Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Paul here is telling the Christians in Corinth that God’s glory should be the desired result of all we do. This is similar to an old Jewish saying which said, ‘let all your works be done to the glory of God.’ This should be all our desired results. John the Baptist when questioned by his disciples when they said, “And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.” John 3:26, he answered “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30. John knew that he was simply the one to declare Christ, he was the voice crying in the wilderness that the promised Messiah had come, the Son of God. And when his disciples questioned him, he answered saying that it is Jesus, the Messiah, that is important and must be followed, not John.
Paul is referring to in previous verses regarding clean and unclean meat. “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23. He is allowed to eat anything, all is now lawful according to God. We see this is the account of Peter when God shows him a vision of a sheet descending from heaven with all kinds of unclean animals. God told him to eat three times, but each time Peter says, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Acts 10:14b. And three times God tells him, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” Acts 10:15b. He did this in preparation for Peter going to the house of Cornelius, a centurion in the Roman army. Why, because Peter would no doubt be offered food to eat that was not considered clean. And rejecting this food would be an insult to Cornelius and may stifle Peter’s job of presenting the gospel. He could come across to them as believing he was ‘better’ than they were.
Paul tells them not to question where the meat came from, but to accept it with thankfulness. “Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.” 1 Corinthians 10:25-27. However, if they tell them it is meat sacrificed to idols, then they are not to eat it. “But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;” 1 Corinthians 10:28. By eating what they declare as sacrificed to idols, they person who informs you may be weak and unscrupulous may judge or condemn the one who eats it, because they may look at you and say you have fallen into the customs of the idolaters. Again, they could eat it, but it may cause the one who declared the meat as sacrificed to look negatively upon them.
So, looking at the focus verse, whatever we do, whether it is in eating, drinking or whatever, we must do for God’s glory. It is important that we look to those we are with. If they offer us anything that is not sin, then we should be willing to partake, and we should be thankful for it. For in our eating and drinking what they offer, we probably will open the door to discussion and/or evangelism. And this brings glory to God. And in whatever else we do; we must also bring the glory to God. We must not strive for our own glory, or the glory of others, but for the glory of almighty God. When people see our openness to them and that we follow God in all ways and we do not compromise but obey Him in all things, they will be more inclined to ask us about this faith we have and accept Him as Lord and Savior or accept the teaching we give in order to help them grow in Christ. This is what we are called to do. Do not let tradition get in the way. We must look to our neighbors and those God brings our way above ourselves. “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:24. Whatever brings God glory, and our fellow man is better in the end, this we need to do.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.