Paul begins his letter to the Corinthian believers with a word of thanks. What are your first words when someone asks you about a friend? Are they words of praise and thanksgiving for that person’s friendship or quality of character? Here are Paul’s words of praise for his friends in the Corinthian church: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 ” I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
What stood out to me in this passage is Paul’s thankfulness to Jesus for giving these people to him as believing friends who emulated Jesus in speech and wisdom. They had spiritual gifts and used them to build up the body of believers. They lived with anticipation for the return of Christ and were sustained by their faith. Think about a friend you have in Christ. What qualities would you lift up to Jesus in praise about their faith, love and actions towards others? As you think about them, pray that God will use them to influence others as they have influenced you. Pray that they would continue to stand firm in faith and be the Light of Jesus to those around them. Pray for yourself too, that you too will be a friend that shows a zeal and passion for Christ that is evident to all those around you. Think about Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:15-16 “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
May our lives reflect Jesus and shine for all to see.