Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Note to Self

When I wrote this in July 2008 I was definitely writing it as a "note to self" as I really like that good intellectual argument.

Today I celebrate the birthday of a young woman who is my employee and pray for peace and for the family of another woman who has learned that she has 4-8 weeks of life remaining. Praise God that both know Christ.

In both cases I have had driven home to me the power of God in human lives. Both are people who have no earthly power, but whose strength and dignity come from God. I am reminded yet again of the passages and message we have been studying on Sunday mornings whose core meaning is found in (NIV):
1Cr 2:1

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
1Cr 2:2

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1Cr 2:3

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
1Cr 2:4

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,
1Cr 2:5

so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

When seeking to share Christ what is it we worry about? Are we concerned that God is not able to defend Himself or that we will not be eloquent enough? Paul makes it very clear what he thinks of human eloquence.

Recently, a speaker at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary shared his experiences serving as a missionary in a primarily Buddhist country. He shared his realization that many of his neighbors were more "spiritual" than he. The great realization that hit him and changed his life and his ministry was the realization that he had tremendous "intellectual" training in the grand tradition of the West, but that he had little experience of God's power. He was brought to his knees by the passage I just shared. That is exactly what God was waiting for. From that position God led him to a Church Planting Movement among over 50 villages that came to Christ over a short and explosive period.

Do we have the humility to stop looking for the eloquence we think we need to change the world and to begin to humble ourselves and rely on God for the power that it will actually take to win our friends and neighbors and to change this world forever?