issues. They were fighting over who to follow, how to worship, what to eat, and all the rules about sex. Sound familiar? The apostle Paul had a message for the church. Get it together. Follow Jesus.
He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1: 8-9
With only a couple of minutes before the game was over, Seattle was down by 4 points. For you non-football readers this mean we had to score a touchdown or we would lose. No tie was possible. Wilson was scrambling around, making plays, basically saving his team all on his own. Then he threw an interception. Visions of a painful Super Bowl loss bounced around the stadium. People around us hung their heads. Lots of people left.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. I Corinthians 1:10
Some of the book of Corinthians frustrates me. I'm not crazy about the verses about women's hair or women in church. I've learned something over the years though. When I am most annoyed or angry about a verse that's where I should probably spend some time. Its possible I've got a stubborn heart or a rebellious spirit. No way should God tell me what to do with my hair, my voice, my body. But when I slow down, read the whole story in context I find God whispers truth to my heart. I am greatly beloved. He created me. He saved me. He does in fact have the right to speak into my life. My choices. My body. If you are feeling bitter or angry or hard toward the Bible or your fellow believers- if your temptation is to hang your head and walk away - hang in there.
I have the right to do anything, you say, but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. I Corinthians 10: 23-24
When I was a teenager, every Wednesday night I attended care groups. We'd play a few games and then settle into a circle to talk about our week and pray for each other. Every single week we'd read 1st Corinthians 13. The love chapter. Love is patient. Love is Kind. Without Love you are nothing. On Sundays and other times we studied other parts of the Bible but on Wednesday nights every week we read about Love. I think the point was that Love was the filterer all the rest of it. When you get sideways with God and wonder where your faith fits try circling back to the love.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 2, 4-7
With two minutes to go, Seattle's defense did what they'd been unable to do all day. They held the line. Three and out. We had the ball again. And Russell Wilson - the leader - he moved the ball 80 years in three plays and under a minute. You should have seen that team hustle. They were out of time outs, out of chances. They pulled together with their quarterback and scored. The stadium erupted. Cheers and high fives. Rocking energy.
Down the aisle from where we sat I overheard a phone call. "Hey, we're in the car, we left after that awful interception. What happened". "Oh man! You missed the whole game!! We won!" This guy had given up before the game was over and missed one of the most exciting comebacks ever played.
Listen, I tell you a mystery; We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the winkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed...Where O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15: 51,52, 55-57
Here's the deal. Football is fun. Doesn't really matter. But life? Your marriage, your kids, your faith? This game has eternal value. Don't walk out with two minutes to go because you're frustrated with the details. Hold the line. We follow a leader who has already won. His weapon was love.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Love! and Weddings! And way more. Check out The Bible Project's walk through in Read Scripture.
New Spring Church produces these infographics and Bible studies which go in detail through the book. Great free resource. Free is good. Quality Free is fantastic.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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