All Things Are Yours

1 Corinthians 3:19-23 

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


Territorial claims confused observers. To prove its territorial claim, a small country presented documents. But a bigger country ignored the small country and started claiming whatever may benefit them. And still other smaller countries came into the picture and claim that the disputed territory is part of their country. Everyone claims to have right and cannot agree who the right claimant should be.

How would you solve such confusing dispute? Unless they agree together of what they want to happen, peaceful solution is not very sure in the near future.

It teaches us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, 1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Provincial election is near. Politicians may have been knocking at your doors. We also have election of church leaders. Pray that God will grant wisdom to all elected government officials or church leaders. We want elected officials to have wisdom. Do you agree that it is not great situation to have foolish leaders?

1.  Foolish

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 

The term “foolishness” can be literally translated us “lacking sharpness or dull.” If you serve a presentable fruit arrangement, use sharp knife so that your effort would be appreciated. To use a knife that’s not sharp enough is not smart. The wisdom of the world is not sharp enough to accomplish godly purposes. Huh!

Worldly wisdom is limited to worldly use. To use worldly wisdom for godly purposes can never attain the godly standard of the Lord of Lords. Efforts that will be appreciated by the King of kings should be inspired by his Holy Spirit. Why?

When the Scripture declares that the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God, it implies about preferences of God; he prefers effort from godly wisdom. The crafty and shrewd behavior of this world is never godly; it can only achieve goals acceptable to the world but cannot accomplish godly objectives. Worldliness can satisfy the longing of humanity but the Lord prefers godliness.

As believers of Christ, we agree; we believe by faith that it’s accurately true.

Surely, not everyone can agree with this biblical statement that wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. So, why did Apostle Paul wrote that then?

Previously, Apostle Paul addressed the problem of division in the church of Corinth when they promoted their preferred leader whom they gave their loyalty. He wanted the Corinthians to be united. As believers of Christ, our goal is to be united and promote the mission purpose of God and not our personal preference. How? We need inspiration from the Holy Spirit to discern our mission purposes.

The Farmer Died!

There was a farmer who planted rice; when the rice was ripe for harvest, birds came and ate rice. So the farmer did everything he could to scare the birds away. The birds were very upset that they’re driven away by the farmer. Then one day, the birds learned that the farmer died; and they celebrated, danced and shouted with glee, “The farmer died. Nobody can scare us again!”

The following year, the birds were confused. They found no rice in the field. What happened to the rice? Why did the rice not grow? The farmer died, and no one planted rice in the field. The birds had no idea that the one who planted the rice that they supposed to enjoy was actually the farmer they hated so much.

Similarly, human cannot easily appreciate God and his commands. Worldly wisdom is limited to worldly goals but can never discern the purposes of God that produce eternal contentment. Worldly things can satisfy humanity but can never totally satisfy spiritual life. Worldly mindset promotes anything that originates from human instinct. In comparison, godly mindset is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Practically how do you explain on what it declares in Romans 1:21-22?

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

To know God, we have to rely upon his Holy Spirit and not on our instinct.

Practical results of personally knowing God are gratitude and worship of his glory.

If mindset is focused on worldliness and presumed that they know God, it’s futile. The Lord determines who truly trusts him and who has futile presumption.

2.  Futile

20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 

Is it futile that the wisdom of the world is limited only for temporary goals?

The thoughts of the wise in this world are polluted by human sinfulness; they can be useful for temporary satisfaction, but they fail to accomplish godly purposes.

What is your interpretation on what had been declared in Psalm 53:1-3? 1The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. 2God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Biblically, the foolish thinks, “There’s no God.” Then someone did not want to be called foolish; he wanted to be considered as wise. So he assumed that he could be wise if he declares that “There is God!” What do you think? Will such declaration make him wise in the eyes of God? In this generation of Social Media, fools gather numerous followers and subscribers who have similar mindset.

Wise believers thank God and glorify his name. God knows and bless them! Verbal declaration may express desire to know God, but if their lifestyle won’t practically exhibit gratitude to the Lord, it’s just foolish and futile presumption.

Our behavior should practically prove our practice of faith in the Lord.


