My thoughts

Sip & Refresh: What Kind of Material

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Being busy is overrated, slow down, take a sip

and refresh yourself with the Word.

-Starla Smith 

Today’s Sip & Refresh:

1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

PLANT – WATER – INCREASE

There is a silent growing process that is going on all around us. Seeds get put into the ground, rain comes and the water soaks the ground. This is how the seed begins to grow. It is a beautiful process that doesn’t need our help to happen. It is effortlessly proceeding as God has ordained it to happen. This same process also is at work in us as God, with His favor of relationships, has created His church to be a people who plant and water each other and the world. Christ in us, moving and directing, partners with us to speak into peoples lives and encourage them. However, we do not get to design the effect or the outcome. Only God gives the increase. He alone decides how each seed grows, in what timing, and to what capacity.

In this verse, Paul is making a point about these squabbling people he encounters in the Corinthian church. They are fighting over and making their status statements using who led them to Christ or baptized them. It would be, for example, if we squabbled for status using who prophesied over us or who mentored us. These people were saying, “I am of Paul” and another saying, “I am of Apollos.” So, Paul asks them a question, “If you are doing this, are you not carnal?” Paul defines the outcome of being carnal, saying “where there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal?” If Christ is my life and Jesus said “apart from Me you can do nothing” than any work I do, whether I plant or water, is done because what I do has its source in Jesus. It is not I who do the work, but rather Christ in me and I have no right to boast, no status to claim, and no title to gain. It’s a real pride smasher and humility heart checker. Let’s put it this way, the only reason why my husbands Chevy Malibu runs as well as it does is that the one who built it, built it so that when you put the battery and gas in it, it runs at optimal level. I must accept that I am made just the way I was supposed to be made, so that, when the power comes on (when I accepted Christ and the Holy Spirit moved in) that I could reach the potential I was created for.

The formal view of envy which is defined as a desire for what another may have. In today’s culture, I see envy showing up as needing to defend our abilities & defend our ways and thoughts. It is almost as if people envy the life they think they deserve and so they are filled with strife (fighting for their place in life and making sure others don’t get a step up over them,) and have become actively divisive (busy dropping morsels of gossip and backstabbing the perceived competition) Sadly, people are wasting their lives and missing what they were made for. Our destinies are not what we fight, strive, or hustle for, it is the natural outcome of Christ in me being revealed. While we are busy fighting life inside a wet paper bag all the “planting and watering” we do this carnal way, is for nothing. When we get to the end of our lives, we will face Jesus and what we have done with our lives. It tells us in the later verses of chapter 3: 12-15 “if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, each one’s work will become clear…the fire will test each one’s work of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures,  he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved.” So while it is still today, let us check our hearts before we do, say, or go anywhere. Making sure that we know what kind of material we are using to build upon the foundation, asking ourselves am I full of envy, strife or division?

So how do we stop warring? We have to allow the seed of peace in Christ be planted in our hearts. As the rule of Christ is water to our hearts, a peace comes as when we realize we don’t have to fight. We are all of one body and can be thankful for each member. Just the way He created each of us to be.

ACTION STEP: Take 5 minutes today to rest in Jesus. Sit quietly and just say His name when your mind wanders. Let His rest and peace wash over you. Release the tension in your shoulders and the cramp right behind your eyes. After 5 minutes, speak these words. Slowly. Let…..the…..peace……of…….Christ…..rule…….in…..my…….heart.

 

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

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