Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

It's Not What You Know but Who You Know

February 01, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 8
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
It's Not What You Know but Who You Know
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
It's Not What You Know but Who You Know
Feb 01, 2021 Season 5 Episode 8
Pastor Dave Tucker

"Knowledge puffs up, love builds up"

Based on Psalm 111 and 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Originally presented January 31, 2021 

Show Notes Transcript

"Knowledge puffs up, love builds up"

Based on Psalm 111 and 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Originally presented January 31, 2021 

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW BUT WHO YOU KNOW
Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 

There was division in the Church of Corinth… not unlike what we have in our churches today… especially as we talk about the church catholic or the universal church. And yet, It’s not just division in our churches that causes concern, but there is division in our society. This pandemic and other events of the past year and some months has isolated us to the point that we cannot even have civil discussions anymore. Paul had some things to say about the division among those in the Church of Corinth, which I really believe we need to hear today. Before we open God’s word this morning, I invite you to join me as we ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the words we will be studying today.

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION 

SCRIPTURE 

Two phrases jump out at me as I read these lectionary passages this week, “The fear (Hebrew word, Yirat, meaning to reverence or be in awe) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever. And Paul adds to that understanding, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” “ 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

So, let’s explore what Paul was dealing with in today’s new testament lesson. Seems that there was some amount of discussion concerning eating of food offered to idols. There were two groups of people in the Church of Corinth, each had their own take on this issue… and each side had their own, very good reasons for being on the side they were on. Each side had knowledge that lead to their stand on the issue… however, knowledge puffs up, love builds up. 

One group of people believed that it was okay to eat food offered to idols, because these idols just didn’t exist! The God of the universe  was the only true God… all the other gods were phoney baloney… they were fictitious and thus food offered to them was simply an exercise in futility. The other group of people approached the issue from a standpoint of, this is where they came out of. Being a follower of Jesus gave them freedom from idol worship. To them eating food offered to the idols that they left behind was going back to the bondage that idolatry caused in their lives. Paul was like, “I’m just gonna be a vegetarian!” “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.” Paul was literally wanting the Church of Corinth to focus more on love than on knowledge. In Paul’s theological workshop, food is neutral, it neither brings us closer to, or further from God. 

Today, I believe God wants us to understand the same thing! We love a good argument. Social media has provided us all with a platform for making us “experts” in just about everything. There is a lot of information out there. I was telling someone the other day, as it relates to information we receive from the news, there are two sides to every story… and somewhere in between is the truth. We can argue our version of knowledge, we can get into heated debates on things like politics, theology, philosophy, and ethics… and never change a single life! Well maybe we will change lives… people will unfriend us and distance themselves from us, thereby making their lives better! [smile] But if we love, it puts us in a space of asking ourselves the question, how can I be most useful to my brothers and sisters… how can I make a positive difference in someone else’s life? “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.”

Please don’t misunderstand me! I am not talking about compromising morals or values in lieu of love… What I am talking about is, LOVE COMES FIRST!

Some of you know this… maybe this is new to others, I am a chaplain with the Fort Worth Police Department. And I used to serve as a hospital chaplain. A year or so ago, I was serving as a chaplain, and someone came up to me with a question, “Hey chap, tell me about God… Tell me about heaven and hell and about judgement.” So, I went into my theological understandings of such matters and was on a roll when I noticed his face. He did NOT like my response. “You are WRONG” this person retorted and then proceeded in correcting my theology. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke softly and tenderly to my soul. “HEY Knucklehead!”  When this person asked you to tell them about God, they weren’t looking for a theological diatribe. They are looking for God… Don’t try to fill them up with knowledge, touch their heart!” So when this person finished their response to my theological diatribe, I looked that person in the eye, and asked him… Tell me your story. How have you encountered God in your life? How do you relate to God? The person I was talking to at first thought I was changing the subject… yet they started telling me their story. It was a story of tragedies, and joys, and each time I invited the person to tell me where God was in each moment. That, my friends is how you change lives! That is how you reach the very heart and soul of a person! And before you get to thinking that Pastor Dave is tooting his own horn, remember… The Holy Spirit had to take the proverbial frying pan to my head before I recognized what this person was really asking for. “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.”

AMEN

JOURNAL PROMPTS:

5 Daily Gratitudes

How do you relate to the statement from Paul, “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.”

What are some ways that you can practice sharing more love instead of knowledge?

Are there things in your life that you so strongly believe, that you are willing to “fight to the death” over? What needs to happen to convert that into love?