‘…these things happened…as examples…’ 1 Corinthians 10:11 NKJV
A pastor was building a fence while the neighbour’s 12-year-old son watched. The pastor smiled and said, ‘Are you interested in carpentry?’ ‘No,’ the boy replied. ‘I just want to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer!’ You are the only Bible some people will ever read, and they’re watching to see how your life lines up with what you say. Some are hoping for confirmation of the life-changing power of Jesus; others for a chance to say, ‘See, Christians are all hypocrites!’ We want to set a good example, but sometimes we fall short. And as humbling as it is to mess up, God uses those failures to ‘…[make] it clear that our…power is from [Him], not…ourselves.’ (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT) God doesn’t gloss over the shortcomings of even the most notable saints. They’re ‘examples…written down as warnings for us…’ (1 Corinthians 10:11 NIV) Abraham, the ‘friend of God’, lied about Sarah being his wife (Genesis 12:10–20). Moses, the mighty leader, got angry and disobeyed God. David, a man after God’s heart, committed adultery and then tried to cover his tracks with murder (2 Samuel 11:15). Peter, head of the church, denied Jesus not once but three times (Luke 22:54–62), and John Mark gave up and went home during a missionary trip (Acts 15:38). They’re all in there, warts and all, and Paul says, ‘If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin.’ (1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT) So don’t get discouraged when you stumble. Get up, admit your mistake, apologise to the people involved, ask God for forgiveness, forgive yourself, learn from what happened, and move on.
SoulFood: Num 14–15, Mark 7:1–13, Ps 37:32–40, Pro 11:7–8
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©