Daily Bread 6-14-16
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
ref. - Lv 23:10 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye become into the land which I gave unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest:
In today's scripture Paul is not speaking of anyone else but himself. His devotion and dedication to Jesus Christ had brought him to a holy place. He was not only preaching and teaching the gospel but living it. He was not proud in that he wanted to Lord over his people but he did not mind when they were provoked to emulate(have a desire to either match or exceed his acts and faith) him. Knowing that if they were trying to surpass him that they would surely be saved. This is how we need to approach the people that God has put in front of us. Whether in a ministerial position or in our daily lives, we must live our lives in a way that if someone matches us or exceeds us we know that they have surely been saved. Here, Paul was talking about carnal family. Wonder if any of us have that relative that is in sin but always wants to be better than us at everything? Well, let them be better at us at serving the Lord. At least we know if they are trying to "outdo" us that they will be seeking God. First, though, we must purify ourselves so that we are someone that is to be emulated. We must cleanse ourselves from unrighteousness and live a clean and holy life. We must give them something to shoot at that will guarantee that they are serving God in a way that is pleasing to him. How do we do this? Simple. In order to do this we must receive the gifts that are offered us through faith and humble dedication. The word of God will be true and it will form us and mold us into a person that is pleasing in the sight of God. If the example is holy then those following the example in hopes of matching or surpassing the example will be holy as well. So, just as Jesus Christ was the first fruit of any brethren, let him be the first fruit of our lives as well. He gave his life a sacrifice and showed us the way so that we could be holy. Not filled with excuses, but holy. And even though we will never surpass Him let us strive to live the way that he lived. Many of you may not be blood relatives of Christ but we have all been taken in through an adoption called salvation. So let us be the example that draws even covetous people to Christ. Let us live so that more people want to copy us or even pass us up in holiness. Let us be the Apostles of this day and lead thousands if not millions to Christ......or even one! Let us be the first fruits of Christ on which all other fruits are measured!! Have a great day!!!