Sensible People

1 Corinthians 10:14-17

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

I Told You So!

         Who does not have regrets? Everyone has undesirable mistake, and it is not wise to intentionally commit mistake. But still, they insist on doing what they think as appropriate at that moment even when they were warned of possible disastrous mistake. If they disregard warnings and commit expected mistakes, what will you say? “I told you so!” “I told you so!” That is not pleasant to them.

         When you hear, “I told you so!” they simply imply that they were right and you are wrong. Many people don’t like to be told that they were wrong. And yet, they are not very quick to heed a warning; they just go on their preferred way.

         Of course, we warn people about the impending Judgment Day, and there are a few sensible people who pay attention and heed the warning of the Lord.

         Together, let us seriously reflect on Ezekiel 33:4-6, 4If anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

         Why did we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? We want to live in heaven forever. His Holy Spirit affirms that Christ takes us into heaven when he returns. Amazing, right? But don’t be complacent. We need to be sure that his Holy Spirit lives in our hearts and actively transforming us then, empowering us. What did Jesus Christ promise about his Spirit in Acts 1:8? 8You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.”

         The Holy Spirit transforms our behavior, attitude, decision and priorities. Our transformation serves as practical proof of God’s work in us when we testify about Christ. We’re fulltime children of God and not part-time believers. Sensible and wise believers responsibly accept our mandate to witness for Christ. It is also our duty to warn people against idolatry as we preach the gospel of Christ.

1.  Preach

14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.

How do we respond when we hear warnings against idolatry? The phrase, “I speak to sensible people,” is expectation for wise priority, choice or decision.

Apostle Paul was informed that some church attendees in Corinth were confused about Christian beliefs and practices, cultural or traditional festivals. He challenged the so-called wise individuals to judge for themselves if his warning to flee from idolatry was proper or not. He also warned them about the punishment of the Israelites who indulged in idolatry and grumbled and rebelled against God.

The Israelites were precious possession of the Lord. Yet, he didn’t hesitate to punish them when they indulged in idolatry, grumbled and rebelled against him. Would God exempt Gentile Christians, then? What do you think?

         It is not sensible to indulge in idolatry because the Lord decreed already the punishment for idolatry. Sensible people would surely flee from idolatry.

What is idolatry? Idolatry includes loving anything more than God. Idolatry is participation in any activity that leads to sin and enslaves or controls the soul.

         Naturally, our tendency is inclined to sin. It revealed in Galatians 5:19-23. 19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

         Not just the Corinthians or the Galatians, everyone is warned against the danger of indulging in human inclination. What can we do? We’ve got to seek inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our life, we perform our best, and there is no law against results produced by the Holy Spirit.

         In comparison, when we follow our sinful nature, troublesome situation is expected. Well, sinful instinct accentuates most crimes. Do you agree? Practice reliance upon the Holy Spirit, especially among the family of believers.

Love the Unlovable

         A church leader published an article of his struggle to love the unlovable. There was uncooperative church member whose behavior irritated many church attendees. His behavior caused others to doubt if he is really genuine Christian. What do you think? Nobody in the church knew that he had difficult problem. He had terminal illness and eventually died. And, church attendees were shocked.

         The church leader reflected on his indifferent behavior toward problematic personalities. Why did he not try to understand what caused such annoying antic and behavior of other people? He reflected and thought, “How can I love my enemies if I cannot love church members who are problematic?”

         Have you been irritated how church attendees behave in the congregation?

 Together, let us reflect on what Jesus Christ commanded in Luke 6:35,

35Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

         The church is a congregation of sinners saved by grace but not everyone has the same maturity level: some are still young in their faith. So expect that there will always be annoyance or unpleasant behavior here. But if we consider ourselves as spiritually mature, then we should testify of the transformational work of Christ in our life. What should we do? Instead of annoyance, our attitude and behavior should be seasoned with love as we participate in the ministry.

2.  Participate

16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

         We accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior because of his promise of eternal life. Being Christians, we become part of the body of Christ, the church. As significant part of the church we participate in the body of Christ. Be sensible and think what happens to parts of your body that participate when you exercise!

         When you exercise or workout, the parts of your body that carry the load of weights would gain more muscles and grow stronger. Similarly, participation in church ministry will help us grow stronger spiritually. No Christians is exempted.

So practically, how do we exercise our spiritual muscle as Christians? We should participate in the mandate to proclaim the gospel of Christ until he comes.

On the night Jesus was betrayed, he gave his new covenant. Together, let us reflect on what he declared in Luke 22:19-20,19He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

During celebration of the Lord Supper, we eat bread that represents the crucified body of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Lord took all our sins and crucified them with Jesus. We also drink the cup the represents the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. We believe that the blood of Jesus shed on the cross washed away our sins so that we are now clean and perfect in the eyes of God.