The Ilokano behavior “Bain”  may have limited productivity of anyone who practise it. The Ilokano term “Bain” can be translated as “shy or shame!” But it depends on its use. It could be positive to be shy, if the person restraints himself politely, and not being shy also can be considered as vulgar or shameless.

A story was told about a mother and her child; they’re about to share one fish for dinner when suddenly, their pastor came for visit. The mother invited the pastor to eat. The pastor was not very shy; he accepted the invitation and ate.

The mother told her child that they will eat later after the pastor is finished. She assumed that the pastor could not eat all the fish. The child suspected that the fish was deliciously prepared, and the pastor could be tempted to eat all of it. As the pastor was eating, the child peeked behind the curtain and watched the pastor. After eating one side of the delicious fish, the pastor turned the fish over.

The child was horrified and exclaimed, “Mother, he flipped the fish!”

The pastor could be Ilokano and practices, “Awan bain bain no buksit ti mabisin!” Literally, “No shyness whatsoever if the stomach is starving!”

Many pastors have grown huge waistline because they love seafood. When they see food they eat! Pastors should practice not to visit during dinner time.

Well, unless there is invitation! Parishioners have no hesitation to invite pastors.

Surprise visit is not easily acceptable in the western world. One should give notice in advance. Anyway, being shy is not always productive. People who are shy may refrain from fellowship if they do not feel comfortable around anybody.

Do you know of someone who prefers not to attend fellowships because they are shy? They don’t feel comfortable when they assume that other believers may have higher expectation from them. Are you comfortable praying in a group? We’ve got to express our gratitude and praise to God more often privately.

Together, let’s reflect on what it declares in 1 Peter 2:9, 9You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Christians are chosen Royal Priesthood; we are expected to declare praises to God. The Lord blesses us practically so that we’ve got reasons to praise him. Several times, the Scripture repeated it that whoever put their hope in God and believe in his name will never be put to shame. Nothing can embarrass us praising God. Let’s meditate on what Isaiah 61:6-7 says, 6And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

We will praise God forever. And why do we praise God forever? We won’t just express praise for nothing; it’s not also because we are commanded to praise God. As practical motivation to express our gratitude and praise him forever, the Lord promised double portion and everlasting joy to us—priesthood of believers.

Material things can be very useful in this world. Some of you may have planned and prepared meticulously for brighter future. And the Scripture says, “All things are yours!” But, are you prepared for your eternal future in heaven?

3.  Future

21So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

What do you personally understand about this phrase, “All things are yours?” Does “All things are yours” imply material ownership or belonging?

The phrase, “All things are yours” can be translated as not separated: all things belong to us, not separated; we belong to Christ; Christ belongs to God. Our loyalty belongs to Christ alone and not to any Paul, Apollos, Cephas or things.

Together, let us meditate on what it declares in Romans 8:28-30, 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

The term, “All things” includes anything visible or invisible, great or small, significant or trivial, pleasant or unpleasant, as long as God deems it as useful to advance his kingdom in us, and anything beneficial for our spiritual growth as his temple. With that reality, we should always be prayerful with thankfulness, right? How should we personally practice trust in God? Have you tested your faith, yet?

Normally, it is assumed that Christians should behave properly, occasionally get involved in the ministry, attend worship services and Sunday school regularly, faithfully give the tithes of God and our offerings, and pray continually. If we did all those things, do you think that the Lord is completely pleased with us?

Turtle vs. Rabbit

            You’ve heard about the race when the turtle defeated the rabbit. There’s a video of the actual race. The rabbit ran fast but in the middle of the race, it was distracted by its surrounding. The turtle slowly but surely walked to the finish line.           

Truly, many people prefer to fast-pace life but don’t necessarily reach the Finish Line. They are distracted and entertained by attractive things in the world.

This world offers attractive distractions. Make sure you are focused on the Finish Line. Heaven is the Finish Line we hope to reach eternally in Christ Jesus.

Ask yourself: Am I satisfied with my faith in Christ, at this very moment?

Do you sense any gratitude and praise of God for your present situation?

Can you identify with Psalm 111:1-5? Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. 2Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. 3Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. 4He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. 5He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

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