Oh to be a fool!
1st Letter to the Corinthians
Of all books, the Bible, my favorite
While working my way through both letters
Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church I find much to learn and much to embrace. God didn’t include every letter, every word for nothing.
God does NOT waste words.
I am astounded at what I am gleaning from a letter read many times. Just really goes to show how we are at different places at different times. This Book (The Bible) never gets old. Therefore careful attention must be paid to its words and message.
Today in reading and meditating these are the thoughts that have grown and blessed my heart.
Where do we place ourselves?
So often man thinks more of himself than he ought
(just look at the disciples, it’s not a new phenomenon)
or man seeks knowledge, position and titles that are possibly not meant for him with no thought to consequences.
In chapter 4:6 of 1st Corinthians Paul warns:
“I have applied all these things to myself (Paul) and Apollos for your benefit brothers that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”
Very strong words…”DO NOT go beyond what is written.” Now whether Paul meant the Torah as it is well known the Jewish leaders added many “laws and rules” to God’s existing laws or whether he was talking about his letters. But the message is definitely clear do not go beyond what is written by faulty interpretations!
The Holy Spirit of God is needed to keep the reader to the truth. We are safe there. There is much in the known/seen truth to learn and incorporate into life – there is no need to desperately seek the hidden things in dangerous places where only God can go as He alone has the wise understanding. God in His wisdom and grace will lead day by day, step by step, where one must go in our understanding of the spiritual. He will reveal in pure light His truth.
Paul asks…”What do you have that you did not receive?”
Everything we have – everything – from – understanding of the scriptures and all things spiritual – to breath of life – to love of heart – to provision of home and food comes from God, our Father. He is the provider and protector of all. And amazingly, (I can’t remember this enough), He has revealed Himself to us. What a remarkable blessing.
God provides for all, even those who deny Him or see no relevance to God. Those who do not yet realize that everything they have is from Him. If God would withdraw His hand they would be dead. This is truth whether one admits it or not.
Fools for Christ
In verse 10 of this same chapter (Many make the mistake of taking the first part of this verse and wearing it as a badge – doing their best to leave out the descriptive part of the truth because it is hard to hear.) Paul makes an announcement:
“We are fools for Christ’s sake,”
However there is more, so much more. Paul describes the life of a titled one in the Kingdom of God.
““We are fools for Christ’s sake, But you are wise in Christ.
We are weak but you are strong.
You are held in honor but we are in disrepute.
To the present hour we hunger and thirst,
We are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless and
We labor, working with our hands.
When reviled – we bless;
When persecuted – we endure;
When slandered – we entreat.
We have become and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
be imitators of me
This description is astounding when I stop to think about it. This is how Paul was treated. Paul, the Apostle of apostles. He was the spiritual father of so many in the 1st century Church. After writing and sharing this sad description of the life of a sent one, Paul instructs in verse 16.
“I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
The Apostle Paul Rembrandt c.1657
Are we really ready to be an imitator of Paul? He embraced everything, good and bad; uncomfortable and comfortable as from God – everything. Paul used every situation as a launch pad for the Gospel he loved. He (Paul) was not focused on his own comforts or reputation. Paul was focused on the Gospel. The truth people needed to hear and embrace. A person can sense his passion and intensity for the Gospel – his love from God for the people he was sent to.
Paul was a sent one…an apostle of Christ – a sent one of the anointing. If that is what we want are we ready for the walk; the trials; the hardships?
So many, sadly, hunger for the titles in God’s kingdom – however no one wants to pay the price for such honors.
Are we really ready to be fools for Christ?