Teach us, then, by humble means, whether rich or poor,
In times of hunger help us lean upon the gracious stores, Christ our gracious store.
In today’s sermon text, we find Paul encouraging us towards contentment: “…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Corinthians 7:17). This message is a needed counter to our materialistic age, but can also be deeply troubling. What if the “life that the Lord has assigned” is one of disappointment, grief, or loss? Many of the hymns we’ll sing this morning point us towards the comfort that contentment in Christ brings. Not What My Hands Have Done reminds us that all attempts to find serenity from our own efforts will certainly fail: “not what I feel or do can bring me peace with God.” Fret Not Yourself (Psalm 37) and If Thou But Suffer God To Guide Thee counsel us to “Be still before the Lord and wait,” trusting that He will fulfill the desires of our hearts. After all, “God never yet forsook in need the soul that trusted Him indeed.” The two communion hymns, Calm Content and It Is Well With My Soul, express the joy we find when we learn the “heavenly skill” of resting within the Lord’s care, whatever our lot and wherever He leads. This joy does not remove the sorrows and trials we are called to endure, but points us to our ultimate hope. We close the service with May the Mind of Christ My Savior, a prayer that we might “run the race” before us “looking only unto Jesus”—the only source of the peace which “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Assigned, Called, Remain, Freedom, Bought, Slave
Keystone Verse: Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. (1 Corinthians 7:17)
1 Corinthians 7:17-24 17
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.