March 5, 2017 from Jesus Calling
The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in My loving Presence. I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.
“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
ROMANS 8:28 AMP
“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.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-24 NLT
From Proverbs 31 First 5 App:
He understands our weak places. He knows what to pray. There is a purpose to this weakness. Though it doesn’t feel good, things will be worked out in a way that good will come from it. (Romans 8:28)
But Paul has received word that problems are brewing in the church, and they are in desperate need of correction and help. So Paul is writing this letter to correct major issues, answer questions and clear up confusion.
Paul’s first appeal, right from the beginning, is for the church to come together and be perfectly unified in Christ. They need to quit letting nonessential issues divide them. You see, there was a competition going on among the people. They were separating themselves into cliquish groups and fighting over which leader they were following. Each group thought their leader was the best, and they were forming personality cults. The internal bickering was causing a split in the church, and it was all motivated by pride. But even worse, it was dishonoring to Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Paul pushes right past their spiritual elitism and pride to remind them … and us … that Christianity is not a popularity contest. It’s not about who’s following whom, or who is baptizing whom or the number of “likes” a person gets. It’s not about worldly wisdom, a charismatic personality, having personal eloquence, growing a platform or gaining scholarly knowledge.
It’s not even about being an amazing Christian leader who is doing incredible ministry work for the kingdom of God like Paul, or Peter or Apollos. In essence Paul is saying, “It’s not about me! I didn’t go to the cross for you.” Only Jesus did. A leader-centered approach always displaces the significance of Jesus.Christianity is about being a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s about keeping your heart and mind focused on Jesus and the gospel. He must be the center of our attention. That’s one reason why Paul says; “We preach Christ crucified … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know I am nothing without You. I want Your strength to be present in every area of my life. Thank You for hearing the pleas of my heart even when I don’t have the words to express how I feel. You are the wisdom and power of God. You are the centerpiece of salvation. Forgive me for the times when I get off track and allow other people or worldly wisdom to distract me and displace my loyalty to You. You are the cure for division and pride. Prompt me today to keep my focus on You and may You be at the center of all I say and do. In Jesus’ name, amen.