Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Just Don't Understand.

Scripture-- 1 Corinthians 1- 1 Corinthians 3
Welcome to the beautiful city of Corinth.  Located on the water, halfway between Athens and Sparta, Corinth was a trade route and a meeting place for so many cultures.  Paul started a church here around 50 AD.  This letter was probably written in Ephesus, while Paul was there starting a church.  He wrote back to the people of Corinth, trying to help solve divisions in the church.  We will see throughout the manuscript how he preaches for unity and love over theological debates.  For more information, see

Observation:  I don't remember ever hearing these words before:  (1:21b-25)   "Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else."

Application:  So many things in my life don't make sense.  The resurrection. The virgin birth.  Why people who have lived healthy lives get cancer.  Why kids die.  Why others live.  Why the children of Nicaragua can be so happy without any things, but kids in America are so sad with all the things in the world.  So many things make no sense.  And now I'm apparently a Greek!  I don't need a miracle or a sign as some translations say.  But I need God to make things make sense.  I want to understand.  But that's not my message.  Not that God doesn't want me thinking or trying, but that "even when God is foolish, God is wiser than I am." That even God's weakness is greater than anyone's strength.  I'm thankful today that I can give God the power, and surrender.  That I can rely on the power of the cross, even if I never understand it.  And I pray that we'll find a way to tell the world of this power hidden in "foolishness".

Prayer:  God, be my strength today.  Be my wisdom today.  I'm giving my all to you today, no matter if I understand.  I believe you will keep your promises.  Amen.

July 24-- 1 Corinthians 4 -1 Corinthians 6
July 25-- 1 Corinthians 7-1 Corinthians 9
July 26-- 1 Corinthians 10-1 Corinthians 12


Mary said...

I think verse 1:18 sums it up, "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. It helps me understand that in the world power, wisdom, strength, affluence are all so important but not to God.
The children in Nicaragua don't have the distractions that affluent American children have to keep them from being happy. They don't have to even think about what new toy or treat they have to get. They can be happy. I saw the same contentment with what they had in my children during times when they knew there was not money for the extras everyone else was getting. Whose children are healthier? These thin children from Nicaragua who play in the yard or America's obese children who sit in front of the TV, computer, Wii, etc.
Also in 3:7 it is not the man who planted or the one who watered, but God who makes things grow. It's not the preacher's words or actions, but the Spirit in and through the preacher's (and all of our) words and actions that brings salvation.

Carol Flores said...

1:26 stood out to me. Not many wise, mighty or noble are called. God chooses the foolish, weak and the despised to bring shame to the "flesh" and glory to Him. Emily, I also got stuck on that verse about our message being foolish and that our earthly wisdoms can actually keep us from knowing joy and knowing God. I think that is what Mary is talking about with the kids from Nicaragua. They don't have the pressure of possessions and perceived status. Just think how much glory they are bringing to God through you and the others who visited them. I agree that their poverty does not make sense to me but God allowed them to touch your heart and to come back here and tell others what is really important. Love. Community. Family.