Some things don’t matter and some things really matter.

Sometimes the things that don’t matter get the most fuss and attention.

Sometimes the things that really matter get neglected.

Paul writes about this tendency in 1 Corinthians 7. People were getting caught up in debates about different kinds of status: circumcised or not, enslaved or not, married or not. In verse 19 he writes about what is important, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.”

Paul said almost the exact same thing in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

This devotional is badly named. The term vicious spiral is there to invoke the image of a scenario in which one action cascades and builds upon another. A vicious cycle (or spiral) represents things progressively getting worse and worse. I see the Scriptures describing obedience in a similar spiraling way, but without it being mean, vicious, or negative. Paul says what matters is keeping God’s commandments, which he explains means a life of faith expressing itself through love towards God and others. Jesus further emphasizes what obedience looks like in John 15:17 when he point-blank explains obedience, “This is my command: Love each other.”

[Click to view diagram.]

Obeying God’s commands looks like loving people. This is what really matters! Pray that our church might spiral in obedient love.

John Riley
Junior High Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill