1 Corinthians 4-6 by ABay

Hey guys! So while I was reading today I just kept thinking “WOW the Bible is KILLING it today.”  Its kind of a tough subject for me to write about because I just really don’t know what to say or where to begin.  That being said, here goes. 

So chapter 4 starts out talking about how man should see us (Christians) as servants of Christ.  A servant does just as his master tells him therefore we should do what God tells us to do and what we feel led to do by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 3 goes into how we shouldn’t worry about mans judgement of us.  In response to that we also should not judge other Christians or other people in general because only God knows a persons true heart.

4:20-21 “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.  What do you prefer?  Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?”

So often I think that I, personally, forget that I need to do more than just talk about the Kingdom of God, that I need to live it out.  I forget how powerful the Kingdom really is.  I really love verse 21.  God is going to come in love not in vengeance!  

My favorite part in chapter 5 was verse 4 “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present.” 

Granted this is a bit out of context just the words “I am with you in sprit” and “the power of our Lord Jesus is present” gives me peace.  Jesus is always there with us no matter the situation and He is always with us in spirit and I love that! 

When I got to chapter 6 where Paul begins talking about sexual immorality is when I just started going crazy!  I mean Paul really nailed it!

6:12 “‘Everything is permissible for me’-but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’- but I will not be mastered by anything.”  

For me this is really just a good reminder.  Just because I have access to everything doesn’t mean that it is good for me.  It definitely means that I should not be controlled by it.  

6:13 “‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’- but God will destroy them both.  The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 

I just kind of see this as like my body is meant to do God’s work and to serve him and the Lord will guide us in what he wants us to do. 

6:15 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?”

I have heard it say on many separate occasions that the church is supposed to be the body of Christ.  This verse just kind of put that into a different perspective for me.  The church is the body but more than that we are a part of Christ himself.  The church and Christ combine.

6:17-20 “But he who united himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  Free from sexual immorality.  All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.   Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bough at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”

These three chapters were just kind of hitting me and just like turning on lightbulbs in my head for things I never understood before.  When we accept Christ into our lives we unite with Him and in that we become one with Him.  So when we sin sexually we aren’t just sinning against God we are sinning against ourselves.  I love that our bodies are the temple of the Holy spirit, that our bodies are not our own but they are His!  

I have to say my very favorite verse of the entire days reading was without a doubt the end of verse 19 into verse 20. “You are not your own ; you were bought at a price.”

My life and my body are not mine.  They are God’s.  He loves me unconditionally and He bought me! He wanted me! He fights for me! I am His and He is mine!!! And nothing makes me more grateful and joyful than that.

Hope you all enjoyed! Have a great rest of your day!

 

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Bryant Shanks – 1 Corinthians 1-3

Today I am just going to highlight some of the bible verses that really knocked at my heart during this reading. Before you start reading I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes you may find I struggle with writing.

 

Chapter 1

 

The first verse is 1 Corinthians 1:5 this says “For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge.” This is saying that when we accepted Christ into our lives we have been blessed and enriched in many ways, to help bring people to Christ.

 

The second verse is 1 Corinthians 1: 10 “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” I believe this is what brings people away from god that we are not united. Some peoples parents don’t allow their children to attend Oak Bridge because we are not Catholic or Methodist or so on and so forth. We really messed this up as a whole because we aren’t united in mind and thought.

 

The third verse is 1 Corinthians 1: 25-27 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” This really just illustrates that if you are seeking god and make a foolish mistake you are still doing better then not seeking god and making a foolish choice. He goes on to tell us on how God uses foolish and weak things to humble people for the better.

 

Chapter 2

 

The first verse is 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5  “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” This is Paul saying when he preaches he just lets the spirit show itself so people don’t honor him they honor god and praise god over Paul.

 

The second verse is 1 Corinthians 2: 12  “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” This is telling us that the holy spirit is not from this world it is god guiding us and it shows us what we have been freely given by god.

 

The third verse is 1 Corinthians 2: 14  “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” This talks about how if you are not in touch with the holy spirit you will think its promptings are foolish and dumb, but if you are vigorously seeking god you will follow the prompting and find a better way of life.

