Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - Selfless Attention

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

I have kind of a one-track mind, especially when it comes to problems. Maybe you're like that too. If you're worried about something, or if a problem comes that's all you can think about until you find a way to solve it. It consumes your thought life and it's hard to turn your attention away from it to focus on something else.

Clement has established that he's writing to the Corinthians in regard to a problem they're having - a church schism, a fight between church members in Corinth - but what is surprising is what is happening in Rome and the problem Clement is dealing with there. Clement apologizes for not getting back to the Corinthians earlier, saying he's been "somewhat tardy" in his reply because of the "sudden and successive calamitous events" taking place in Rome.

The "sudden and successive calamitous events" he's talking about was Emperor Nero launching a full-scale persecution against Roman Christians. This is the persecution in which Peter and Paul were both executed. Many of Clement's fellow church leaders and members were most likely arrested and killed. Clement's own life would have been in danger.

And yet he apologizes to the Corinthians for not getting back to them sooner about their church squabble.

What I love about this is that even though Clement was dealing with a very serious issue, he is able to take the time to set aside his own concerns and the worries of what was happening around him to turn his attention to the needs of the Corinthians.

That is the attitude of Christ.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He could have, in all rights, been thinking only of His own pain and His own trouble and only of what He was going through. But He wasn't. He set that aside and was thinking of us and our salvation.

Clement does the same here. He selflessly turns His attention to the Corinthians to help them.

What would this look like in your life? How can you turn your attention from your own worries and ambitions and things you feel need to do in order to selflessly turn your attention to someone else's needs? To your family's needs? Your friend's needs? Your church's needs? The needs of someone you don't even know?

I know you have a lot going on in your life. There are things you want to accomplish and problems you need to take care of. But I encourage you to live like Christ and like Clement and try to turn your attention to others' needs as much as possible. I promise you that God will honor and bless you for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment