1 Corinthians 9
Paul limits his freedom for the sake of other Christians.
Spiritual maturity is not a product of human effort. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit, not of self-effort. Yet God will not grant spiritual maturity to us unless we are striving for it. Paul says, "I run . . . not with uncertainty. I fight . . . not as one who beats the air. I discipline my body . . . " in pursuit of spiritual goals (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). The reality is that few of us have the spiritual passion to equal the temporal passion of the unsaved. It is a challenge to care about the same things God cares about-a challenge we must accept!
Praise God that His work of sanctification continues in your life:
May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's;
But the earth He has given to the children of men.
The dead do not praise the Lord,
Nor any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
"Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother" (Zechariah 7:9-10).
As you confess your sins, pray this affirmation to the Lord:
I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation. (Psalm 118:21)
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:15-16)