 

Chapter 3

 

The first verse is 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 10 “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” This is Paul saying god saved him and let him start people’s faith and god is continuing to do a great work. However, the community should be gentle and not throw anyone in too deep and the only foundation people should have is Jesus, not worldly sin and standards.

 

The second verse is 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” This is telling us that the holy spirit is in us because we are made by god and gods greatest creation. If you destroy someone or destroy someone with your sin god will destroy you. This doesn’t mean actually destroy just there will definitely be a negative repercussion.

 

The third verse is 1 Corinthians 3:21-23  “So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” This is showing that we are equal we should not boast about human leaders because they are not what matters. The man christ they represent is what matters and Christ is God in flesh so they represent God and that’s who we should boast about and be proud to be of.

 

 

Romans 14-16!!! By Leo!!!

I would like to preface my blog by stating that Romans is my favorite book in the bible, and every time I read it I get more and more information out of it. Paul does a fantastic job conveying what it means to be a man or woman of Christ. Also I would like to say that I think reading this book while in Haiti has given me a whole new perspective on how it can be taken. The beauty of God’s word is that no matter when you read it, you will get something new and incredible out of it, and this week reading Romans has really shown me that. 

The beginning of chapter 14 really stuck out to me, verses 1-4 are such great advice for living more like Jesus. To sum it up, Paul is basically saying that Christians should not judge other Christians because their faith is different or not the same as yours. To me this is so important because nowadays people at traditional churches get this idea that people at non-traditional churches don’t really love Jesus, and people at non-tradtional churches think that people from traditional churches are weird and do not grow their faith (these are observations I have made over the past few years). The fact of the matter is that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and no matter if someone’s faith is weak, or strong or if they worship God in a different way, they still love Jesus and strive to be more like him. Paul closes verse 4 saying “And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand,” this verse  makes the rest of the paragraph so much more vital to me. Paul is declaring that no matter who great or small one’s faith God will allow him to grow.

The remainder of chapter 14 talks about how Christians need to be accepting of others, and try to bring them to Christ instead of condemning them. Paul wants his readers to understand that all sin is terrible to God, but if you accept Jesus then you are saved. And Paul is calling all Christians to go out and bring people to Jesus instead of condemning them for having different beliefs.

What stuck out for me in chapter 15 was Paul’s personal notes to the Gentiles. Paul declared that he was doing all of his work for the glory of God, and that everything he was blessed with was because of God. This is so important for us as Christians to understand that we are nothing special without God, for he has given us everything and he could take it away just as easily. It is also important because when we are out trying to bring people closer to Jesus we do not want them to think that we have a “holier than thou” attitude. Instead we need to explain to them that we have been blessed by God to speak to you, and it is for the glory of Him that I am doing it. If Christians today would understand that they are working for God, and they realized God gave them the ability to work, I think they could have a much greater impact.

The ending of chapter 16, from verses 17-20 and 25-27, stuck out to me because of the encouragement Paul is giving the readers. The fact that he can write a letter teaching a city about how to grow closer to Christ, and then close the letter proclaiming the glory and the power of the God we serve is very inspiring to me. Verse 20 states “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus will be with you,” Paul is simply reminding his readers that God will save them, but that is such a big deal. Think about it, God is going to crush the evil one, and after that Jesus is going to come back to earth. That is one of the most reassuring pieces of scripture I have ever read! 

Verses 25-27 are so important to the whole letter to Rome because Paul is giving thanks to God. After being in Haiti I have realized how ungrateful most Americans are (Christian or not), and how grateful all of the Haitians are. We have so so so much more than anyone there, but they are happy and grateful for every little thing they have. If Americans would be as grateful as the Haitians, especially Christians, the whole look of the country could change. Just think about it, Jesus gave thanks to God, and Jesus is God, so if he gives thanks then we need to give thanks.

I would like to conclude my blog by stating that I am so grateful to be able to participate in this amazing internship. God has been doing incredible things in my life, and I would like to thank all of the leaders and my fellow OBterns for being able to be a part in my growth. I hope that everyone else is benefitting from this summer as much as I have been, and I hope that my blog shines some light on today’s scripture. I would also like to apologize for my blog post being so late. I just returned from Haiti tonight and did the best I could to get my post up in a timely manner.

