By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
The issues of the church in Corinth are not much different than the issues we find in the church today. There are controversies relating to the actions of a congregation, and there are concerns relating to the thoughts of the congregation. Often times, the actions are a symptom of the thoughts/mindset of the congregation. Paul understands we can do the right thing, for the wrong reason, and the result is not what was desired.
1 Corinthians 14:12 (ESV): So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
In this case, there is nothing wrong with members desiring to receive a miraculous gift from the Holy Spirit. The problem is they are not interested in building up the church (their number 1 objective) with the gift God gave them.
1 Corinthians 14:3-5 (NKJV): But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
Our mindset should be to build up the church through edification and exhortation. While we no longer have the miraculous abilities provided by the laying of hands (from the Apostles), the application is there. Church should bring comfort, peace, and encouragement to body of Christ. This should be accomplished by sharing God’s inspired word (prophesy) found only in the Bible. In the sharing of God’s word, we need to make sure we convey the words in a clear and understandable manner.
If we focus on learning/teaching the words of God, we will be well equipped in our personal ministries to grow the body and build up the members already in the body. Be of courage and be of good spirit.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr
Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV): Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for compassion in the above verse can also be translated as pity, grace, or mercy. To show genuine compassion and deep concern for others through their misfortune, we have to:
Care about others more than ourselves:
Philippians 2:3 (ESV): Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Be there for each other through the good times and the bad:
Romans 12:15 (NIV): Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.
Be willing to forgive them if even they brought the misfortune on themselves:
Ephesians 4:32 (ESV): Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
Be willing to invest the time to help others out of their situation:
Mark 6:34: When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
Matthew 14:14: When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
To conclude, we are required to have a humble mind and a tender heart. Christ commands this of us because he understands how difficult it would be to feel sympathy for others if we think so little of them. Christ foresees the challenge we may have giving someone a second chance if we are unable to see ourselves as the chief of sin. We have to always remember that we are commanded to be of one mind in compassion. Compassion can come in the form of sympathy, love, forgiveness, or humility.
1 Peter 3:8 (ESV): Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr
The statement is as strong as it is simple. When you believe you are not well equipped for the trials in your life: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. When you lose a friend, a job, a family member: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. When you believe you cannot forgive because you cannot forget: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. When you feel alone and feel like no one is there to help: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. When you feel the world is getting worse and almost too much to bear: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.
John 16:31-33 (NKJV): Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus is speaking to His disciples and understands the trials/tribulations that they are going to endure in His name. He speaks on the fact that they will be scattered and fearful; but He reminds them they will always have Jehovah as long as they reside in Christ. Jesus goes on to explain He is teaching His disciples this lesson so they may have peace through turmoil. Knowing what we know about the life/death of the Apostles, how powerful must the peace of residing in Christ be? If the Apostles can find peace during persecution (beaten, stoned, whipped, imprisoned, crucified, etc.), then surely we can find peace in our lives. While overwhelming and downright depressing at times; “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.
By Undre Griggs, Jr.
Psalms 55:22 (ESV): "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit righteous to be moved.”
According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word for “moved” can be translated as; bring down, fall, or falter. God is promising us, if we do not allow ourselves to be moved off the path of righteousness, he will sustain us. When your righteousness causes others to persecute you, you cannot allow that pain to consume you. You cannot allow any burden to remain on your shoulders, because in time, it could change the essence of who you are for the worst. You have to trust in the Lord and put that burden on Him. If God is sustaining you; why be concerned?
Psalms 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
One reason bad things happen to the righteous is to produce steadfastness. Steadfastness or endurance is required for us to be complete and perfect in the Lord.
James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And once you are perfect and complete, everything you endured for a time will be well worth it when you receive a reward that will last a lifetime.
James 1:12: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
by Undre Griggs, Jr.
As friends: we provide shelter when our brethren are without cover; food when we can’t afford it; we visit each other when we miss a service; we lift each other up when we stumble; we forgive each other when we are wronged; and we are willing to sacrifice our own interests for their betterment.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV): Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV): As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Of the many responsibilities we have to each other, we also have the responsibility to sharpen each other’s character.
Much like the need of iron to sharpen iron, there is the need of one human to make another human better. Humans have a consciousness that only another human can understand. The words in which we communicate, the way our minds reason, and the joy/pain life brings can only be understood by another human. As a child, we are appreciative of everything a person is willing to teach us. We need someone to teach us how to eat, walk, talk, use the bathroom, and read. As an adult, we can lose our willingness to learn and the humility to be taught. That will only hurt us in the end because the only way we can learn and sharpen our character is by another person telling us.
Proverbs 1:5 (ESV): Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,