by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: 1 Corinthians 8; Proverbs 12:11
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
1 Corinthians 8:13
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
What a radical statement! Then again, Paul was very radical – for he had followed a radical Master. For Paul, food was food, whether offered to idols or not. Food is God’s gift to us, and we should not think that it can poison us just because it was offered to idols. Evil has no power against the saints of God. But some saints are still trapped in their troubled past, and those who are “freed” must be patient with them. For if our freedom stumbles another, then we are not truly free.
How often do we ask if our actions affect those around us? While we should not be overly self-conscious, we must learn to be aware of the influence we have on others – be it in the office, at home, or online. Life is not about who knows more, but who loves more. This week, ask God to show you one area where you might have inadvertently stumbled someone. And if you need to, take action to address it!
Lord, help me to live my life in such a way that it draws others nearer to You. Grant me the grace to surrender my freedom for the sake of another person’s salvation.
by Rev Joel Yong
Revelation of John 2:3-5
You have endured, suffered trouble because of my name, and have not grown weary. However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone. Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first. I will come to you and take your lamp stand from its place if you don’t change.
The church in Ephesus is commended for many things. But it is criticized for losing the love it first had for the Lord.
They were initially commended in the following verse in Ephesians 1:15:
“I, too, have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.”
Thirty years had passed between the Epistle to the Ephesians and the letter in Revelation.
Their initial passion had withered into a lifeless religion.
Perhaps they may have had the functional ministries going on in church but they did it without love and joy-
After all, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:2:
“I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don’t have love, I am nothing.”
Good reminder to check ourselves. Is our faith an ongoing relationship with Christ or a religion filled with mindless rituals and repetitive ministry without meaning?