Today’s Reading (all 1 link):  1 Chronicles 28-29; Job 19; 1 Corinthians 12

The last two chapters of 1 Chronicles provide a changing of the guard…from David to Solomon as king of Israel with a focus on God’s plans for Israel and his promise to David’s descendants.  Contained within this transition is a focus on knowing God and serving him with a “single mind and willing heart” through the insights provided by David:  Get to know God personally; understand God’s will for you; worship God with complete devotion and a single, willing mind; be faithful, be strong and act because God has chosen you!  Indeed, Solomon was chosen to build God’s temple on earth rather than David.  Despite how badly David had wanted to undertake this task, he knew God’s will…and in that understanding came an overarching challenge to Solomon and all those who would follow:  “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great; for the temple will not be for mortals but for the Lord God.”  David is saying that it is very easy to become infatuated with a building as well as saying that neglecting the church is wrong also.  Understanding the purpose of God’s Church is what is important.

Through all the difficulties that Job encounters, there is a prevailing thought.  At the heart of the book of Job comes his ringing affirmation of confidence: “I know that my Redeemer lives.” If this isn’t faith, I’m not sure I know what is.  Through it all…faced with the worse possible things we can imagine in this earthly body, Job still believed he would see God.

And then we have the Corinthian Church – suffering from issues of unity.  Interestingly, of all the things you might think would cause division…the Church at Corinth was allowing spiritual gifts to be the cause of division.  Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries. Some people thought they were more “spiritual” than others because of their gifts.

Devotional Thought:  What do people, in general see, when they look at the church?  Each of us is part of the body of Christ…equal participants in the mission that God wills.  In all of our readings today, the idea of understanding the purpose of God’s Church is crucial…Jesus provides a picture of the visible church in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.  “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”