Today’s WORD (Text)               1 Corinthians 8:1 - 6

1/ Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2/ Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3/ but anyone who loves God is known by him. 4/ Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5/ Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods, and many lords—6/ yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we are all things and through whom we exist.


Today’s Witness

Sometimes we have to prioritize our issues with respect to keeping the faith.  We can’t debate or argue the ideological fine points of every issue as though it challenges our Christian faith.  On its face, something might appear to be a challenging or distressing theological question, but upon more critical inspection it might not even present a theological dilemma or question at all.  It might simply be a provocative idea, such as, should one buy lamb meat from a vendor at a street festival if one thinks the lamb slain during a religious ceremony.  In his letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul is essentially suggesting that they ‘pick their battles’ more selectively.  Like the Corinthian Christians, we too live in a multicultural world where a plurality of faiths, ideologies and creeds can be found. The roots and the rationales underlying some of the preferences, idiosyncrasies and belief systems people have are not all rooted in Biblical faith, nor do they automatically pose a challenge to our faith.  If we believe that in the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth, and that there is one God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we ought not lose our cool or rise to debate every time somebody questions whether something is religiously appropriate or offensive.  God’s existence is not at risk because questions are raised about the correctness of cultural, social and religious practices; nor is God’s existence proven just because we launch into a sophisticated theological argument to disprove certain cultural and social theories we disagree with.  Keep the main thing the main thing: that there is one God, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.

Today’s Invitation

Name a couple of divisive issues you hear debated from time to time as though they are religious questions which—when examined more closely—are of little, if any, actual theological consequence. 

Today’s Prayer

Dear Lord, teach us in all our ways to acknowledge you, confident that you will direct our paths.  Help us to discern between questions of real meaning and consequence for our faith, and those issues that may sound religious, but in the end are of no theological consequence.  Make us witnesses of your awesome power, love and glory.  Finally, help us to believe that as long we seek first your kingdom’s reign, and your justice and righteousness, everything else will fall into place.  Amen.

The Passionary Intention

Today, I choose to live my life with passion.  Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:

  • Where will I follow Christ today?
  • To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
  • How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?


The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday).  Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.


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