Read 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.
Just a few years after Paul wrote his letters to the church in Corinth, Christians suffered some of the most intense, evil persecution the world has ever seen. The Roman Emperor Nero even doused Christians in wax and set them on fire as human candles for his decadent parties.
We should learn to love God and His Kingdom in increasing measure wherever He has placed us—to make God and His Kingdom our priority.
I mention this disturbing anecdote from history because it illustrates how difficult it was for Christians living in the first century, just as it is difficult for Christians in many parts of our world today. Paul told the Corinthians to live as though the time were short (see 1 Corinthians 7:29). He told them to be focused on their service to the Lord. He wanted believers then and now to live with the singleness of heart and action God promised to give His people (see Jeremiah 32:39). For, when we surrender our own agendas and let God's purposes rule in our lives, He will work in us mightily for His name, His Kingdom, and our good.
Paul reminds us: "[T]his world in its present form is passing away" (1 Corinthians 7:31), so we should learn to be content wherever we are. We should learn to love God and His Kingdom in increasing measure wherever He has placed us—to make God and His Kingdom our priority. What would it look like for God to take hold of your time? What would it look like for you to live completely focused on Christ? The time is short, so let's make the most of it.
Prayer: Jesus, forgive me for living a routine that neglects You and Your mission. May I see that the time is short; help me use the days You have given me to proclaim Your goodness and Your Kingdom in word and deed. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; . . ." (1 Corinthians 7:29).