My Communion Table

“…that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-32 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 9 through 11 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). In today’s reading Paul defend who he is and what he does in response to questions that were sent to him, continuing the last chapter of yesterday’s reading.  Therefore the book, so far, goes like this: I am Paul. Someone told on you, that some dude is sleeping with his mother?! Ewww. Knock it off – you should know better. If not here is an explanation which is really that you have elevated man and a worldly type of love (bosting that you accept evil) over Jesus and truth (wait until chapter 13 and there is no love without the truth of Christ). Next let me answer the questions you sent me in chapter 7 through 16.  And this is where we are – going through these answers.  We do not actually have the list of questions and we have to guess what the questions are based on what Paul speaks about in this section. So for us – it seems like partial instructions for something this church had the rest of the instructions on – like listening to one side of a phone conversation.

Let us take women covering their heads, for example. We can extrapolate from culture that since submissive well behaved women wore a covering and behaved. During the roman gentrification, feminism was on the rise and women were being liberated and ordaining themselves in power and authority. In our modern world – women are still trying to figure out their place in the church in submission to God.  God is the covering of man and man the covering of women – but what about me? I have no husband and no father? Where is my covering? Glory be to God – it is God himself, but not solely. I am submitted to my pastor.  I have power and authority only under authority. (Although this is also true for a man, but men have one less step in the chain of command and they have more responsibility because they have the responsibility of the woman.)  So when I am visiting a friend, I fall inline under her husband in her house. And I stay under authority.  And as a covenant with God that he will ALWAYS cover me and provide (and there is more to it, but that simplifies it) – I submit and wear a scarf or hat or some type of head covering at all times. I wake up and put in on while thanking the lord, before my feet hit the floor. And I wear it all day and even into bed (where it falls off during the night). Most women in my church do not understand. But they have a natural covering and they do not have this same agreement with God, that I entered into in my private time with Him.
The point is – the covering was about women submitting to the structure God created in the Garden – it has NOTHING to do with being oppressive or antifeminist – it is about honoring a women in the way God designed it to be.

I like to describe it this way. If a man has power from God he is as strong as He and God are.  But a woman in correct submission would have the power of her man and God and herself! Be not deceived – a woman in submission is much more powerful. God did not set this up to oppress a women but to make her stronger and give her resources and an army. Why are the prayer warriors of the church a bunch of older women??? Because God gave them a freedom that is hard to explain but powerful to move in. Respect the woman under authority who may have been given authority to speak, preach, teach, give prophecy, and minister – there are many who will come to stand for her.

Anyway – Although I can speak on that subject for hours, I wanted to stick with the table, the feast prepared. I shared my dream, yesterday and Psalm 23 was heavy in my mind all night again last night. This morning I was catching up on social media (running a business, helping a friend’s ministry and this ministry – my social media surfing looks a bit different than most people. I am reading updates and responding to comments, shares and messages. I saw that a messianic rabbi I follow posted Psalm 23 – and I read every word of it slowly, like each word was a bite of food. Taking it in like I had not heard it in years! Carefully – asking God along the way, what is it specifically is He saying?

Then I sit down to this reading and here we have the Lord’s Super.  I can quote many books of the Bible and many verses from memory – However, I never set out to memorize this passage – and yet, I have participated in so many communions (with churches or alone at home) using this passage, that I can, to my surprise, quote it.

My dream, He was preparing a table. But Jesus prepared and served the meal on the cross. “Take Eat”. It is finished. This, meal and/or table, was spoken over me so many times and in so many supernatural ways, over the last almost 3 years, and spoken in past present and future tense… that it is almost perplexing. And the meal was communion with the believers, a feast in front of enemies, a bridal super of promise and provision, and a holiday to honor our Father.  It reminds me of all end time prophecy mixed up with the prophecy of the day for the people at that time.   I have said it a billion times – when it is prophetic it is outside of time. When the symbol (in this case the meal) crosses over many stories – we can tie it to the overarching theme in the Bible associated with it.

“But let a man examine himself” 1 Cor. 11:28a

Let the woman too. Are we subject to our proper authority? Are we repentant of our sins? Are we laying aside the evils we were told yesterday to lay aside? Are we speaking life and unity to the brethren and avoiding and fleeing the accuser? Are we seeking God first? Are we reading and praying daily? Are we spending time in the secret place? Are we learning to dwell there and walk in the spirit? Examine our self: before we try to enter His gate, before we try to get in the secret place or in the spirit, and before we partake of the meal.  The table is set, but are YOU ready to sit down and eat?  

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 – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!   

Isaiah 55:8

NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”

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 9-11 NKJV

A Pattern of Self-Denial

Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the [a]seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we have no [b]right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along [c]a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?

Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?

Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel [d]of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

Serving All Men

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the [e]law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without [f]law toward God, but under [g]law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became [h]as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

Striving for a Crown

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may [i]obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize [j]is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Old Testament Examples

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us [k]tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now [l]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [m]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [n]bear it.

Flee from Idolatry

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the [o]communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices [p]partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

All to the Glory of God

23 All things are lawful [q]for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things [r]edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; [s]for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Worship and the Lord’s Supper

11 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Head Coverings

Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given [t]to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Conduct at the Lord’s Supper

17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be [u]recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame [v]those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, [w]“Take, eat; this is My body which is [x]broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Examine Yourself

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and [y]blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks [z]in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the [aa]Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many [ab]sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:2 certification
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:4 authority
  3. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Lit. a sistera wife
  4. 1 Corinthians 9:18 NU omits of Christ
  5. 1 Corinthians 9:20 NU adds though not being myself under the law
  6. 1 Corinthians 9:21 NU God’s law
  7. 1 Corinthians 9:21 NU Christ’s law
  8. 1 Corinthians 9:22 NU omits as
  9. 1 Corinthians 9:24 win
  10. 1 Corinthians 9:25 exercises self-control
  11. 1 Corinthians 10:9 test
  12. 1 Corinthians 10:11 NU omits all
  13. 1 Corinthians 10:11 instruction
  14. 1 Corinthians 10:13 endure
  15. 1 Corinthians 10:16 fellowship or sharing
  16. 1 Corinthians 10:18 fellowshippers or sharers
  17. 1 Corinthians 10:23 NU omits for me
  18. 1 Corinthians 10:23 build up
  19. 1 Corinthians 10:28 NU omits the rest of v. 28.
  20. 1 Corinthians 11:15 M omits to her
  21. 1 Corinthians 11:19 Lit. manifest, evident
  22. 1 Corinthians 11:22 The poor
  23. 1 Corinthians 11:24 NU omits Take, eat
  24. 1 Corinthians 11:24 NU omits broken
  25. 1 Corinthians 11:27 NU, M the blood
  26. 1 Corinthians 11:29 NU omits in an unworthy manner
  27. 1 Corinthians 11:29 NU omits Lord’s
  28. 1 Corinthians 11:30 Are dead

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