Thanks so much- Leo Carroll

 

Romans 12-13

I’m really enjoying reading Romans so far. It’s so full of wisdom and applicable teaching and I’m excited to blog about the next 2 chapters. So, here it goes:

Romans 12:3-8 : I really like the way this chapter begins. Romans 12:3 says “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought”. Then verses 4-8 say that just as our bodies have different parts, and each part has a specific function, we should see ourselves as a part of the body of Christ, with functions specific to our respective gifts. Basically, in simpler terms, it’s saying “know your role”, and glorify God by doing the things you are good at. I always like to compare things to sports because that is just what my brain understands best, so the analogy I came up with for this is like “knowing your role” on a basketball team. If you are a scorer, you need to score. If you’re a passer, pass. A screener, set screens; a defender, play defense; a coach, lead; I like how applicable this is in my own life right now because (as those of you who were at the meeting on Monday know) I just dealt with this serving in Detour. I wasn’t enjoying it, I dreaded having to do it every time it was my turn on the schedule, but I thought I had to continue serving there because that is where I was assigned. After talking with Herc, he told me basically what this verse is saying, which is that you have to serve where you’re gifted. As a group, I think we could do incredible things in our church and even on a bigger scale by continuing to apply this teaching. We have so many talented people in the internship, and we cover such a wide range of areas in which we are all gifted. We have speakers, musicians, athletes, artists, leaders, organizers, and some of the most creative people I have ever met. I just really liked the beginning of Romans 12 because it encouraged me and made me think about how amazingly diverse our internship is, and how beautiful it can be when we all find our niche and use our strengths for the glory of God!

The next section of Romans in my Bible was titled “Love”…

I really liked the first verse of this section, Romans 12:9. It says “Love must be sincere”, and I think in our world today, that is so often forgotten. The word “love” gets tossed around so much that it’s sincerity is frequently questioned. Next, it talks about being devoted in brotherly love, and that just made me again so thankful for all of you and the community I get to share with you all. Chapter 12 verse 12 reminds us to be JOYFUL in HOPE, but also PATIENT in AFFLICTION. It’s so easy to forget how joyful the fact that our Father has given us a hope is, at least for myself. And also, to remember to be patient in trying times is difficult for me, too. Next, the end of verse 13 says to “practice hospitality”, and I just love how hospitable we are at Oak Bridge. The way we have sort of mastered the art of welcoming visitors makes me proud to be a part of it all.

Romans 13:1-7

In my opinion, this whole section summed up basically says that the law is in place for a reason, and that breaking the law is dishonoring God. There will be consequences if you do not obey the law, but will be commended if you do what you are supposed to do.

Romans 13:8-14

My favorite part of this section is when it says “So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” I love that is refers to light as armor! Letting His light shine through us acts as protection against the darkness of evil! And letting the light shine is so much easier when you have a support system full of people you respect that will hold you accountable, but most importantly encourage you to continue taking the high road, the path unfortunately less traveled. And that is exactly what all of us have. I feel so blessed to have a community of roughly 49 other people around my age who I respect so much that are there to support me and encourage me and pick me up when I fail.

Thank you guys for reading my blog and I just want all of you to know, leaders included, how grateful I feel to be a part of this internship with all of you! I cant wait to see what the next two months holds and I am so excited to spend the rest of my summer with you guys!

-Taylor Hassell

Romans 7 & 8 by LD.

Hey all! Hope everyone is doing well. Those who aren’t in Haiti, I’m missing ya! It’s been going well here. We do have some pretty interesting stories already though, but it’s great to see the Lord doing work that only He can do–and just in 3 days.

So Romans 7 & 8, I’m not going to lie was kind of hard to blog about only because I wanted to comment about every single verse in Romans 8! Like every sentence in that chapter should have an exclamation point at the end of it. It’s one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It just makes me wanna fist pump and shout AMEN! (Can’t you picture ME doing that? Ha)

In each chapter I’m going to pick out a few or more than a few verses to focus on and my express my thoughts.

Romans 7–The law and sin

7:7– Indeed I would have not known what sin was except through the law. For I would have not known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”–Being the people we are, we wouldn’t know our actions are sinful without the law telling us so. The law helps us to realize we are sinners.

7:22,23–For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.— Paul is describing his struggle with sin. We see that we are not alone in our struggle with sin and even a man that sold his life out for Christ struggled. The struggle/temptation will never go away, but we will always have a way out: only Jesus!

