Barriers to Worship

Today’s Reading: I Corinthians 11

From the beginnings of religion and the church, there have been barriers to our worship.  This is not a happenstance, but a deliberate intention and assault on us from the enemy.  When we read in the beginning of the Bible, the foundation of Eden and the Jewish faith and tradition established through Moses, the foundation of worship has been shaken continuously.  When we have come together to uplift God, the enemy is constantly there to minimize the full effect of the worship.  The reason that the enemy cannot tolerate the worship is because it gives us strength to fight him.  Worship creates the relationship between us and God.  This relationship then allows God to work in us and helps us turn away from our human nature.  This allows the Spirit to overcome the flesh which is our human nature.   

Human nature is the fundamental pieces of our being that we have that drive us as biological beings: food, procreation, security, play,and social status.  The drive for these fundamentals can be beneficial or detrimental depending on the individuals. The drive for competition can be beneficial when we are trying to engage ourselves to be better and strive for excellence, but it can also be detrimental when we hurt others in the process.  Human nature can be divisive.  It will begin to create differences in the same group.  It tries to make one better than the other. It will create rifts in families and communities.  This is another weapon that the enemy uses.  It will take the good things of God and try to create confusion between each other.  When we start to find differences instead of focusing on the similarities, we are not able to worship together.  This is what Paul is speaking about in this chapter of Corinthians. 

I Corinthians 11: 8-12 (The Message) 

This is basically the origin of these customs we have of women wearing head coverings in worship, while men take their hats off. By these symbolic acts, men and women, who far too often butt heads with each other, submit their “heads” to the Head: God.

10-12 Don’t, by the way, read too much into the differences here between men and women. Neither man nor woman can go it alone or claim priority. Man was created first, as a beautiful shining reflection of God—that is true. But the head on a woman’s body clearly outshines in beauty the head of her “head,” her husband. The first woman came from man, true—but ever since then, every man comes from a woman! And since virtually everything comes from God anyway, let’s quit going through these “who’s first” routines.

Throughout my life and studies, I believed this passage in Corinthians was a passage only showing us about Christ and the church as their example of the unity of marriage. I had always seen this chapter as a way of showing the relationship between a husband and a wife. As I have meditated on this chapter, the Spirit has revealed a new paradigm shift.  In Corinth, there was different practices between the Greeks and the Jews. In Greek culture, the women would not cover their heads in worship. In Jewish culture, the mandate from the old law was that women had to cover their heads.  This is not a passage to show authority over one or another. But this is a passage to show how our human nature tries to divide us from worshiping one together.  

There was division in the new church and foundation in Corinth, specifically on the clothing and covering the worshipers.  The people were not really focused on the MAIN THING: Worshiping God.  They were distracted from the purpose of the church and more on what each other was wearing.  Does this sound familiar?   They were allowing their human nature to outshine their worship.  This is a major perspective shift for me because now I see this chapter in a different light.  I hope that this challenge allows you to see this passage in a different light as well. This is not a declaration on submission to each other in marriage, but this is an observation in which we can worship God in spite of our differences in cultures, and song, and praise. This is what Paul is trying to convey is that we can worship without the restraints that each other puts on the other.

I Corinthians 11: 20-22

20-22 And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.

The paradigm shift continues as how do we worship with the Lord supper. As a young boy, I always thought that the Lord supper was really short and questioned where the remainder of the food? This is the mindset of kids, when you say “Supper” you’re thinking of a big supper per se Thanksgiving dinner. But the Lord’s supper is to remember the union that we have formed in Christ after the meal of the Passover.  The use of the word “Supper” is actually more in accordance with Merriam-Webster’s definition:  Supper is used especially when the meal is an informal one eaten at home, while dinner tends to be the term chosen when the meal is more formal. In some dialects and especially in British English, supper can also refer to a light meal or snack that is eaten late in the evening.  The Lord’s Supper is taking the meal to the next level. When we partake in the Lord’s Supper we are participating in an act of worship.  

We have already been fed our main meal, but Jesus is the fulfillment of our needs. This is to be done to remember his sacrifice. Paul writes in this section that the Corinthians where have lavish parties for the Lord supper. They were forgetting the essence of the Eucharist meal.  The instant that they were not acknowledging the full scale of the sacrifice,  they were committing the death of Christ again with the same brutality of the death of Christ over and over. This makes us take a moment to see how we worship. Are we continuing to give God the glory for the sacrifice?  Or are we continuing to kill Jesus again on the cross? Is this for his resurrection? Or is this for our gain? 

