Sunday, November 11, 2012
Welcome to Day 315 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Psalm 122; 1 Corinthians 9; 1 Corinthians 10; 1 Corinthians 11 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Psalm 122:1, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 9:24, “Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
1 Corinthians 10:24, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
1 Corinthians 11:28, “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”
Self-examination is a key part of Communion/the Lord’s Supper.
I have taken Communion many, many times. At our church, we do it on the first Sunday of each month. Some denominations offer Communion weekly, even daily.
Growing up our church offered Communion twice per year. But it was a big deal, including the washing of feet.
There is no directive in scripture as to how often one should take Communion. We just read in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
I don’t think the frequency is that important… I think what is important is our heart and our attitude when we take Communion.
Paul said, “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat the bread and drink from the cup.”
This is not a “Am I clean enough to take Communion?” issue… it’s more of a “Have I given thought to what I am about to do?” issue.
The big question that I always think about is… when it says “Whoever eats/drinks in an unworthy manner…” Is anyone ever “worthy” enough to take Communion?
Not on my own merits anyway. I am only worthy to take Communion because of what HE has done.
None of us will ever be “clean” or free from sin enough to be deemed “worthy” to take Communion.
(This is a very slippery slope…_
So then, why should we examine ourselves?
Because it gives God a chance to speak to my heart about things in my life that may concern Him. It gives me a chance to pause and ask Him to forgive me for things I may have said or done that are outside the boundaries of what He wants for me/us.
I think the key to all this is sincerity. Humility. Submission.
Not simply just taking the wine and bread in a thoughtless, cavalier manner. (Which I’m sure I’ve done countless times, honestly… That’s why I generally only take Communion once on that weekend, even though I am at all three services.)
Again, it’s not about pulling out the microscope and digging deep to see what may be buried in my life. It’s about being willing to deal with the stuff that’s right there on the surface. Allowing Him to refine me, so that I can become more like Him.
Obvious things like damaged relationships, unhealthy habits or attitudes that may be taking hold, refusing to give or serve, (not living a sacrificial life…). These are the things that need to be dealt with before sharing at the Lord’s table.
Jesus said we should leave our offering and go to make things right with others, THEN give our offering. That’s how important this is…
When talking with Jesus, the Rich Young Ruler asked Jesus a question, “What do I lack?” Jesus told him to sell everything and give the money to the poor. Then he would have true riches.”
The man went away sad…
I am convinced that any time I ask Jesus “What do I lack” he will have an answer… But it’s not because he sees my faults. It’s because he sees my potential.
Communion is an amazing reminder of all that he has done for me. His death on the cross. His broken body. His blood that was shed… for me. For you…
The forgiveness and grace He has extended to us.
“Everyone ought to examine themselves.”
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24