Week 35 Aug 26 -
According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, 188.5 million football fans spent a total of 15.3 billion dollars on Super Bowl parties in 2018.
This lavish retail splurge on everything from decorations to apparel and even food was primarily driven by individuals promoting their proud allegiance to a championship caliber team.
For some consumers, these statistics may represent nothing more than the result of a great opportunity to actively support a local ball club. But what these numbers reveal about most fans, however, is a sinful pursuit of the human heart: Superiority.
Since mankind’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we have wrestled with an identity problem. While we were originally created to find our worth in being image-
This deep insecurity often creates a superiority complex, where we overcompensate for our self-
Unfortunately, the deeper truth behind every superiority complex is that all self-
In 1 Corinthians 3, the apostle Paul was directly confronted with the same sinful issue of superiority in the Corinthian church. Many of the church’s members were filled with jealousy and strife because of their struggle to find their true identity in Christ. These members desperately wanted to associate exclusively with specific church leaders as a means of establishing superiority over other believers in the congregation.
Some bragged openly about their allegiance to the gifted Alexandrian preacher Apollos, while others clung to their unwavering loyalty towards Paul.
When Paul heard about these quarrels, the apostle quickly reminded them that no superior value should be placed on anyone but God alone because each church member is nothing more than a recipient of the Lord’s unmerited grace.
As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:6-
In his apostolic rebuke, Paul reminded the Corinthians that all glory and honor belong to God alone. He emphasized that we are all a product of God’s grace and have nothing superior to brag about apart from Him. While Paul was a gifted evangelist who laid a foundation for the church, and Apollos came along and watered many of Paul’s gospel seeds, it was God who gave the fruitful increase.
What Paul reminds us today through this message to the Corinthians is that our true identity is found only in Jesus Christ. He alone is superior and we all come to Him on level ground as redeemed sinners. Our calling is simply to be His faithful servants here on earth. We are merely fellow workers who have been given different measures of gifts and abilities to help build God’s kingdom.
So let us set aside our superiority complexes and labor together on the same team for the same goal: to glorify God and receive eternal wages that will far surpass any earthly trophies.
Surrendering Our Superiority
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Willing to Wait
The 30th chapter of Isaiah begins with God calling Judah “stubborn children” because they decided to trust in the military protection of Egypt over the sovereign protection of the Lord. However, despite highlighting the foolishness of Judah’s rebellious nature in the first 17 verses, Isaiah 30:18 refines the focus of the chapter by pointing to God’s providential patience for His chosen people. The passage proclaims, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
Our Source of Satisfaction
As the most prominent psalmist in scripture, King David often points to the house of God as the primary source of his satisfaction. Despite his abundant wealth, military power, and rare gifts as a warrior and a poet, David is known in history as a man after God’s own heart because what he consistently treasures most is God’s own presence. In Psalm 65:4 he reiterates this deep desire to be near to the Lord when he states, “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!”
Evil Leads to Exile
2 Kings 17 chronicles one of the darkest moments in Israel’s history as the ten tribes of the northern kingdom were taken away from Samaria and led into a devastating exile in Assyria. While verse 6 describes the Assyrian capture by King Hoshea, the bulk of verses 7-
Week 36 Readings: September 2 – 8
TOOLS FOR NEXT WEEK’S TREASURE HUNT
Tips to Keep You on Track
Our readings this week will continue to guide us through the book of 1 Corinthians as we encounter chapters 8-
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