Daily Reading: 5-16-16
1 Corinthians 2:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
Yesterday, we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit upon a diverse group of disciples. Although many of them were from the same area, they were diverse in their soul’s condition before the work of the Spirit; each one struggled with a different sin or inclination that caused a focus on self. All sin is the same, but we struggle in diverse ways. Sin is always self-focused and self-exalting; sin rejects God and His eternal love.
This human yet diverse condition is true of us today; we too must wrestle our selfish flesh down (submit to God and resist the devil) in order to welcome the liberating and bold work of the Spirit. The Spirit produces spiritual fruit and becomes what we lack in our human condition. Because they trusted God, the disciples were united as One in the Spirit and given the power to witness to the work of the Living Christ within to bring salvation. Each disciple had a different story of how the Spirit had set them free to serve God; many were given different languages so they could tell their diverse stories of the One True God. The Spirit of God is a Gift that is given to help us understand what is truly valuable and eternal; what is from God and what pleases Him.
The Apostle Paul comes to Christ with the inclination to be a hater. He spends a lifetime thinking he knows the mind of God; he abuses people to gain control for God. He welcomes the Spirit and he is then able to identify his wrong spirit, as well as God’s heart. The Spirit humbles him and imparts wisdom. What does the Apostle Paul value now? The answer is the work of the Spirit. Now the Apostle Paul can see the love of God for a struggling and misdirected humanity that has existed from the beginning of time.
Paul’s Message of Wisdom
2 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
6 Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.
Prayer: Lord, I love You. Please help me to gain a fresh vision of the liberating work of the Spirit, today. You have prepared great things for me as I submit to the work of Your love and power. Jesus name. Amen.