Sunday, November 24, 2019

Before Church ~ Sunday November 24, 2019

Consider Your Calling I Corinthians 1:18-31

We take ourselves way too seriously.  Have you watched the news lately?  Good for you, it’s really best to avoid the national outlets.  But if you have, like me you have seen all of the politicians screaming and yelling, people attacking one another, and it is so much noise. The wise, the scribes, the debaters of this age are as foolish in God’s eyes as were those of Paul’s time.  Culture holds up as sages: politicians, athletes, authors and speakers, entertainers, the rich who have and can make money, all of whom tell people exactly what they want to hear and who offer vain foolish promises they can never fulfill.  God’s wisdom is exactly opposite to the world’s; God’s power is exactly opposite of the world’s; God’s wisdom and power is the cross.

Cross = a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Greeks.
Cross = power of God to us who are being saved

Consider your calling.  Consider your calling not in the light of your abilities, gifts, or skills, but in light of what God has done – the cross of Christ.  Our calling is first to participate in the folly and weakness of God, the illogical upside-down plan of salvation that is the cross, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles.  Every human being falls into one of those two categories: those who bark their shins on the great big Cornerstone that the builders rejected, or those who dismiss salvation as complete foolishness.  That was us before we were called; it is the default setting for human souls.  Once we have received the love and grace of Christ, the foolishness of God, the weakness of God, these become our lifeline.  After we are redeemed, we understand that the cross is the power of, the wisdom of, salvation; we are spiritually dead and powerless without Christ. With Christ we have divine wisdom and power, upside-down eternal wisdom and power. 

“For consider your calling, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world – even things that are not – to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, Who God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (vs. 26-31).

Whatever calling we do, whatever mission we accept from God, it all starts with the call to the cross, to the folly and weakness of God.  Purpose, vision, mission, vocation, all flow from salvation; the simple surrender to the love of Christ displayed on the cross, the most illogical and incomprehensible example of servant leadership, of forgiveness, of grace – God’s spiritual buy-back of our souls in the sacrifice of His Son. 

What passes for wisdom in our time is what’s popular; the story du jour with no truth, no spiritual backbone, no longevity; worldly power is using force to control others.  But God’s wisdom and power are eternal and lasting, forever truth and forever strength that from age to age reveal the love of Christ in the cross.  From this salvation we also receive the righteousness, the redemption, the sanctification of Christ.  So consider your calling in light of the cross, and don’t take yourself too seriously. 

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