What are our barriers to worship?  I have battled for my worship over the last several years.  I continue to press forward in my worship through song, dance, meditation, blogging, and reading.  I still get bombarded by the enemy, but my praise and worship continues.  God will give me some resolve each day. How are you doing in your worship? What barriers are being placed in your life that are trying to prevent your worship?  God knows all these things, but you have to ask him to help you push through these barriers.  


Be Blessed


For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, with Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 3:11

Jesus as our foundation.  This is one of my favorite analogies of who Christ is. Paul goes from planting and being God’s field to the foundation of God’s building(v.9).

I’ve never been a mason.  One summer I in my late teens I helped a family friend put up a new chimney. (I was mainly the person who would carry the bricks and mortar up and down the ladder) When the opportunity arose for me to help with the bricks I often went too fast wanting to get done quicker and thinking about the way I was going to be using the money.  The gentleman I worked with quickly put me in my place about taking my time and the importance of lining up of the bricks.  The importance of the cornerstone. 

This brings me to today, our verse about Jesus being our foundation.  In order to capture more wisdom of this verse, I listened to the sermon called The Judgement of the Believers Work by John MacArthur which helped me to connect all the parts of this section that includes verses 1 Corinthians 3:10-17.

I’ve challenged myself this last week with the question if Jesus is my cornerstone, how am I building the rest of my building?

Back in 2017, BJ wrote specifically about Jesus being our Cornerstone.


Our life should be built only on Him.  As the builder who gets to lay bricks every day I have to remember that one day I will be face to face with Jesus and he will look at my building and have a final judgment. Just looking one verse ahead tells me,

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth on it. But let every man take heed how he buildeth upon it.”

Do I just rush into the day without being in His Word? Do I find weak substitutes in my own desires? What are my motives behind my daily actions and words?  We all believe that Jesus is our foundation.  His Living Word, the Bible, provides us deep footings to align our life.  What kind of building are you building today?

MacArthur said, ” Some people are trying to build their lives on morality, and ethics, and good deeds, and all of these things. But the only foundation for a life and the only foundation for corporate life, which is the church, is Jesus Christ. If that foundation goes, everything falls. ” 

For many years of my life, I didn’t even know my foundation.  Through other believers, friends, family, bible journal writers, and the people of the Church,  you helped point me back to our foundation, Jesus.  He is our foundation, the cornerstone of what each day of our life should be lived on.  I have misplaced some bricks, I’ve placed bricks too fast, I replaced bricks with idols, I laid bricks just to try to impress others.  Every brick I lay should be for Jesus. He is our foundation.  When that final judgment comes God is going to judge our motives,  conduct, and service.  Did I use the gifts He provided me to build upon His foundation His glory or for my own?

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Dear Jesus,

You are our foundation. You have given us your Living Word and it all points to you.  Father, help me to build my life around your foundation and while laying every brick I point it all back to you.  Jesus please help guide and direct us to use the gifts you have provided to us in order to be the hands of feet of You. We love you! Thank you for being our foundation.  Amen

Comparison and Gifts

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes struggle with comparing your own unique, God-ordained spiritual gifts to those of other people in your life. It can be so easy to watch other Christians as they use their spiritual gifts and wonder if, just maybe, those individuals are more impactful or blessed than we are.

I often struggle with this myself. As someone who is often too attentive to what others around me are doing and thinking, I find that I’m very quick to notice when someone is better at something than I am. I might watch as someone responds to a situation with much more grace than I think I could have, I might notice how someone decided to serve without being prompted when I would never have thought to do so, or I might watch someone be praised for their more public spiritual gift and become envious. Clearly, I have issues and you all now know just how much I need Jesus. 🙂 But, what I think the enemy is always trying to distract us from is the fact that we each have our own unique giftings, and while we can absolutely always grow and develop in other areas, we each do have certain areas in which we were created to shine.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 with me…

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

While there are many different ways we are gifted as followers of Jesus, 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us that we share the very same God, and thus, our spiritual gifts should draw us closer together instead of causing division among the body of Christ. Going back to the personal examples I shared regarding the ways I struggle with comparing my specific spiritual gifts to others’ spiritual gifts, I have begun to try to handle those exact situations differently.