Romans 7 to me is almost like a rhetorical cry for help. I say rhetorical because Paul knows the answer to his cry and who makes him righteous before God. Leading us into 8…if the law can’t make us righteous….what can? JESUS!

Romans 8–Life through the Spirit

8:1–Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.–No condemnation! None! So stop feeling ashamed when you mess up. God knows we will never be perfect…so repent and draw near to Him again. This may sound harsh, but you could say that wallowing in shame is selfish and unnecessary when your life is found in Christ Jesus. With all that said, you can learn from past experiences and avoid sinning in the future. (Make the decision before the situation!)

8:9–You however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.–When you professed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you died to your old self. Your old ways. Your old desires. You are constantly being led by the Holy Spirit. Are you tuning in and listening to what He wants to say to you? Being filled with the Spirit means more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Don’t you want more of the fruit of the Spirit? I do!

8:18–I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.— We may not necessarily suffer for our faith in the U.S. like they do in other countries, but there are still other factors that are roadblocks in sharing our faith. Like what your friends think of you, basic laziness, and fear of sharing too much. But none of these roadblocks are worth it. Your faith in Jesus is eternal. Sharing your faith, being authentic, and loving people like Jesus did can change someone else’s ETERNITY! Have you thought about it like that? It’s just a simple invite, conversation, or smile. Share your faith. Show people the joy that Christ brings you.

8:28– And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.–In ALL things. Not just some. ALL. This verse is just a great encourager.

8:35, 37-39– Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.–BAM! AMEN! HALLELUJAH! ‘Nuff said.

We are more than conquerors when Jesus is on our side. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. I pray that myself and all of us would go from just believing in Jesus, to truly believing Jesus and the promises he has given us.

Love you guys.

–Demsko

Romans 4-6

Hey guys! So I was given Romans 4-6, which is basically Paul talking about Forgiveness of sin through Christ and Freedom from sin’s grasp. Sorry if it doesn’t make any sense. I’m a noob.

Romans 4 starts of talking about Abraham. Paul uses Abraham as an example of faith. He emphasizes the fact that nobody is saved through their works but by faith. It is only by Christ that we are saved. It is not through our actions or good deeds, because if it was we would always fall short. Salvation is a GIFT given to us by God. It cannot be taken away because it has already been paid for with Christ’s blood. I read something in the little notes at the bottom of the page that said “in view of the tremendous price he paid on the cross, it is arrogant to think that any of our sins are too great for him to cover.” It made me realize how truly powerful the blood of Christ is. No matter what any of us does, there is no way that it can even measure close to what happened on the cross. When one thinks that our sins are too messy or too big to be covered by his blood, really what you’re doing is minimizing the power of what Jesus did on the cross. It’s crazy how illogical that sounds when I think about it that way, yet I and many others are sometimes guilty of this. No matter how weak my faith may be, God is strong enough to take away any sin. Paul also emphasizes that God is for everyone. He talks about how God is for both the circumcised and the uncircumcised. Circumcision was a ceremony done to show that the person belonged to God. He says that Abraham was righteous before he was circumcised. He was righteous because of his faith and his faith ALONE.  We don’t need to do good works or participate in certain ceremonies in order to receive God’s grace because it is not something to be earned. It is given as a gift solely through faith. If we give God our sins, he gives us righteousness in return.

Romans 5 talks about peace and joy. Because we stand in God’s grace, we are given a certain peace and joy despite any bad circumstances. No matter what we do we are forgiven, so in that sense we are given a peace that God will never abandoned us. We are his children and are loved by him no matter what we do. He gives us an unconditional love that only he can give. Even in times of hardship we can still have this peace and joy because “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” So even in the bad times, we are given an opportunity to grow. Not to mention the joy that comes from the fact that even “while we were still sinners,” Christ still loved us enough to lay down his life for us. Even though we did absolutely nothing to deserve it, in fact we deserved death, God loved us enough to pay the price for us.

