A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

“Our Daily Bread” Devotion, January 11, 2021

January 11 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17

Paper Crowns
The Lord’s people will judge the world.
1 Corinthians 6:2
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 6:1–6

After a holiday meal at my house, everyone opened party favors filled with candy, small toys, and confetti. But there was something else in the favors—a paper crown for each of us. We couldn’t resist trying them on, and we smiled at each other as we sat around the table. For just a moment, we were kings and queens, even if our kingdom was a dining room littered with the remnants of our dinner.
This sparked a memory of a Bible promise I don’t often think about. In the next life, all believers will share ruling authority with Jesus. Paul mentions this in 1 Corinthians 6 where he asks, “Do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world?” (v. 2). Paul referenced this future privilege because he wanted to inspire believers to settle disputes peacefully on earth. They had been suing each other and consequently harming the reputation of other believers in their community.
We become better at resolving conflict as the Holy Spirit produces self-control, gentleness, and patience within us. By the time Jesus returns and completes the Spirit’s work in our lives (1 John 3:2-3), we’ll be ready for our eventual role as “a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and . . . reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). Let’s hold on to this promise that glitters in Scripture like a diamond set in a crown of gold.
By Jennifer Benson Schuldt
REFLECT & PRAY
Almighty God, thank You for the wonderful future I have with You. Help me to look to You when it’s hard to cooperate with others. Learn more about the Spirit’s work in our lives.
How does the Holy Spirit influence your words and actions when you experience conflict? How does this affect those around you?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he gives his readers ways of thinking about judgment that implies more than crime and punishment. Making good judgments is more about our heart and humility than law. On one hand, Paul reasons, we aren’t even good judges of our own motives let alone the motives of others (4:1-5; 5:12). On the other hand, he didn’t want them to underestimate their capacities for good judgment in matters that might at first seem too difficult to resolve. For example, Paul saw it to be poor judgment to drag some disputes between believers in Jesus into public courts. While certain civil and criminal matters must be handled by the proper authorities, others could be handled by calm and discerning minds. Much can be learned by proving our faith—and settling differences—as we love others well as the Spirit guides us (6:1-8; John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Mart DeHaan