Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 1-10-19

January 10, 2019

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 The Message (MSG)

How important is the work of the Spirit through preaching and teaching to the lives of Christians?  According to the Apostle Paul it is the way to salvation; God uses anointed preaching to get people’s attention, so they will turn toward God and away from sin, self-destructive attitudes, and unrighteous behaviors.  The Word is powerful to bring change, because it draws us into the presence of God; the Word equals God reality.  Essentially, the anointed Word humbles us so we can recognize the love, might, and holiness of Almighty God and invite him to work in our lives.

I have no problem recognizing the power of the Word to bring transformation to human life, because the Word has and continues to change me.  The Word transforms my thinking to align with God’s love and heart; I need God’s wisdom in order to identify and resist the work of evil.  The Word quickens me to know good and wise decisions from poor ones; I am protected by the Word. The Word lifts my sometimes weary heart with joy and assures me of security and a future in God’s glorious plan; the Word brings my life vision and hope.  Jesus is the Living Word and he is the greatest miracle humanity has ever experienced. So, if you need to experience some transforming things in your life (change), the Word is where you should start.  I assure you it isn’t foolishness; it’s the love of God in action to redeem the world.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,

    I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Prayer:  Lord, I am certainly not the brightest or best of your daughters, but I know you love me and all that I am is due to the work of your Word in my life. May you receive the glory for the change in me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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