We are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9
During his 1962 visit to Mexico, Bill Ashe helped fix windmill hand pumps at an orphanage. Fifteen years later, inspired by a deep desire to serve God by helping provide clean water to villages in need, Bill founded a nonprofit organization. He said, “God awoke me to ‘make the most of the time’ by finding others with a desire to bring safe drinking water to the rural poor.” Later, having learned about the global need for safe water through the requests of thousands of pastors and evangelists from more than 100 countries, Bill invited others to join the ministry’s efforts.
God welcomes us to team up to serve with Him and others in various ways. When the people of Corinth argued over which teachers they preferred, the apostle Paul affirmed his role as a servant of Jesus and a teammate of Apollos, fully dependent on God for spiritual growth (1 Corinthians 3:1–7). He reminds us that all work has God-given value (v. 8). Acknowledging the privilege of working with others while serving Him, Paul encourages us to build each other up as He transforms us in love (v. 9).
Though our mighty Father doesn’t need our help to accomplish His great works, He equips us and invites us to partner with Him.
How does leaving the results to God give you the courage to risk doing what seems impossible? What hard thing has He invited you to do with His help?
Father, thank You for providing all I need as You continue to accomplish great things in me.
Greek thinkers often saw the soul or spirit as pure and eternal in contrast to the weaknesses and passions of the body, and therefore emphasized controlling the body through the mind. Followers of Aristotle, for example, emphasized moderating bodily desires and feelings, while Stoics tried to eliminate negative emotional reactions to life entirely.
Paul also often contrasted life lived “merely” in the body (1 Corinthians 3:3–4) with a spiritual life (see for example Romans 8:4–9). But for Paul, the mind or human spirit was just as susceptible as the body to being governed by unhealthy desires. Paul emphasized instead the contrast between a life empowered by God’s Spirit and a life lived as “mere human beings” (1 Corinthians 3:4). Paul taught that only living in continual dependence on the Spirit could lift human beings from being slaves to their desires to living out their true purpose.