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DAY 13 

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Start your day by reading Psalm 33:1-11. As we have been studying both the Old and New Testament over the last several days, are you seeing how “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” We have seen God show up in the church of Corinth, in the book of Ezra, and through Nehemiah. How do you see God showing up in your life? Take a moment to write it down!

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Nehemiah 5:14-7:73a
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

Devotional thought
What is the deal with meat offered to idols? Why not just skip the meat? Why not just avoid the temples? It wasn’t quite that easy in ancient Roman culture. We mentioned in a previous devotional that every city had a god. In addition to that, every guild (career/trade group) had a god, every family had a god, and individual people could choose individual gods.

If you lived in Corinth and worked in any trade you would be part of a guild and would be required to attend guild events. At these events, meat would be sacrificed to the god of the guild before being consumed as part of the event meal. The church in Corinth was having disagreements about whether Christians should consume this meat. Was eating this meat idol worship since it had been offered to idols?

Paul’s response is twofold. First, other gods aren’t real, so who cares whether the meat was cooked on an altar or a stove? Second, although other gods aren’t real, other people’s beliefs are. We must be sensitive to and considerate of others around us in the way that we live our lives.

What applies to me?
Let’s pretend that you have two children. One can walk fine and one is on crutches due to a broken leg. If your healthy kid kept leaving things lying around for the other kid to trip over, what would you say?

This illustration does not mean that Christians with other beliefs or views are broken or weaker. This is just a reminder that each of us has our own unique struggles. We each have things we are overcoming. Good brothers and sisters help one another on the journey rather than tripping each other up.

You might be thinking; “We don’t really have an idol ceremony at my job, so how does this apply to me?” It may look like not offering alcohol at parties with recovering friends. It might mean not making fun of or comparing yourself to other Christians with views about music, clothing, media, etc. that differ from your own. It could mean refraining from fighting over theological differences in the social media comments section. Did we say that? Yes, yes we did.

None of us are in this alone. Remember the whole “working together” thought on day 3 and the “we are the temple” thought on day 5? We live in a very individualistic society, but that is not how followers of Christ are meant to be. We are built for community; we are in this together. Let’s be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Let’s protect our brothers and sisters. Let’s be considerate.

[10 minutes]
Write it out:  Is there someone in your life who needs some consideration? The reality is that we don’t all start from the same place. Consideration is key to building a healthy community. Is there someone you need to show consideration to? Write down their name/situation along with ways you can be considerate.

Pray it out: Paul starts chapter 8 by saying “knowledge puffs up, while love builds up.” Knowledge is good, but love is better. Knowledge WITH love is a powerful force. Who can you build up today? How can you be considerate at home, at work, and online? Pray for opportunities to show consideration today.  

Live it out: What you know is less impressive than how you make others feel. Look for opportunities to be considerate today.