FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
September 1, 2014
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
We all love Jesus, we all believe the Bible is the word of God, we all want to serve the Lord. However, at times we do not like what we are taught, and so we ignore, reject, or rebel.
What is a particular bottom line with regards to teaching about Jesus or preaching the gospel? This is what Paul said: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2). Jesus Christ is the be-all and end-all. No disagreement with that. But we proclaim Christ crucified! Ah, now there is the problem.
Some people who love Jesus do not love his cross. They prefer the prosperity gospel to the authentic gospel of the cross. They prefer to sip their pina coladas at the Country Club than getting themselves bruised and bloodied in the battlefield. They prefer feel-good relationships with brethren rather than going forth to be warriors. They prefer to indulge self and being self-referential rather than denying self.
So there comes a time when they turn against the teachers and leaders that they professed to admire. With Jesus this happened in one setting. First, “all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” (Lk 4:22a). Then suddenly, when they did not like what he preached, “when the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.” (Lk 4:28). And they tried to kill him!
We must be careful. It is so easy to fall away.
So first, we must look to God’s wisdom and not to human wisdom. We must be open to hearing the hard truths about the gospel. We must not take the easy route. We must not immediately react negatively when something is said or taught that is not in accordance with our own perceptions or preferences. Look not even to the speaker, messenger or prophet, but discern if his words truly come from God. Often the situation might be like that in Paul’s case, as he said, “my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 Cor 2:4-5).
Second, one way to test what is said is to measure it against what the Bible says. We cannot just believe what we want to believe. We must base our belief, our faith, on what God says. There lies true wisdom. “I have more insight than all my teachers, because I ponder your testimonies. I have more understanding than my elders, because I keep your precepts.” (Ps 119:99-100). Then we base our lives on what we learn from the word of God, for that is the path to holiness. “I keep my steps from every evil path, that I may observe your word. From your judgments I do not turn, for you have instructed me.” (Ps 119:101-102).
So spend lots of time with the Bible. “How I love your law, Lord! I study it all day long.” (Ps 119:97). And listen to those teachers and elders who base what they teach on the Bible. Then you can be assured you will be basing your life not on human wisdom but on God’s.
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