Friday, April 18, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - Corinthian Qualities

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

In 1st Clement 1,  Clement compliments the Corinthian Christians on the virtues of their Christian lifestyle. He says that their reputation is "venerable" and "illustrious", "worthy to be loved" by everyone. He has a lot of respect for the Corinthians.

He says that anyone who spent any time with them at all could see how strong their faith was and how their faith was bearing fruit in their lives. And, of course, we can't read a compliment like that without using it as a check on our own lives. Can the people around you tell that you're a Christian? Can they tell how strong your faith is and can they see how your faith is affecting the way you live your life? Is it obvious that your faith is producing good qualities in your character?

He says that people admire how serious and moderate the Corinthians are in their quest to live godly lives. The Corinthians weren't flighty. They got down to business and did God's work, Kingdom work. They didn't get distracted by other, wordly things. They kept themselves self-controlled and focused. What about you? Are you focused on doing the things of God? Are you getting down to the business of doing what God has asked you to do? Or are there things that invade your time or your interests and that you maybe you need to exercise more self-control over?

He then talks about the "magnificence" of the Corinthians' "habitual hospitality". "Habitual hospitality". That's another way of saying that they welcomed other people. They made people feel comfortable and welcomed and like they were part of the group. They met other people's needs when they came to them. Are you a welcoming person? Do you help your church to be inviting and welcoming to others? Do you meet the needs of people who come to you, put them at ease, and make them feel like they belong?

Finally, Clement acknowledges the Corinthians' "perfect and well-grounded knowledge". The Corinthians weren't uninformed Christians. They didn't believe things just because the preacher said so. These Christians knew what they knew and they knew why they knew it. They did the research. They took their faith seriously enough that they did their own thinking and reasoning and studying. They wrestled with and figured out the stuff they didn't understand. They actively learned the faith. That's what you're doing by delving deeper into Scripture and Christian history with your devotions and Bible study. Take it a step further if you need to. Pursue the knowledge of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you to understanding.

Be like the Corinthians. Let others see your faith and how it's bearing fruit in your life. Don't spend too much time on stuff that doesn't matter. Get down to the Kingdom work. Welcome people in and make them part of the Kingdom. And know what you know, and know why you know it.

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