My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Thursday, November 8, 2012
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
(1 Corinthians 3:5 NASB)
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
(1 Corinthians 3:6 NASB)
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
(1 Corinthians 3:7 NASB)
People within the community at Corinth were arguing with one
another about the state of their spiritual lives. Some were bragging
about who it was that had brought them to Christ. They were proud of
one preacher or another, but Paul tried to set things straight. It was
God who had caused them to grow. Others might be a part of the process,
but God was the one who was leading them to become the mature
Christians that God had intended. Humans may be able to tweak things
and add information here or there, but it is God who causes the growth.
The other day I sat on the plane next to a man who works in the
area of environmental clean-up. He was telling me a little about his
business and how a lot of what he does is on farms and cleaning up the
messes that may be found there. He's been working with a major pig farm
for nearly three years, however, along the way he was called over to do
some work at a chicken farm. He told me that after his experience
there he can no longer eat chicken. I asked him why and he said that it
was because the chickens no longer look like chickens. They are
strange fat blobs that we raise as "chickens" but they truly aren't what
we would think of as chickens. They are being raised purely for their
meat and so there is no desire for them to produce anything else. We
have genetically mutated the chickens to such an extent that they hardly
resemble what we imagine running around the barn yard. They barely
have any feathers anymore because that takes food and energy to grow
feathers so we have mutated them to not grow feathers. They no longer
have nails coming out of their chicken feet because that takes food and
energy so they have been mutated to reduce their nail beds. They barely
have beaks because those take calcium to grow and we don't want to
waste calcium on a beak that isn't needed. Forget the identifying red
floppy flesh on the top of their heads. Those are gone too. They can
barely walk and are simply raised to become big fat blobs of meat for us
to eat. They are very strange chickens, indeed. The question becomes
whether they truly are chickens at all. They could no longer survive
out in the real world as real chickens. They have become strange
mutations at the hands of humans. They are no longer the chickens that
God had originally grown and had intended for his people.
God has a plan for humanity and a blueprint for our growth which
results in spiritually healthy individuals who can live and survive in
this world. It is not a human plan but sometimes we allow the human
plan to go to work on us. We allow the human plan to tweak things here
and there and we claim that we are growing because of this human or that
human but if we allow that to be the case, we will also become some
very strange chickens. We may be good for consumption (or to be
consumers), but we will never be able to leave the walls of the church.
We will never survive the world.
Paul knew that healthy growth within the body of Christ could only
come from God. There is a great temptation within the body of Christ to
try to manipulate or mutate what God has already created. We have
great leaders with charisma who come and tell us to go one way or the
other. We are excited about them and we find ourselves becoming their
disciples and then Paul reminds us -- it's not about the one who did the
preaching or the baptizing -- it's all about God. I don't want to be
mutated into some strange chicken. I want to be healthy and I want to
be real and I want to be able to survive as a follower of Christ in this
world. How about you?
Lord, I pray that I would submit myself and my ministry completely
and totally into your hands and may you bring the real growth, the
healthy growth. Amen.