For example, instead of beating myself up because I know I might not have responded to a situation with as much grace as my friend, I have learned that I can instead pray for an abundance of grace to be given to me in that moment. If I don’t have any grace with myself first, I won’t have any leftover to give to others around me, and I want to be known as a woman of grace.

Instead of feeling frustrated that I never thought to serve those around me in the tangible ways in which my friend instinctually did, I have learned that I can instead use that as a reminder the next time I see a need that is unmet. Since this happened in my own life and I was inspired by the example of a dear friend who has the heart of a complete servant, I have become more servant-hearted and noticed unmet needs. I can choose to surround myself with friends and other believers who provide an amazing example and sharpen me as a Christ follower… undoubtedly, the impact this choice has on my life and on others’ lives is huge.

Lastly, instead of becoming envious because my friend’s spiritual gift is more public than my behind the scenes spiritual gift, I have learned that I can instead choose to praise God for the way He is using that person. I’ve even found that if I build that friend up, perhaps by verbally encouraging them that their spiritual gift is impacting those around them, my envy quickly subsides… because it is not about me anymore- it’s about the kingdom of God being moved forward. The enemy wants to twist and contort our spiritual gifts and use them for evil, but I hope today’s text reminds each of us that we need to be on guard against this.

Friend, you were created beautifully, intricately and purposefully. Be encouraged today to continually be discovering the unique ways God gifted you and growing into that. I’ll end with one of my all time favorite verses on this very topic, Galatians 6:5, which in The Message version says:

4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

1 Corinthians 10

    Since I last wrote two weeks ago, we have finished the book of Acts and are now reading 1 Corinthians together.  In today’s reading, our focus is on chapter 10. This chapter has two primary themes:  it is a strong warning against idolatry, and an equally strong encouragement to glorify God.

    Paul begins by warning the Corinthian people against putting anything – another person, an object, a behavior – in God’s rightful place.  He mentions sexual immorality, testing God, and…grumbling.  Paul writes, “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.”  (1 Corinthians 10: 10)  Grumbling?  When I’m overwhelmed, I can be a good grumbler.  A really good grumbler, actually.  I try not to, but it happens more often than I’d like to admit.  So, reading Paul’s words about grumbling and idolatry really made me think.  How is grumbling a form of idolatry?  Personally, I grumble when I think that I should be treated better, or that a situation should have turned out differently.  Basically, I grumble when I’m making everything about me.  Ouch.  Right?  What should I do – what should we do – when we are tempted to grumble?  This is what I’m going to do:  since I grumble when I feel overwhelmed, I’m going to do a better job asking for help.  There are plenty of people in my life who are ready and willing to help me – and I’m pretty sure it is impossible for me to request help and to grumble at the same time.

    Next, Paul gives his readers hope.  He explains that even though we will face temptation as a follower of Christ, God is faithful and will always – always – provide us with an escape route from that temptation.  He says, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13)  Did you catch that God provides us with the way (ESV)?  One way?  How, then, do we know what that way is?  I believe that He is The Way.  We stay close to Him.  We read His word.  We pray.  Then, we will be less likely to bend to temptations, and when we do – and we will, because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) – we will be more likely to quickly glimpse that one specific escape route:  the one that leads directly back to him.

    Paul’s last words in this chapter are both beautiful and challenging:  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:21).  I remember when I was a new mom, hearing a speaker suggest that when we performed the more mundane tasks of motherhood – like changing diapers and washing toilets – we should praise God that He has given us the ability to do those things, and consider our daily chores a privilege.  I remember jumping on that bandwagon right away -only to forget a day or an hour later, and begin grumbling to myself in my head.  With perspective, and age, I’ve come to think of this verse in a different way.   Now, throughout the day, I praise Him for the privilege of walking through my life with Him.   I seek to glorify His name by doing the work that He has called me to do each day.  Without grumbling.

Intentional Purpose


Today’s Reading: I Corinthians 9

Several years ago, there was a very popular bible study called the Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. The study is a forty-day guided journey of self-reflection and inspiration. When I was a young graduate, I studied this book and learned several ideas that were life changing and forced me to make adjustments. But I as I write this post, I have forgotten the majority of what I had gained from the book. At that time I was essentially going through the motions and not actively seeking a more in-depth spiritual journey.   I felt that I was walking around aimlessly without a specific purpose.   James puts it so well

James 2:14-17

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good [b] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 I was trying to increase my faith relationship with God, but my works or actions were not aligned with His Plan.

