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“God is faithful, who has called you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭

I love the Lord of the rings. I watch the movies first, and read the books later. To this day, one of my favorite scenes in the book and the film is when the fellowship is formed to protect The hobbit Frodo Baggins in his quest to destroy the one ring. This rain had the ability to control the mind of anyone who wears it. Even so, the people who volunteered to help Frodo brought different gifts to the table. Characters like Gimli (You have my Ax!), like Legolas (you have my bow!), and Aragon (“If by my life or death I can protect you I will!”). This is what I think about when I reflect on the Corinthian Christians. Only the difference is, Christ gave the gifts to build up Corinth, and the gifts weren’t weapons! Paul noticed the different gifts in Corinth  and acknowledges them in his letter “I thank my God for the grace given to you” he writes in 1 Corinthians 1:4. What did they have? We will go more In depth this Sunday at Carroll Springs UMC, yet for now, one of the gifts was perseverance:  “you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge,”- 1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:5‬.

This is an interesting lesson, greatness is not born, it’s developed! Not everyone is instantly great at talking, learning, etc. Yet Paul cites the Corinthians are great at both. Why? It would be great if the Corinthians flipped a switch and were instantly blessed with speech. But the apostles took 3 years with Jesus to grasp he was the way. In Acts 17, only two names are mentioned as interested in Paul’s message after preaching on Mars Hill (cf Acts 17:34). It’s likely learning and communication took time in Cornith. Sometimes taking time means being ready to fail. Yet! The Corinthians made it! Don’t give up this week. Great things take time. Failure happens, but hang in there! God is faithful! After 3 years of struggle with the depth of his sin, the writer Robert Robinson was converted by the preaching of Methodist preacher George Whitfield and as a response: wrote one of the great hymns of our faith “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” . I quote  a line here: “Here I raise my Ebenezer;  Hither by Thy help I'm come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.”

John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs UMC

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