Connected by Determination 5/17

 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

There is many a pastor that comes to be preaching without brilliance or eloquence of speech, without worldly wisdom.  These brave souls come to you not with self-confidence but in weakness, fear and trembling determined to place their confidence in God and His message. Not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a trust in the Spirit’s power, in the knowledge that God’s word will not go out empty. In Isaiah 55:10-11 the Lord tells us, “For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

Your Bible contains the very word of God, and when that Word is shared it does not go out void of the wisdom and power of God! I am very thankful for that! God has spoken through a burning bush, a donkey, and He has told us that even the rocks would cry out the good news of the coming of Jesus.

At the end of what happened with the defiant Balaam, and his donkey, Balaam went to the King of Moab and said, “I must speak only what God puts in my mouth,” which just goes to show that in His wisdom God can use anyone, even a donkey and a rebellious prophet, to do His will and speak His truth (Number 22:38).

Do not be surprised that He can speak through burning bushes, donkeys, and rocks. Know this: God will use whatever is necessary to proclaim salvation to the human race. The Lord gives His people, His church, that privilege: to testify to the great things He has done. This too is a connection we all share, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Many times I have experienced and have heard from others, how a lesson or sermon has affected someone in a way that was not planned, seen, or intended. God stirred that person and opened their eyes, through His word. And His purpose was fulfilled through what was preached, taught, or shared from His word.

That is part of the mystery and power seen in the preaching of the Gospel, the message of the cross. So do not ever hesitate to share the Word of God; you may be planting or watering a seed, cultivating or nurturing a young plant, or even bringing it to harvest. God’s Word never goes out empty.

In Vs. 2, Paul states that he determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. This is a decision we must all come to as believers and Christ followers. This is how we get connected, and stay connected, to Jesus Christ and His Church. You have to make a determination to do so. Relationships are formed when we are determined to get to know another person, or one another, within our community of faith or our neighborhood.

But what Paul is saying here is that when he was with them he resolved to teach and preach nothing but the Gospel: The Message Of The Cross.

But he was the one that decided to do that. We too must make that determination: to focus on Jesus and the message of the Cross. Not just to teach and preach it but to live it out. We must, “make every effort in our pursuit of Christ. To answer the calling to come into fellowship, have a relationship with Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:1-9).

The message of the Cross is love: But, “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, John 3:16).

The message of the Cross is forgiveness: He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).

Any time we think of forgiveness we should think of His words while on the cross.

The message of the cross is the atoning sacrifice! God presented Him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. Our sins are atoned for.

The message of the cross is redemption! Redemption is the act of buying back. Man is God’s creation but our sin broke that relationship and disconnected us from God. When Christ died for our sins, and we accepted the message of the cross, we were reconnected into relationship and community with God… Now as believers we are God’s property twice-over. First by creation and later by being redeemed!

The message of the cross is reconciliation! For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life? And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).

The message of the cross is justification! Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Justification is a product of faith and faith alone; but never a faith that is alone.

The message of the cross – the gospel – is about God’s love for mankind and not man’s for the World. It is about God’s power and not ours, it is about His Wisdom and not worldly wisdom. You do not need to be eloquent or brilliant of speech, nor do you need to be full of worldly wisdom to share the word of God, to reach out into your community and to share the Love of God with your neighbor. All you need is to do is decide to do so; allowing the enabling power of God’s Spirit to work in and through you. Then, the spiritual determination to focus on Jesus Christ and Him Crucified will come as you need it. Our determination connects us all together as we teach, preach, and share Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the message of the cross.

Digging Deeper

  • Are you connected to Christ and His Church?
  • How are you living out the message of the Cross?
  • How are you sharing the connection we have within the Church and Christ?

Further Reading: Exodus 3:1-17, Numbers 22:22-38, Luke 19:37-49, Romans 8:35-39, Romans 15:4, 1 Peter 2:1-10, 15

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