These past several weeks, I have been reading and praying more with intention than I have done in quite some time. I have been faithful in my bible study, my personal spiritual reading and prayer time. This has allowed me to be more in tune with what God has positioned for me to understand and conquer.   As this journey has continued these past couple of weeks, I have been met with more affliction and adversity. I take this as a positive outcome, I have been growing in my relationship with God and the enemy is upset, for this reason alone I am overjoyed.   That is were Paul has revealed to me this week in

 I Corinthians 9: 24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[b] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Unlike my younger self, I have found purposeful intention in my faith and my actions. I am continually seeking to win the race and obtain the goal. I am no longer aimless in my fight or run. I have driven focus and dedicated purpose to win and not be slothful in my prayers, aspirations, relationships, and connection with God.  My prayer is for us a community to become more intentional with our desire and relationship with God.

Actions Have Consequences

When I was in high school there was a night that I remember very well. I remember that night because I was with some of my friends hanging out at one of their homes, as we left we came out to find ice cream all over our windshields. We found out who did it and did what any other teenager would do…we planned an attack of our own.


We got eggs and flour and set out to find a car that one of the other guys owned. We eventually did, and I sat and watched as my friends started egging and flower bombing this car. I knew what they were doing was wrong but I kept my mouth shut. We ended the night in an all-out paintball gun war in my parent’s front yard (we lived out in the country) but that’s beside the point. The point was that my friends did something wrong, I knew it was wrong, and I didn’t say a word about it. In the end, it ended in disaster.


1 Corinthians 5 talks about this in the church. The chapter specifically talks about sexual immorality but I think this is something that can be taught about any sin. This chapter talks about the hard truth that sin is still a part of our lives and can easily start to take over our lives if we are not watchful. This chapter talks about a man committing sexual immorality by sleeping with his father’s wife. It may be easier to think about this in a different way. What about that time your coworker started to gossip about another person and you just sat there and listened. Maybe you didn’t participate but you knew that it was wrong.


Whatever the situation, it is your responsibility to stand up for what is right. God called us to go out to all nations and that could be as simple as your work, your friend’s house, or your own home. We have this responsibility because of love. If we truly love everyone and want to see them go to heaven, we stand up to wrong and with God’s help, we lead people out of the darkness.


Romans says that the wages of sin is death, so why wouldn’t we stand up against sin? Why wouldn’t we tell our brother or sister that what they are doing isn’t right? Paul ends this chapter with this, “Purge the evil person from among you.” This stuck with me. We try to focus a lot on spreading the gospel to all nations and but sometimes we disregard the church itself.


Christians are imperfect and sin-filled people too. We too can fall right back into the enemy’s grasp. Paul is saying that we need to focus some of our efforts on making sure that the church stays free of the enemy. Let me clarify I don’t mean that the church needs to be free of sin, I am saying that the people who are actively sinning and choosing to do so need to be spoken to. Not only are they acting in a way that leads them away from eternal life, their actions may also lead to false interpretation of Christianity by a new believer.


I don’t want you to go around looking at whom you can judge by their sinful behavior but I do want you to look around at some of your close Christian friends. Today, start to pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to any evil that needs to be purged in you and the people who are close to. Just like my story about my car wars experience, I knew what I was doing was wrong and it ended in disaster. If we choose to keep allowing wrong to happen and not standing up against it, it will end in disaster.

Stewards of the Mysteries of God

Today’s picture is from a lesson to the Unit 5 Innovative Entrepreneur class. It was drawn to deconstruct a chapter on the leadership from Chief Hanna’s book Mastering Self: to Lead Self and Others.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul helps us understand the responsibility and power of leadership.  As I read through today’s chapter, Chief Hanna’s principles on the power of leadership continued to surface in Paul’s life.  

Challenge: See if you can draw any similarities from Paul’s account and the image above as you read through the chapter.  If you find any that you’d like to share, or any other scripture that comes to mind, put them in the comments.  

I’ve included some takeaways from the reading below along with some other scripture that came to mind when reading it.

