1 Corinthians 7 (4)
Pray Psalm 72.7-11.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
Sing Psalm 72.7-11.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures;
let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more.
And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low;
let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do.
Read 1 Corinthians 7.1-31; meditate on verses 25-31.
1. Of what is Paul trying to spare the Corinthians?
2. Why should we not be concerned about worldly needs?
Paul counseled contentment here, hoping to show the Corinthians how to keep from being bogged down and overwhelmed by concerns that are more worldly than spiritual.
This comes back to his previous teaching about calling. Those who are unmarried should not be frantic to marry, but learn contentment. Those who are married must not seek to be “loosed” from their vows, but serve the Lord from within their calling. Marriage is good if God calls you to it (v. 28). Paul’s guiding concern is that his readers not become entangled in fleshly snares because they have not made God’s calling their defining priority.
At the same time, he does not want people to lose sight of the fact that “the time is short”, so that they postpone their work of serving the Lord and seeking His Kingdom. In all our work—all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities—we must make the most of our time for the Kingdom and glory of God. The enigmatic way Paul phrases this in verses 29-31 is just another way of encouraging readers to keep focused on Christ and His calling rather than become caught up in, distracted by, and worn out with chasing worldly forms and priorities. Keep your Kingdom calling as primary, and everything else will fall into place, just as Jesus promised (Matt. 6.33).
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There is an urgency to the Christian life that, if ignored, is to our own peril.
Jesus said, “Behold, I AM coming quickly…My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work…Surely I AM coming quickly” (Rev. 22.7, 12, 20).
Paul said, “…the time is short…the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor. 7.29, 31).
Peter said, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…therefore since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…?” (2 Pet. 3.8-11)
The psalmist wrote, “I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments” (Ps. 119.60).
Moses said, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90.12).
John said, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev. 1.3).
We have been given work to do in our Personal Mission Field. We must be faithful to do that work daily, for truly, we do not know how many days we have, or how many are left for the world as we know it. That is God’s business and His prerogative. But even so, urgency seems to have been at the heart of the work of Jesus, Peter, Paul and all the saints of the past.
Perhaps we should take a hint from them and get urgent about our Kingdom calling?
1. What does it mean for you to be content in your calling?
2. What does it mean for you to be urgent about fulfilling your calling?
3. If we are content and urgent in the calling God has appointed for us, what can we expect from Him?
That condition of life is best for every man, which is best for his soul, and keeps him most clear of the cares and snares of the world. Let us reflect on the advantages and snares of our own condition in life; that we may improve the one, and escape as far as possible all injury from the other. And whatever cares press upon the mind, let time still be kept for the things of the Lord. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7.25-35
Pray Psalm 72.15-19.
Thank God for your calling in life, all aspects of it, and call on Him to provide for all your needs as you seek His Kingdom and righteousness this day.
Sing Psalm 72.15-19.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right;
let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night.
And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim;
and may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name.
Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs.
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forevermore!
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter, available by clicking here.