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The Long Play – July 20, 2023

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it.
1 Corinthians 3:10

The Long Play

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Daily Devotion – July 20, 2023

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 3:10

See series: Devotions

It must have been hard for the apostle Paul to leave each church he helped start. Usually, after just a short time, Paul had to move on to a different city for his mission work. Sometimes he had to leave due to persecution or because other places needed to hear the gospel of Jesus too. It’s easy to imagine why Paul had a hard time leaving each of the fledgling congregations he helped get off the ground. Maybe, in some ways, it felt like letting go of his baby—to let someone else hold it for a while.

But in our Bible verse today, we see Paul trusting that the work in each of those cities would continue. He got to lay the foundation, and someone else was coming along to build on it and finish the work.

We can get discouraged when we don’t see God’s kingdom built as swiftly as we’d like or not see people filling every pew in the church. We can get discouraged when that person we’ve been trying to reach out to hasn’t come to church yet.

But it’s good to have patience in this gospel-sharing work. Just because we don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean we should stop working to build up the Church of God. Like Paul, maybe we are just laying the groundwork for someone else to come along and build upon it further. This could apply in the ministry of a church or in the personal ministry of witnessing to others.

Even if the friend we invite to church doesn’t accept our invitation immediately, we at least built a foundation, planted a seed, and made a positive impression with them. We never know what God might have in store for them in the future and whom he might put in their life to continue building on that gospel foundation we began to lay down. We play the gospel-long game, trusting God’s long-term plans that he has for every person.

Lord, give me many opportunities to lay down gospel foundations for others in your Word. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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