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.- 1Corinthians 4:1-2

A follower of Christ is a steward of the truth.  The mysteries of God have been revealed plainly to us in the New Testament. (John 14:26)  The steward’s job is to protect the truth from perversion and proclaim it unfettered. (2Timothy 1:14, Romans 1:16)  The Word of God saves souls so I can see why it is important to steward it well, (James 1:21) but what does it mean to be a faithful steward?

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. – 1 Corinthians 4:3-5

Perhaps the first step in being faithful is to recognize who we are to be faithful to. We are not men pleasers but God pleasers. (Ephesians 6:6-8)  We are slaves of God and we seek our Master’s glory.  We trust his Word and are not ashamed of it.  God is the only one fit to judge.  Comparison is empty if left to us.  Only One can compare rightly.  The Sprit compares us to God’s word.  This is a personal gift to help us each individually.  In the same way, we should not try to unwrap a friend’s birthday gift, we should not attempt to unwrap the Spirit’s gift of comparing others to the Word.  We only need protect the Word and proclaim it. 

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. – 1 Corinthians 4:6-8

Perhaps the second step in being faithful is to admit our position.  We own nothing but that which God has given us.  God has given us everything to steward for His glory.  

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 1Corinthians 9-13

Paul’s proper view of himself places him at the bottom which gives him the personal power to minister, save souls, and bring glory to God.

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? – 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Paul’s example is faithfulness.  Words would not do, therefore Paul sent Timothy as a reminder of the power of a life.  Wisdom is not knowing things.  Wisdom is shown in a life lived well. (James 3:13)  Paul warns that he will inspect lives and discern the presence or absence of the power of God.

Identity Crisis

I read an article recently about identity crisis.  According to google, an identity crisis is “a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.”  As we grow older and mature, it is incredibly common for people to experience them.  In fact, we are about to see the Corinthian church going through an identity crisis too.  Today, as we read through 1 Corinthians 1, I wonder, do we know our spiritual identity? Is our identity in crisis?

If you are a Christian, meaning that you are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (v2), there is a very specific identity attached to you.  Paul explains it very simply for us in verse 2.  He says that we are “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”  Easy, right?  Not so fast.  Satan, and the world often conspire against us, creating confusion, even crisis.  The Corinthian church, just like us, was confronted with situations that caused “uncertainty and confusion.”  In short, they experienced an identity crisis.  Thankfully, Paul, was one man with a clear understanding of his identity in Jesus.  He used this clarity  to remind and redirect the Corinthian church, the Christians, to the identity of Jesus.  So, how do we get that same clarity?

Consider first that Paul’s certainty of identity carried a posture of gratitude and thanksgiving.  It is not by accident that he starts the chapter (v4-9) giving thanks.  There is, however, something special about his gratitude.  Maybe you didn’t notice, but in those five verses, Paul references God nine different times!  Clearly, Paul was clearly understood that if not for Jesus, we would all be lost.  Therefore, his posture was one of continuous gratitude to Him, the giver of all good things.  Contrast this with our own thanksgiving which is often based on our circumstances and materialism.  

In addition to gratitude, Paul continually considered his position, relative to Christ.  Re-read verses 10-17 paying attention to how the church is dividing.  Member’s are attempting to elevate the positions of their favorite pastors, causing fights (v11).  As this identity crisis begins to grow, Paul steps in.  He knows positively where true hope and joy found; the cross of Christ Jesus (v17). He reminds the Corinthians that elevating any person above another will, in fact, “empty the cross of its power.”  Jesus Christ, therefore, holds the primary and only position for Christians.  As Christ-followers, we are all equal, under him.

Finally, Paul’s posture and position relative to Christ allow him to full embrace his purpose.  Consider these three purpose statement from Paul, found in his writings:

  • “that they may be saved” 1 Corinthians 10:33
  • “to make the word of God fully known” Colossians 1:25
  • “that we may present everyone mature in Christ” Colossians 1:28

Paul has such an intimate relationship with Christ that he knows, without a doubt, why he is on this earth.  With this kind of certainty, identity crisis is impossible.  In fact, our certainty and clarity becomes a beacon of hope and love to the world, just like Paul’s.

In the end we are either with Christ, or without him.  When we, like Paul, fully embrace Christ, He is our identity.  In him, there is no doubt, there is no circumstance that can cause us confusion.   Crisis averted!