In writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul shares his perception that their fervor for God is waning. Some of their ambition is shifting, moving off-center, and their focus is not clear, so he sends them a letter of strong correction.
“Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! … We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children” (1 Corinthians 4:8, 10-14).
Scholars tell us that the Corinthian church was probably the wealthiest of all the New Testament churches. Their location afforded them many opportunities for great wealth from the shipping industry. Paul was pointing out to them that they seemed to be too much like the society around them; while they had all these great things going for them, something was missing. Even with all their outward success, inside something was wrong.
What was going on in this church? Paul was not admonishing them for being prosperous or implying that being impoverished was somehow superior. No! He was pointing out that their focus was all wrong. They were trying to fulfill their hearts’ desires with the things of this world rather than pursuing God first. In other words, they were looking for love in all the wrong places. And because of this, their lives lacked impact for his kingdom. Likewise, today, we must be careful not to become distracted by pursuits that take us away from a clear vision of Jesus!
According to SFGate, a church in San Francisco will host a “Beyoncé Mass,” featuring songs from the pop star that congregation members will be invited to sing along to, and one of its pastors is insisting that the event goes hand in hand with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“I know there are people who will say using Beyoncé is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” said Rev. Jude Harmon, director of innovative ministries for Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal Church.
“But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”
Harmon, who is also the founder of Vince, a weekly contemporary worship service project espousing progressive theology, insisted that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s music “opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten — particularly black females.”
“The beauty of Beyoncé’s music is she explores those themes in an idiom that is accessible to everyone.”
“We can use it as a conversation starter. That’s what it’s designed to be.”
The evening will feature music, readings from scripture by women of color and a sermon by Rev. Yolanda Norton, who serves as the assistant professor of the Old Testament at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, where she also teaches a course called “Beyoncé and the Bible.”
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14; NIV)
When a church believes that they require the devil’s music and worldly causes to draw people into it (instead of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ), that should be a sober reflection of how lukewarm and backslidden it has become.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5; KJV)
For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jeremiah 10:21; KJV)
For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered (Ephesians 10:21; KJV).
Does your job require you to make moral compromises? If so, please read these story that was narrated by the late RA Torrey in his book, Heaven or Hell.
Our text in Proverbs 29:25 promises, “Whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. ” He will be safe from all danger of yielding to sin and temptation. If you trust God, temptation has no power over you. A man cannot yield to temptation without distrusting God. Every act of sin is an act of distrust of God. He who trusts God will do right even though the heavens fall.
I knew a businessman who lost nearly everything he owned and had to sell everything else in order to pay his debts. He paid all his debts, but it left him practically penniless. Then he was offered a job with a manufacturing firm. He came to me and said, “What should I do? This is an excellent company to work for. They said they will promote me quickly, but if I take this post, I must work on Sundays. What should I do?”
I said, “Well, you will have to decide for yourself, but if you can’t do it with a clear conscience, you can’t afford to do it.”
He said, “I can’t do it with a clear conscience.” He refused the position, although he did not know what he was to do to support himself and his wife and family of three children. A day or two later, he got a job at very low wages. A few weeks after that, he got a position at several hundred dollars per month. He went on to become the controller of one of the biggest mercantile establishments in the Northwest – all because he trusted God.
When I was home one summer, I found that a young Jewish woman had been converted while I was away. She was a very talented woman, but she had to work hard for her living to support the family. After she was converted, she was full of love for Christ. She went out to the place where she worked, a very large company, and she began talking about Christ to the other employees.
Some of them did not like it. They went to the head of the firm and said, “She is constantly talking to us about Christ. We don’t like it.”
The managers called her in and said, “We have no objection to Christianity, and no objection to your being a Christian. It is a good thing, but you must not talk about it at this company.”
“Very well,” she said. “I won’t work where I can’t take Christ with me and talk for my Master.”
“Well, then,” they said, “you will have to lose your job.”
“Very well,” she said, “I will give up my position before I will be disloyal to Jesus Christ.”
They said, “Go back to work, and we will tell you our decision later.” She went back to work.
At the end of the week, she got a letter from the firm. She said, “Here is my discharge,” and she tore it open. The letter read: “We have a position with great responsibility, with a much larger salary than you are getting. We think you are the woman for the position, and we offer it to you.” They saw she could be trusted. Businessmen are looking for men and women whom they can trust.
Whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe from danger of every kind. We read in Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Men will persecute you. They will ridicule you. They will do all they can to harm you. Jesus said in John 15:20, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” But it won’t do you any harm.
Some people are frightened at the thought of being persecuted. But it is one of the greatest privileges on earth for converts to be persecuted for Jesus Christ. Jesus said: Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)