Today's Chapter: 1 Corinthians 10
Specific Text: 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, 31
Do you view yourself as wretched? We make a big deal about being wretches in our circles. The first main point in our summary of what we believe - the T in TULIP - indicates that we are people totally depraved of goodness. Christianity's favorite song goes "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me." Clearly it's important that you understand that you have nothing good to offer to God.
Paul reminds you of your wretchedness in verse 12 as he instructs you not to get too cocky in your Christian lifestyle. He has just written about how the Israelites turned out to be wretched failures after they were saved from Egypt, and you're every bit as wretched as they were, so be careful that you don't fall into sin like they did. Don't forget that.
But there's a tension here. You're right to assume that you can't do anything good on your own, that you will fall victim to whatever temptations come your way if you rely on your own strength. But you're not on your own. Paul's reminded you a couple of times in this letter that you were bought with a price. After warning you in verse 12, Paul reminds you in v13 that God will always be faithful to you. In times of temptation, He will always provide a way out. You don't have any reason to fall back into wretchedness - you're not just relying on your own strength, you have the Spirit of God in you!
At the end of this chapter, Paul gives a simple piece of advice to restrain the aspects of wretchedness that remain in you: whatever you do - even the mundane stuff like eating and drinking - do it all for the glory of God.
Prayer For The Day: Father in heaven, help me to always remember that I brought nothing of value to you, and that you saved a wretch like me. The devil tries to tell me every day that I still am a wretch... please give me the strength to remember that I am not, because now I am in Christ. Help me to remember that in every part of my life so that I can glorify you.