Good Saturday morning my friends. This will need to be a condense devotion this morning as I need to be at a car wash in just over an hour. My apologies. This morning we continue with 1 Corinthians 1.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." vv. 18-19
The cross and the empty grave continue to be a barrier to people who want to follow Jesus' teachings. They would rather not deal with the weird stuff and take away the practical things they can use, such as "love one another". For them it is hard to understand how the cross can become a symbol of love. The fact is:
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. v. 25
God does not think like we do. We are limited in our viewpoint and our calculations. God has no such limits. So often we try to limit him according to our own limitations. It is the reason we fail to trust what he is doing and the promises he gave us. It is also why the world is not flocking to the Kingdom because it all seems so foolish. Paul reminds us that this is actually a thing that should keep us all humble:
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. vv. 26-29
It is how he continues to operate. You may not agree with some of his choices in the area of leadership or many other things. You may be thinking that these people could not be called, that they just took the calling on themselves. But be careful in your thinking. You do not stand in a great place to judge God or his servant. Remember this:
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." v. 30-31
There is no room for pride, boasting or any other thing that promotes self. God has done everything for us and we have done nothing for ourselves. If we find ourselves blessed, promoted, doing well in life, successful, in great positions we are those things or have those things by God's choosing, by his grace. Remember these things are not for us but for the sake of the Kingdom. They have been given so we can be better servants. Humility must be the word of the day, every day in the Kingdom.
Remember this next time you start to allow yourself to feel self-made, self-important, self-reliant, better than others. Without Jesus Christ we are nothing. So, if we want to boast let us boast about what Jesus has done in us and through us, always giving him the praise and the credit.