Romans 6 is about freedom from sin’s grasp. Paul talks about how as children of God we shouldn’t take advantage of our father’s mercy and grace. Even though we know that we will be forgiven, we should still try to refrain from sinning. We are God’s children and as his children we are free from slavery to sin. When Christ died he freed us. We no longer need to live under sin’s power because Christ offers us a new life with him. We can choose to follow God and bury our sin because God gives us the strength to do so. Without God we cannot defeat sin, but with God the Holy Spirit can lead us away from sin. We are to become slaves of righteousness and shape ourselves to become more like God with each passing day. All of this got me thinking about how sometimes this is easier said than done. Sin is often times very tempting because it is human nature, however God is my father. He is the most loving father in existence and he has freed me from sin and death. He is the creator of the Earth; surely he knows what is best for his children. He calls us to be righteous because he loves us and wants us to live the most free and full life possible. This cannot be done through anyone but him. Yes we could all go on sinning without a care because we know God has forgiven us but God has so much more to offer that we can’t always see until we trust and follow him. Not to mention that if we say we love God, we shouldn’t deliberately take advantage of him. We should strive to not only talk the talk but to walk the walk that God calls us to walk. There is a reason that God calls us to do so: to live a life full of joy and freedom that only he can offer.  

Hello everyone!!! Happy Friday! Here is my blog Acts 23- 25! ENJOY!

Hey, guys! I am so pumped to tell you guys my feelings and opinion about these two chapters of Acts 23-25.
 
First, I want to say what great courage and strength Paul has standing in front of this huge crowd who are against him and want to kill him.  Although things were done much differently back in the day and I mean way different uproars against Christ followers still happen!  In fact, I deal with it in some way every day.  People judge me, call me crazy! Personally anyone who doesn’t know and follow Jesus Christ, I wonder how they are surviving in life. Psalms 34:17 “let your light shine by boldly standing up for God’s truth because God hears the righteousness” John 9:31 says “and you won’t be alone!”  Paul was so very  bold he stood up for God’s truth and he wasn’t back down.  As a new Christian I know how hard it is to be bold and shine your light that God has given you.  You feel alone, scared and intimidated.  But good news…we have the highest power on OUR side!
 
People will think you are crazy and make you feel like you don’t belong because you are “weird”.  Hebrews 10:35-38 says “cast away not your confidence for it has great rewards”.  Isaiah 54 says “no weapon formed against us shall prosper.  Every word that raises up against us shall be refuted as false!”
 
The uproar became so violent that the troops were ordered to take Paul safely into the barracks.  If you ask me, I see God protecting Paul already because he let his light shine boldly!
 
The Jews then began to plot an ambush against him.  They said they were to fast until they killed Paul and of source, because God is so faithful, Paul’s sister told Paul what they were planning.  Paul sent a young man to plead that the commander does not give into their request of bringing Paul before him for more accurate information (the ambush).  The commander dismissed the boy and commanded that Paul be taken SAFELY to governor Felix.  Does everyone see how faithful and protective God is of his followers?!?!
 
Here in Chapter 24 there was a lot that made me annoyed and angry.  These people accused him of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots, and even tried to desecrate the temple!!…..and then I read Paul say “GLADLY, I will make my defense!”  as he was defending himself.  I sat there thinking “Yes! You tell them Paul!”  When he was done pleading his defense, I surely thought he had this one in the bag, but he didn’t.  Felix made him sit in prison for two years.  At this point I was confused and kind of upset and to be honest, I still kind of am…..
 
Just a thought to think about:
 
How many of us would actually sit in prison for two years standing firm in our faith?  I’m still pondering on this….
 
Chapter 25
 
After two years Festus became the new king.  Three days after he arrived in Province, the chief priest and Jewish leaders appeared and presented the charges against Paul.  They still want to ambush him so they pleaded that Festus allow them to take him to Jerusalem!  My first thought was “oh crap, this guy is new and he doesn’t know about the ambush!”, but he told them NO!  That he would bring him there and they may plead the accusations and my favorite part “if he has done anything wrong”.  To me that was hope that maybe he had someone that could be a game changer!
 
Again they brought these serious charges against him but could NOT prove them!  Again he began defending himself.  I was so pumped because I LOVE giving people second chances!!  He pleaded and Festus conferred with his council and declared “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you will go!!  Reading this, I felt like I was there!  God’s follower has won!  GOD’S PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS WIN IN THE END BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE! WE ARE GODS CHILDREN!
 
I hope you guys all have a fabulous weekend and I shall see you all on sunday!!