Undeniable Demonstration

S (Scripture) – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

O (Observation) – Jesus, it wasn’t the magnificent preaching or in-depth studies that captivated that first generation of believers.  Paul was beyond humble.  He knew that winning over the hearts of those around him for You would take more than a few compelling arguments about why the cross might be a good idea in which to trust.  It would take more than winning debates with some worldly academics to build momentum.  It would take something so extraordinary, so impactful, so significant and mighty to draw the hearts of a lost people to something so simple as the cross.

A (Application) – Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to have been alive during the time of Paul?  Jesus had just risen from the dead, and here was this man who was traveling the known world “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”  If Paul, and the other apostles, were just lunatics who corroborated a story about a dead man coming back to life in order to manipulate the people, why did they all end up being martyred for their faith?  If their words were meant to control the population, why did the governments of that population incessantly tell them to stop preaching in the Name of Jesus and to flee their cities and never return (read through the entire book of Acts as the early church is being established)?  Paul proclaimed that he could not stop preaching about what he had seen and heard and knew in his heart to be true.  He dedicated his life to share what the Holy Spirit had done in his life and was only stopped when he was killed.  The seeds he and the other apostles planted took root, and today, millions of Christ-followers are experiencing the same power.  How do we win over the hearts of our generation?  Not with fancy teaching and complex reasoning…but with demonstration of the Spirit and of the power of God at work in our own lives.  God’s healing in our hearts and families, His provision in our times of need, His faithfulness in our times of brokenness, His comfort in our times of pain, His joy in our hearts irregardless of our circumstances…there is nothing more beautiful than a man or a woman fully submitted to the power of God at work in his or her life.  The transformation from worldly, prideful mess to chosen, humble servant is a slow, but sure, demonstration of God’s Spirit and power that is undeniable.

P (Prayer) – Jesus, thank You for the work that You have done, and are still doing, in my heart.  I know who I was before I met You, and there is no denying Your power to make someone into a new creation.  People can argue all they want to about semantics, perspectives, nuances of parables, etc., but one thing that can never be disputed is my personal history with You.  I pray for all those who trust more in the wisdom of men than in Your Spirit and power.  Help them to experience Your presence in a way that is unmistakable so they might know that You alone are God.

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