Weekly Devotional 12-2-19
There Should be no Jealousy Within Christendom
Not sure about you, but I have observed over the years that there seems to be a lot of jealousy within the ranks of Christendom. This, however, should not be. We all serve our Lord and Savior, and our purpose is the same, His glorification, at least that is what our aim should be. Jealousy breeds contempt and strive, and division usually follows. As an example of this, consider the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
“1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor”.
Paul’s attitude was mature, but the Corinthian believers were immature in their thinking and conduct. And this immaturity, which was fueled by jealousy, led to envy, strife, and division. Their focus was on men, not on Jesus, the anointed of God. Apollos was a righteous God-honoring man as was Paul, but Jesus was and is the cornerstone of the church. He is the head of the church and had their focus been on Him, their conduct would have been different, and there would have been harmony, not discord. The Corinthian believer’s attitude and attention should have been like that of John the Baptist. When a dispute arose between his disciples and certain Jews about purification, related to his baptizing and Jesus’ baptizing he answered and said: “27b A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” (Read John 3:22-31).
This should be our attitude and focus. If every Christian were to look on Jesus and consider that He is the preeminent one and seek ways to glorify Him, perhaps our jealousy of others would diminish. Perhaps even be non-existent.
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man