1 Corinthians 10:31

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.

Ecclesiastes 2:24

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ecclesiastes 2:24  

“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.” – Ecclesiastes 2:24

In this verse, we see the wisdom of the preacher as found in Ecclesiastes.  The preacher is no doubt Solomon, the son of King David.  He starts off in this chapter by describing some of the thing’s men do in order to bring meaning and joy to their lives, and he uses himself and his actions as the examples.  He describes how he tried laughter, wine, increased labor.  Also in planting gardens and making parks and ponds and a forest of trees.  He bought many slaves and through procreation increased the number as well.  He also collected an incredible amount of things as well as many concubines for his own pleasure.  He eventually became great and increased more than any other in Jerusalem.  Anything his eyes wanted he acquired (Ecclesiastes 2:2-10).  Then, after this was done, “Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11. 

The above gave Solomon the conclusion that meaning regarding our lives is not found in wisdom, hard work or things: which was a prevalent and traditional belief of the teachers in Israel of that time period.  These things may give pleasure to the person pursuing these things, but only temporarily.  I remember speaking with a young lady who had just bought a new home in an expensive community, as well as a high-end automobile.  After some time, she bought a bigger home because she found a friend had purchased a bigger home in the same community.  She also purchased a fancier car.  The sad thing about this is that she did not have the money or income to purchase them, she just went further into debt, so much so that she had little money left over at the end of each month.  What this young lady had was very good.  But because her focus was on her status, she was never satisfied.  Solomon saw this and determined it was simply vanity.

Going back to our focus verse, Solomon came to the following conclusion.  “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.” Ecclesiastes 2:24.  He determined that this drive to do all that is possible to bring pleasure to his life was a truly fruitless venture, for the pleasure was temporary.  It is not self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure that brings satisfaction, but a contentment in the food and drink we consume and accepting the work we do now as being good, because these things are given to us by God.  He then tells us later a more detailed thought regarding contentment.  “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.  Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.  For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20. 

If Solomon, who is considered the wisest and richest man who ever lived, one who had the means to acquire anything he wanted and the ability to do anything he desired, found a good life to be in the contentment in all that God has given him, then we should apply this wisdom to our own lives as well.  I have found this to be the source of much peace, for all my needs are met.  I pray as you apply this, you will find the same thing for yourself.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.