Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 3, 2018
We are [looked upon as] fools on account of Christ and for His sake, but you are [supposedly] so amazingly wise and prudent in Christ! 1 Corinthians 4:10 AMPC
Sometimes we are seen as fools for Christ; such was the case my freshman year in college. As a new Christian I wanted (sometimes obnoxiously) all my friends to know my new best friend—Jesus! I could hear a common refrain, “Boyd got religion. He’s a little crazy, he’ll get over it”. Fast forward forty years, I was asked to say a few words at our 40th class reunion to 100 classmates and acquaintances. “Fools” find favor from skeptics after life’s hardships take their toil on unwise living. By God’s grace I spoke about His love, and the peace He offers when we surrender to the Lord through faith in His son Jesus. Once labeled a fool, I’m now able to offer life that is truly life!
The “wise” Corinthians looked down on Paul’s simplistic preaching of the cross of Christ’s love as incomplete, even foolish. It’s no wonder those immersed in the complexity of a world whose wisdom is built on human intelligence and ingenuity are offended by someone who calls them out for their contempt for the cross and for their crass living. If a Christian is branded a fool for his faith he must graciously and unashamedly stay true to proclaiming the gospel’s power. Avoid being put to shame by society’s skeptics and instead shamelessly share the love of Jesus.
“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” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Are you hesitant to share the gospel for fear of being shunned as a fanatic? If so, pause, pray and inhale the love of the Lord, the security of His son Jesus and courage from the Holy Spirit. Next, exhale the fear of being rejected, pride from not wanting to be offensive and the need to be in control of uncertain outcomes. As you admit your own struggles and doubts, you earn the trust to tell others how you came to trust Christ, and how you learned from Him to experience peace in the middle of struggles and reassurance in your doubts. Unloved hearts yearn for God’s love!
Above all, reflect often on how Jesus walked in humility, but boldly proclaimed the truth of God and the pathway to forgiveness through faith and repentance. When questioned for having the credentials to speak about God, since He was “only” a carpenter from Nazareth, Jesus leaned into His calling from His heavenly Father for validation and acceptance. You are in good company, accompanied by early Christ followers. Following His immediate death, resurrection and ascension, they were ordered by authorities to stop speaking about the divine authority of Jesus. We are, as they were—compelled by the love of God to risk being called fools for Christ. And sometimes—as life happens, redeemed fools may become wise in the eyes of unredeemed fools.
“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him’” (Acts 5:29-32). “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
Heavenly Father, when others shame or dismiss me for Christ’s sake, help me rest in Your validation and acceptance, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who is the Lord leading me to boldly tell my story of falling in love with Jesus in a winsome and gracious manner?
Avoid being put to shame by society’s skeptics and instead shamelessly share the love of Jesus. #WisdomHunters #afoolforChrist
5 minutes – Steffany Gretzinger:
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