Old Testament Reading: Leviticus 3 & 4
Psalms Reading: Psalm 48
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 1
Let’s play a quick game together, shall we? I’m going to give you two separate lists to study, each with a dozen synonymic adjectives, and then ask you questions about them.
List 1: idiotic, half-witted, brainless, imprudent, ill-advised, senseless, reckless, foolhardy, lunatic, absurd, unwise, nonsensical
List 2: sage, clever, informed, astute, sensible, prudent, judicious, discerning, insightful, perspicacious, sharp-witted, enlightened
Who is the first person to pop into your head when you see each respective list?
Which list best describes you currently?
Which list would you rather have read about you at your funeral?
The first set of words contains synonyms for the word “foolish”, and the second one lists synonyms for “wise”. The end of I Corinthians 1 is contrasting foolishness and wisdom as it relates to God vs. man, and how God empowers us to do His work. Paul writes beginning in verse 25 (ESV), “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”
This verse causes me to bubble over with inspiration and gratitude every time I read it! I take great joy in reading accounts of the underdogs in the Bible whom God used to do great things, and in believing that He can do the same with me. Moses had a speech impediment, but God used him to speak with Pharoah and deliver the Isaelites from slavery. Rahab was a prostitute, but God designated her to save His spies and she was then in the lineage of Jesus. David was only a grungy, petite shepherd, but God used him to defeat Goliath. (David later served God as a great King of Israel, despite being a murderer and adulterer.) Gideon, who was the least important of his family (which was the weakest of his tribe), was hiding when an angel sent from God called him “Mighty Warrior”, but God led him to defeat the Midianite army with nothing but a miniscule army and God’s power.
BUT GOD throughout history has called people to do great things through his power. Most of them were not already rich or famous or powerful, but when God gave them His power, He did mighty things through them! Even in the New Testament, we read in Acts 4:13 that people were amazed that Peter and John were “unschooled, ordinary men.”
God is still active and working today. He wants us to strive for wisdom and seek Him. God wants to use you to do great things for Him! God is still using his people in big ways to impact their communities and the world. No matter your history, education level, age, job, or any other excuse you might share for why God can’t use you, remember… He loves to use imperfect people for His glory.
*What is your excuse for why God shouldn’t use you? Pray for Him to show you the way He sees you and give you His power.
*What is God calling you to do that might be scary or out of your comfort zone? Pray about that situation and ask Him to fill you with His power!
*What has God revealed about Himself today?