Prayer Focus: Tunisia

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 5-8

Scripture:
Concerning food sacrificed to Idols:

6 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. 7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. (1Cor. 8:6-13

Observation:

I couldn’t help but use the verse talking about food on the day after Thanksgiving.  We live in such a different time and place from the culture that this was written to that it’s easy to dismiss it as not applying to us.  I mean, when was the last time you knew anyone who actually had dinner with food that had been ritually sacrificed to appease one god or another?  It seems ridiculous to us now, but back then this was happening all the time.  Once the animal was dead and the sacrifice made, the leavings went to use.

It was causing problems in the church, to see people eating at these temples, because of the narrow scope of their understanding.  (If you don’t recognize the power of a wooden idol, how can the meat have any power?  It doesn’t.  So they ate.  But to the ones who were weaker, they saw this behavior (without the understanding) and participated in it.  This played havoc with their faith, messed up their thinking.  Today we have divisions in the church not based on food sacrificed to idols, but because of viewpoints on alcohol, tobacco, how we dress, dancing, etc..

Application:

While the idea of eating meat sacrificed to an idol seems silly to us now, we still have idols today.  We don’t sacrifice animals, we sacrifice our time, energy, resources and ambitions to things that lead us away from God.  We don’t wear sacrificial robes, instead we wear team colors, gang colors and business attire.

During this Thanksgiving weekend, while you are numbering your blessings and grateful for the things God has given to you, I urge you to invite the Holy Spirit to help you search your life for the things you have made into an idol.  The two tools to pull out and lay on the table beside your bible to help you make this examination accurate, are your calendar and your checkbook.  Where you spend your time and your money indicates where your treasures are.

Prayer:

Lord, Matthew 6:21 tells me: For where my treasure is, there my heart will be also.  Help me father, to invest in you and your kingdom.  Let me be open and listening for what you want done with the resources that are yours through me.  Reveal to me, Lord the places in my life where my thinking has become clouded,teach me understanding through your Word, then give me the courage to follow you.  Amen

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