The twisted thing what happens when we believe in our own efforts.

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For those of you who have read my previous blog post, you know that I am starting this adventure with the #SheSharesTruth challenge. Today I’m excited to share my first post with you all and it’s based on the passage 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

When reading any scripture passage, it’s first important to look at the context. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves in life. You can’t pull a quote from a book or text and expect to understand what the author is talking about. Once you understand the historical background, the author, the purpose, and what’s happening around the text, then you can get a good idea.

That said, I read 1 Corinthians 1 to get a glimpse of what Paul was talking about in the first place and why.

Paul is writing this letter to the church of Corinth while He is in Rome. There had been some problems with Christian conduct within the church and some of the members had informed Paul of what was happening. His letter was a response to their questions concerning moral conduct, immorality, false teaching and so on.*

In the first chapter, Paul comments on the quarrels that were rising over whom to follow: Paul, Apollo, Cephas, or Christ? To this, Paul responds “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul”? Basically he was saying, did I do any of this for you? Did I save you from your sins? He’s warning them not to get this messed up.

Saving power does not come from man, but from God. If there’s anyone they should follow, it should be Him.

He goes on talk about how Christ is making the wise foolish and the foolish wise. He is using the weakness of man to be stronger than those who boast in their own strength. He is choosing the lowly of the world to become great. He’s choosing to use those who have low status to become people of influence in the world.

And this is not our doing. This is God choosing to work with us and through us.

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So now were at 1 Corinthians chapter 2, where Paul says “my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 

He doesn’t want them to get faith in Christ screwed up with the power of people. He wanted them to understand that no one on Earth is “great”. No one has the ability to do what the Spirit can. The only reason Paul can preach the gospel with power and persuasion is because the Spirit enables him to do so. He, himself, is not wise and great and he, himself, cannot save. That’s why he’s pointing everyone back to Jesus Christ, the only one who can do the very things he preaches about.

Here’s what strikes me in this passage:

Christians tend to get this twisted all the time, especially when it comes to spreading the gospel. We take on the task by putting this weight on our shoulders that people will only come to Christ if we know everything about the Bible and tell others about Jesus in a eloquent, clear-to-understand way. Then, when we fail, we punish ourselves into thinking we’re horrible crusaders for Christ.

But we don’t have to do it alone. We can’t do it alone! We don’t have to know everything. We don’t have to be good at talking. We don’t have to have all the answers. We just have to be willing. And if we’re willing, God will take over the rest.

That’s the most comforting feeling of all! Many times I have felt unequipped to share my testimony with others but God always gave me the words. I’m the least qualified person when it comes to public speaking. I stutter, I slur, I mumble my words, I talk to fast, I get super anxious and I basically want to die the whole time I’m on stage. But somehow, God has used me to speak to audiences about what He’s done in my life. And let me tell you, God was rockin’ it on stage the whole time.

Without him, we can do nothing. With him, we can do everything. 

The biggest example I can think of of God speaking through us and equipping us with his Spirit is the story of Stephen (Acts 6-7). When people attempted to argue with Stephen, they “could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.”(Acts 6:10). And when they brought him to the Sanhedrin to accuse him of blasphemy, they stared in awe at Stephen because “they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”(Acts 6:15). And God spoke through him with eloquence and truth in the face of persecution.

Only God can do that. None of what Stephen said, or what Paul preached, or the apostles did, could have been done without the Spirit of God working in them.

And the same goes for us.

With Love, Lottie

Link up! – #SheSharesTruth | 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

*http://www.biblica.com/en-us/bible/online-bible/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/intro-to-1-corinthians/

#SheReadsTruth: A Devotional Community

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I recently found this wonderful community online called #SheReadsTruth. This website is used by thousands of women all over the globe and it is constantly growing. I love this website for three things:

  1. The devotional reading plans that are sent daily to my inbox
  2. The sharing of thoughts and ideas of Biblical stories/people
  3. The supportive, loving community who prays and encourages one another.

I’ve been encouraged to get in the Word more because of these lovely people who run the site. Literally, a devotional is sent to my inbox everyday so I have no choice but to dig in to the Word! As someone who struggles waking up early in the morning to spend some time reading the Bible, this is a good way for me to get connected to God, even while at work.

Anywho, here’s the main reason I’m writing this post.

Lately, this community has been doing a #SheSharesTruth experiment where they challenge readers to check out a Bible passage they post to their website and to then share their thoughts either through their blog or social media sites. Bloggers then have the opportunity to link up our posts to the #SheReadsTruth page to share their thoughts with others from around the world. The idea is to peruse the blog links and view the bible verse/passage through a different set of eyes; hearing someone else’s perspective on it.

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I’m excited to start partaking in this journey and to start sharing my thoughts on these different passages with you all. I think it’s a great way to learn from one another and to challenge ourselves to think about life and God from a new perspective. That’s what community is for, right?

And the best part? You can do it, too! Check out the #SheReadsTruth website to get started.

Be on the look our for my first post, soon!

Love, Lottie