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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Psalm 33:12-15, 20-21
Luke 4:38-44

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what's your order?

Jesus "did not allow them to speak." —Luke 4:41

Timing is so critical to God's order. The demons in today's Gospel speak the truth, that Jesus is the Son of God, but at the wrong time. Jesus consequently rebukes the demons and does not allow them to speak (Lk 4:41; see also Acts 16:17-18). On another occasion, Jesus healed a leper and commanded him not to speak about the healing (Mk 1:44). The leper ignored Jesus' warning and, as a result, Jesus' plans were hindered (Mk 1:45). Words spoken at the wrong time are destructive. Even if the words are truthful, the lack of order indicates destructive rather than constructive purposes. In fact, speaking out of order derives from pride and foolishness (Sir 20:6).

The Corinthians were also out of order. A few years after their conversion, they were still quarreling and envious (1 Cor 3:3), when they should have been stepping out into ministry and "teaching others" (Heb 5:12ff). Their quarreling words were out of order. Such words are more understandable in a new convert, but inappropriate when spoken years after conversion.

The Lord is a God of order (1 Cor 14:33). He sends the Holy Spirit to teach us what to say, how to say it (Jn 12:49), and when to say it (see Mt 10:19). Seek the gift of prophecy (1 Cor 14:1), which is saying what God wants said at the time He wants it said. There is "a time to speak" (Eccl 3:7). "Like golden apples in silver settings are words spoken at the proper time" (Prv 25:11).

Prayer:  Jesus, bring me into a new dimension of Your order.

Promise:  "Each will receive his wages in proportion to his toil." —1 Cor 3:8

Praise:  Jack, a public school teacher, quietly witnesses for Christ and prays for his students.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our leaflet Who Am I In Christ? or our four-part series of audio tapes starting with AV 7A-1 or our two-part video series starting with V-7A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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