1 Corinthians 16:1–4
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
David's labors in waging war and governing the nation are holy works, true sacrifices, godly battles to defend the people who had the Word of God against the devil, in order that the knowledge of God might not be entirely extinguished on earth. We think the same about every good work in the humblest job and in private life. Through these works Christ celebrates his victory over the devil, just as the distribution of alms by the Corinthians (1 Cor 16:1) was a holy work, a sacrifice, and battle of Christ against the devil, who is at work so that nothing may be done for the praise of God.
Pulling It Together: You may think that your little church does not contribute much to the kingdom. Never think that way. That is the same as saying that Christ does not contribute much to his own kingdom. For it is Christ who is at work in you and in your congregation. When your church gives to the local food pantry, Jesus celebrates another victory over the devil. When your congregation supports a missionary, Christ’s kingdom marches forward. When your church eats the bread and drinks the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns (1 Cor 11:26).
All of these things and more are the very power of God at work in your congregation—no matter the size. The same is true of little old you. You may consider yourself quite ordinary but what does that say about your Lord? Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you (2 Cor 13:5)? He is strong in you, despite all the weakness that you know about yourself. In fact, in these very weaknesses, Jesus celebrates his power through you. Where you and I fail, he succeeds for us. What a great victory it is each and every day when the devil points his finger at you and complains to God what a sinner you are, while the Father smiles over you, declaring once again that you are a saint because of your faith in his Son. Thus, day after day, week after week, Satan is defeated again and again in your life and your church.
Prayer: Use me today, Lord, for the advancement of your kingdom. Amen.
Where Two or Three Are Gathered is a guide for what Luther referred to as "mutual conversation and consolation" among believers. These are the times we come together one to one, as people of faith, to talk about our lives and struggles, and strengthen one another in prayer with the promise of God's grace and mercy. This devotional conversation guide may be used for a number of purposes and applications where people are looking for some help in structuring conversations on the practical and spiritual dimensions of Christian discipleship.