Our epistle this week is 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Paul warns the church at Corinth about the dangers of immorality, that by focusing on our desire we are led away from God’s desire for us. He reminds them that we were created to be connected with God and that sins of the flesh diminish our relationship. This may seem outdated in our society today where everything from news stories to product advertising are provocative, intended to make us react.

However, God’s intent since our creation has never changed and Paul’s warning for us is still as important as ever. It teaches that we are selfish to put our gratification above the needs of others and God’s call on our lives. In this vain attempt to be happy and fulfilled, we miss the joy God made us to experience.

Look for what will bring eternal happiness, not the temporary and unsatisfying human things we are offered. God wants to give us the most wonderful gifts but we must be willing to accept them. We waste our time and energy searching for anything else.

Gracious God, we are sorry when worldly things and issues distract us from following You. Forgive us and help us to see Your love is more important than all the things earth can provide. Amen.

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