How is that working for you?

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:20-25 (NLT)

Being thought of as ‘foolish’ is …good?

I have never understood the concept of ‘April Fool’s Day’.  I am not a prankster at heart.  I enjoy a good joke.  I even laugh when I watch that funny video show on TV and people fall down and slide into things.  But playing practical jokes on people was never something I enjoyed.  I remember being on the receiving end of jokes and feeling silly or clumsy.  It didn’t feel particularly good.

Now Paul wants to know if I realize that God has “made the wisdom of this world look foolish”.   God shows Himself ‘out of the box’.  God does not always fit the logical sequence or conclusion of the world.  And by association, even more, by aligning myself with God, proclaiming that I am part of His army, I will look ‘foolish’ to the world.  Why?

There are many reasons that ‘sane’ logical people may think that I am a bit ‘crazy’.  I believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  He came to earth and in three years gave the basis for His ministry and then allowed Himself to be horrifyingly crucified on a cross so that I may be eternally saved from judgment.  This does not sound like the plan of a king and conqueror yet that is exactly what it is.  It was the perfect atonement for God’s children. He will be back and there will be judgment and, in spite of how unworthy and sinful I am, I am made worthy and will live with Him forever! I live in this fallen world with joy because Jesus never leaves me.

Suppose the ministry that God has given your church is outreach and evangelism of your community.  Many would say that is the ministry of every church.  No kidding.  God has given your church young people who are living for the Lord and are gifted in musical worship and not afraid to speak out about what He has done in their lives.  Here is an opportunity to touch the young people in the community who by the change in their lives will lead their parents and younger siblings to come see Jesus also.  What does the Sunday morning service look like?  Are those young people leading through song and a message?  If I as an adult, a mature Christian, find that time ‘uncomfortable’ (which I probably would!) because it didn’t ‘flow’ the way I am used to or the way that is ‘smooth’ for me and yet is bringing in many, many of the unsaved peers of these young people because it is a comfortable place for them…isn’t it for me, the mature, to go out of my way to accommodate the unsaved or weak in Christ?  I should be willing to go out of my way to come at the more ‘inconvenient’ time to worship.  Maybe Saturday night is a more comfortable time for the young adults.  Whatever! The point is that I, as a leader and mature Christian, should be doing whatever it takes to empower whatever and whoever it takes to win the lost and nurture the weak into their strength in Christ Jesus.  God’s plan just might seem ‘foolish” but check the fruit.  When will we understand that what we’ve been doing isn’t working?  All the programs that we’ve checked by statistical studies … and we still have a ‘hemorrhage’ in the Church.  Am I willing to be known as a ‘Fool for Christ’? Am I willing to be a part of that ‘crazy church down the street’? Yes!

Paul spent a lot of time speaking to those who thought themselves to be ‘spiritually elevated’ in the Corinthian Church.  He warned them that to be truly ‘spiritual’ that they must keep love in and through all that they did.  I do not believe that it is any coincidence that the words of chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians comes between the words of chapter 12 and 14.  As I see young people anointed by God in the giftings that Paul spoke about in chapters 12 and 14,  I feel God asking me if I am listening to His words in chapter 13.  If God’s love is patient, and does not envy and isn’t proud, rude, or self-seeking, keeps no record of wrongs, and always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres, then I should be using the outreach gift that God has given me through these young people and stop trying to use them last or only with stifling control.  That isn’t God’s way.

This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. v. 25

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