Daily Devotion for June 3, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, We praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
1 Corinthians 8:4-13
Food Sacrificed to Idols
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
Notes on the Scripture
The early Christians had a problem: they could not worship any God but God, and specifically not an idol, according to the Ten Commandments. But they were often put in the position of wanting to eat meat that had been sacrificed to an idol. For example, such meat was often less expensive, or they might eat at the house of a friend or in a restaurant where it was served. (Food sacrificed to idols was generally divided up three ways: part was burned up, part was returned to the person who offered it, and part given to the priest. Either of the latter two might then resell it for cash.)
Paul's solution was simple. Sacrifice of meat to an idol was simply meaningless. The meat was not cursed and it was not blessed, and eating such meat was just like eating any other meat. (This is very different from participating in a feast to an idol; be sure to read 1 Corinthians 10:14.)
He gave one very important warning, however; they should be very careful that nobody got the wrong impression. He was concerned that a person might see them eating such meat, and think that they were endorsing the sacrifice or in some way connected to worship of the idol.
There are many situations in modern day life. You might find yourself watching a movie or television show, or reading a book, full of blapshemy or other unchristian behavior. You might be at a meeting or social gathering where language is used or jokes are told, that you believe sacriligeous.
I'm not about to tell anyone else what to do in such situations; however, Paul teaches that we should not tolerate such things if there is a chance that our tolerance will be a stumbling block to another person. While we certainly have freedom, as Christians, to tolerate a certain amount of profane behavior without sharing the sin, Paul reminds us that we should not appear to be endorsing the sinful aspect. (And certainly, we should not actively partcipate.)