My Table

“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of First Corinthians, chapters 5 through 8 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  Today’s reading is…. um, very clear. I do not think it needs any devotional discussion – especially from me.  It is not right for an old single woman to speak of such thing – we can leave that for Paul. Such things? Yes – go, read them yourself. Talk it to God. Get direct from Him that which applies.

HOWEVER! The Lord gave me a dream last night. It relates to a reoccurring passage in my life, and reoccurring prophecy spoken over me.

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.”

Psalm 23

When I first returned to the Lord, Verse 5 kept coming up. A couple women (at different churches) prayed this “Prepare a table for me” over me.  I struggled with it. I know I still do not understand the fullness of what God is saying to me. But it is my inheritance and it is my promise. 

Last night, I dreamed I was in a field… a large vast field… and Erma’s old dining room table was before me. (Erma: the Sunday school teacher, the caterer, the mother of my friend, my mother’s best friend – Her table: I sat at, at her house, as a small child. It was given to my mother, who continued to call it Erma’s Table, and I sat there as a teen, and for a brief moment, when I was a young adult, it sat in my kitchen, until my mother took it back. And I do not know where the table is now.) Back to the dream and this table in the field. Only one chair was at the head of the table. And before the chair was an exquisite table setting. No food was on the table just the setting.

I sat down and I said: You prepare a table before me.

That is it. The table is still being prepared – obviously. There is no food, yet. There is no one – not my enemy nor my friend. Just the table – a deeply rich and meaningful table where much of my belief and foundation grew. With memories of nursing a baby while that table held my Bible for me to read. And memories of me as a child running past and paying under. Actually, I do not know for certain it was the same table she had when we visited – But I know it was “Erma’s table” – so it is associated with it all – and her saying: “Hold up your Bibles and say this is my Bible…”  This table – My eyes leak tears thinking about it, and I cannot tell you all that it means, because it is abstract feeling and the table is the only thing tangible.

Anyway, I had that dream last night. I had planned to take it to the Lord in prayer later, and get this devo done earlier… but then in the midst of today’s reading is this passage of the symbolic feast of unleavened bread. Communion. The table prepared before us – the participation of the works of the cross with communion in Christ. Let’s read it again:

“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV

In my dream there was only one setting and it was for me. It is not because God wants me or you lonely – it is sanctification. Being set apart. Being separated. It is seeing the Holiness of God and being undone.

It is a lonely meal in the sense that Jesus was alone on the cross, in the sense that we are alone in our walk with Him (in our relationship).  Each one of us has a unique relationship with God – as each of us are made differently. And when we get alone with Him we should be alone with Him.  Let us first, repent and get humble and remove from ourselves sexually immorality, covetousness, idolatry, reviling, drunkenness, and participating in extortions.

Action! Should ALWAYS be FIRST self-reflection for repentance and humility.

Then, when it says to remove, it is in relation to the feast of the Lord’s super. Which is to commune and fellowship together as ONE BODY and with God.  So as you read on about being one flesh and body, you can correctly extend the metaphor.  Let us not corrupt, but grace be given in measure to assure God’s work can be done.  Too often we forget the grace.  When sinners come in, give grace as they learn to shed the sins – but with real transformation, it will happen quickly. Do not be deceived and cater to evil. Do not let leaven corrupt the just. Keep evil in its place.

And I think of the sorcerer Balaam – God could have killed him, or prevented him from going to the mountain and to the enemies of the Israelites.  I think of it because sometimes evil comes with a blessing in its mouth.

As revival (our modern word for multitudes getting saved, and woke up and revived) happens – we will see many coming in. some with stinking thinking about who Christ is – some with demonic stronghold – some fully possessed by legions of demons – some witches and warlocks who have no intention for change will come to infiltrate.  This will happen. This must be. But when we gather in small groups to break bread, be careful… when seeking leaders for new disciples, be careful. 

We cannot judge how long it takes for incorrect corruptible foundations to be rebuilt. Lately God is working on me – breaking down old ways of thinking that were not Biblical but given to me through church. We are all growing and learning. We must understand the line in the sand.

The outreach brings them in. Then we must gather around and love them so that God can change them. If we did not love them and they did not change quickly – is it them who should be cast out or us? Let us love them and God will change them. If they come in with the outreach and they are evil – are we to cast them out immediately?! STOP IT!!! We need to LOVE THEM. 

I have brought too many who were bound with evil in – and no one came to lay hands on and pray for their freedom.  Were we afraid they wouldn’t come back – well, they didn’t because God isn’t real and didn’t free them. We need to do better – love them, lay hands on them and pray for them!

Paul, in few words tries to explain this balancing act.

Interestingly enough the ultimate understanding of it boils down to the SAME THING I SAY EVERY DAY: Repent, humbly yourself, draw close to God, through Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit and submit fully to what they tell you when they tell  you. No more. No less. And you can’t go wrong. Until you get that close that you are dwelling in the secret place – where you are walking in spirit – where you are separated from the flesh – just love everyone, read your Bible and pray.

Dear, Lord, make these readers (and me) hungry – insatiably hungry for the deep things of you. That we may seek you with all our hearts and seek you first. I ask in the name of Jesus! Amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Corinthians 5-8 NKJV

Immorality Defiles the Church

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even [a]named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are [b]puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord [c]Jesus.

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore [d]purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed [e]for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Immorality Must Be Judged

I wrote to you in my epistle not to [f]keep company with sexually immoral people.  10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

Do Not Sue the Brethren

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have [g]judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [h]homosexuals, nor [i]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were [j]sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Glorify God in Body and Spirit

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [k]helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of [l]any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [m]and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Principles of Marriage

Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.

But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Keep Your Marriage Vows

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

Live as You Are Called

17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I [n]ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

To the Unmarried and Widows

25 Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress—that it is good for a man to remain as he is: 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.

32 But I want you to be without [o]care. He who is unmarried [p]cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his [q]virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his [r]virgin, does well. 38 So then he who gives [s]her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

39 A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment—and I think I also have the Spirit of God.

Be Sensitive to Conscience

Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge [t]puffs up, but love [u]edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a [v]stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 5:1 NU omits named
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:2 arrogant
  3. 1 Corinthians 5:5 NU omits Jesus
  4. 1 Corinthians 5:7 clean out
  5. 1 Corinthians 5:7 NU omits for us
  6. 1 Corinthians 5:9 associate
  7. 1 Corinthians 6:4 courts
  8. 1 Corinthians 6:9 catamites, those submitting to homosexuals
  9. 1 Corinthians 6:9 male homosexuals
  10. 1 Corinthians 6:11 set apart
  11. 1 Corinthians 6:12 profitable
  12. 1 Corinthians 6:12 Or anything
  13. 1 Corinthians 6:20 NU omits the rest of v. 20.
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:17 direct
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:32 concern
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:32 is concerned about
  17. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or virgin daughter
  18. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Or virgin daughter
  19. 1 Corinthians 7:38 NU his own virgin
  20. 1 Corinthians 8:1 makes arrogant
  21. 1 Corinthians 8:1 builds up
  22. 1 Corinthians 8:9 cause of offense

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