Do you sincerely believe that the Lord took your sins and crucified them with Jesus? Do you sincerely believe that the blood of Jesus shed on the cross washed away your sin so that you are now clean and perfect in the eyes of God? In what practical way could we prove that our sins were taken or washed away?

Before, we follow our sinful tendency to commit sin. But now, we follow the mandate of Christ to testify for his transformational work in our life. Witnessing for Christ is the most practical proof that we have become genuine Christians.


         Finally, spring is here! Fruit trees are flowering. Bees and butterflies are busy. Everyone is busy mowing their lawn. How often do you mow your lawn?

Your neighbors may have travelled and nobody mows their lawn, and dandelions are spreading very quickly. Will you be upset when dandelions spread seeds? There are many things that may upset us from neighbors, not just dandelions.

         A young person observed dandelions spread quickly everywhere like crazy.

And, he reflected that as Christians, we should spread the gospel regularly. We should participate in testifying of transformational work of Christ in us. How?

         We can start with our behavior. Anywhere, people can observe us. When they know we are Christians, they will scrutinize our priorities, attitude, habits and behavior. So, how should we behave? Reflect on 1 Peter 3:8-9, 8All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

         If neighbors cannot mow their lawn regularly because of whatever reason, why not mow their lawn for free. If you have spare time, you may start by mowing part of their yard or the boulevard in front of their house. At one time, a man was walking his dog when the dog used our lawn as toilet. When the man picked up the reject of his dog, I told him, “Just drop it under the plant!” He was thankful.

         Dog walkers are sensible but some are senseless. Other’s behavior should not dictate how we behave. Instead, we must rely upon the Holy Spirit frequently. Undesirable elements of the society are everywhere to test our spiritual maturity.

Reflect on what it said in 1 Peter 4:13, 13Rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

         You heard they say that it is very difficult to be Christian. Can you agree? Yes! It’s very difficult but it’s even more difficult for non-Christians. Problems can discourage both the religious and the atheist. But suffering as Christian is testing of partakers in Christ’s glory. Do you agree? As Christians when we partake in the suffering of Christ, we’ve got hope to partake also in his glory forever. Amen!

3.  Partake

17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

         The term “share” is properly interpreted as partake in consuming what others consume, what they eat. During the Lord Supper, we partake in the bread and cup. The bread symbolizes that crucified body of Christ. When we partake in the bread, it symbolizes that we partake in the suffering of Christ on the cross.

         Reflect on what it says in Romans 8:16-18, 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Lord Supper reminds that we partake in the sufferings of Christ. When we suffer because of our faith in Christ, his Holy Spirit sustains us with joyful peace for us to endure suffering with joy, peace, patience. Joy and peace in suffering are partial glimpse of the eternal glory we partake with Christ as heirs of God. Suffering for Christ includes sacrificing our human instinct for pleasure or leisure.

Financial Support

          Most immigrants send financial supports to relatives back in their country of origin. Some of you are supporting relatives in their studies. And when your relatives graduate from college, you also partake in their glorious celebration of their achievements, why? You sacrificed a portion of your budget, escape leisure just to help them attain their university degree or a milestone in their life.

         Likewise, parents partake in their glorious celebration when their children accomplish something for themselves, why? Parents sacrifice their personal leisure to sustain the needs of their children. And many parents plan for not so many children because more children mean more expenditures. But the more sacrifices you have, the greater glory you may sense. Can you agree?

Your sacrifices to help are your investment with eternal significance. You help relatives financially and hope that they’ll notice your generosity as practical proof God’s blessing. You hope that they may eventually trust Christ as their Lord and Savior. So when you send financial support, pray that God regenerates and opens their hearts to the gospel of Christ. It advised us in Galatians 6:9-10.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

         Being generous is blessing. Asking for help is not pleasant circumstance. We would rather wish to help others than to ask for help. Right? As we persevere in doing good, we partake in the suffering of Christ; we also seek inspiration of his Holy Spirit and participate in the ministry that God prepared for us in advance.

         Spiritual gift is crucial to ministry involvement. Spiritual gifts are distributed according to God’s grace given to each of us. Pray that God reveals your spiritual gift clearly. It says in Roman 12:6-8, 6If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

         Parts of our body have different functions. Likewise, we are given different spiritual gift to function as part of the body of Christ collaboratively according to his purposes. When we participate in the ministry, we can sense contentment in our life. We can sense more confirmation that we belong to Christ. Personally pray for increase of faith and wisdom to be sensible and aware of your calling.

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