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The Scriptorium

Salvation So Small

Glorify God even in the small stuff. 1 Corinthians 10.31-33

1 Corinthians 10 (6)

Pray Psalm 84.1-4.
How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Sing Psalm 84.1-4.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forevermore.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Read 1 Corinthians 10.1-33; meditate on verses 31-33.

1. What did Paul instruct the Corinthians to do?

2. When were they to do this?

The Corinthians had a twofold problem that was keeping them from becoming something more than babes in Christ. The first was that their view of faith was centripetal rather than centrifugal. God had reached them with His grace through Paul’s ministry, and so they assumed that being a Christian was all about them. My freedom. My needs. My group. Paul’s corrective was to explain that they were all together in the fellowship of Jesus and were partakers of Him. Their calling was to love one another and build one another up in Jesus, to deny their rights, set aside their freedoms, postpone their needs, and care for their brethren.

The other problem was that their salvation wasn’t small enough. They were saved. Great! They were forgiven and going to heaven! What a great and glorious promise! But the grace God showed them in Jesus is more than the promise of everlasting life then and there. It is also a promise of everlasting life now and here, and in all the small, quotidian matters that make up our daily lives.

To each of us God has given a full life each day: thoughts, experiences, work, conversations, preparations of various sorts, coming and going, eating and drinking. And in all these routine activities—“whatever you do”—we are to honor and glorify God (v. 31). We do so by being careful not to offend others in any of these matters (v. 32) and by seeking to please and benefit whomever God puts into our path (v. 33).

God uses all the small stuff of our lives to manifest His Presence, radiate a measure of His glory, channel His grace, and fill us with joy and pleasure in serving—in short, to fill our world with Jesus (Eph. 4.7-10). And we, like the Corinthians, must take up the challenge of ordering and conducting all our activities so that, by the power of grace and truth, grace and truth shine from us in everything we do. The people in our Personal Mission Field could be built up in the Lord, if only a little, or even come to a saving knowledge of Christ (v. 33), if we just lived our salvation as small as it is great.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
When we “live our salvation as small as it is great”, we will be imitating our heavenly Father, the majestic Creator of all things, Who does all things well (Mk. 7.37).

In His encounter with Elijah, who was busy hiding in a cave, God found him, to encourage and comfort him. First, God asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Then, He said to him, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” Then the LORDpassed by him. “And a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORDwas not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kgs. 19.9-12). Then God spoke with Elijah. The great and mighty God, Who created the wind and the earthquake and the fire, chose to minister to Elijah with a still small voice, because that was just what he needed.

God is calling us to minister in much the same way. We are told that whatever we do or say throughout the day, whether it is something large or small, all that we do is to glorify God. All of it (1 Cor. 10.31).

What a relief! We don’t have to be doing the grandiose to be a vessel that God can use moment by moment.

Conversely, we are warned, that those small things that we do can also be an offense to others (1 Cor. 10.32). So, we are to be mindful of our ways, and means, and doings, at all times. As Solomon wrote to his own son, “Hear…and be wise; and guide your heart in the way” (Prov. 23.19). And that way is Jesus. For He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14.6).

And Jesus came to earth so that we, and all other sinners, could be saved. And we follow His leadership, and we listen to and do Paul’s words: Don’t seek your own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved (1 Cor. 10.33). Because that is the long and short of it, that is the beginning and the end—the end all be all of our existence—to do all to the glory of God, so that others may be saved.

In all the great and small ways—for God cares about the details of our lives.

For reflection
1. What “small things” does God have in store for you today?

2. How can you prepare right now so that you use these small things for His glory?

3. When you review your day before retiring, do you thank and praise the Lord for the small things He has given you to do? Would doing so help you to realize the potential of the small things in your life for glorifying God? Explain.

In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honoring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10.31-33

Pray Psalm 84.5-12.
Pray that God will give you strength for your journey today, so that you will glorify Him in all the details of your life, be they ever so small.

Sing Psalm 84.5-12.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O LORD above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

LORD of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
LORD, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help you see both the greatness and the smallness of God’s salvation. Such a Great Salvation and Small Stuff will show you how to think small, live big, and know the salvation and glory of God in all your daily life. You can learn more about these books and order your copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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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 Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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