Our Daily Bread 9th July 2020 Devotional – The Foolish Way of New Life
TODAY’S TOPIC: THE FOOLISH WAY OF NEW LIFE
Bible in a Year: Job 38–40; Acts 16:1–21
Key Scripture: 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. – 1 Corinthians 1:18
Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:20–31 (NIV)
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
29 so that no one may boast before him.
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[a]
Insight: Our Daily Bread 9th July 2020 Devotional
Writers of the New Testament were themselves students of Scripture, and their writings reflect knowledge of the Old Testament. Occasionally they preface their use of the Old Testament with words like “to fulfill” (Matthew 1:22) or “it is written” (1 Corinthians 1:19, 31).
Paul bookends his teaching in 1 Corinthians 1:19–31 about the wisdom and power of God that are inherent in the preaching of the gospel with quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah. The section begins with a citation from Isaiah 29:14 and ends with words based on Jeremiah 9:24, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Message: Our Daily Bread 9th July 2020 Devotional
Some things just don’t make sense until you experience them. When I was pregnant with my first child, I read multiple books about childbirth and listened to dozens of women tell their stories of labor and delivery. But I still couldn’t really imagine what the experience would be like. What my body was going to do seemed impossible!
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that birth into God’s kingdom, the salvation that God offers us through Christ, seems equally incomprehensible to those who haven’t experienced it. It sounds like “foolishness” to say that salvation could come through a cross—a death marked by weakness, defeat, and humiliation. Yet this “foolishness” was the salvation that Paul preached!
It wasn’t what anyone could have imagined it would be like. Some people thought that salvation would come through a strong political leader or a miraculous sign. Others thought that their own academic or philosophical achievements would be their salvation (1 Corinthians 1:22). But God surprised everyone by bringing salvation in a way that would only make sense to those who believed, to those who experienced it.
God took something shameful and weak—death on a cross—and made it the foundation of wisdom and power. God does the unimaginable. He chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise (v. 27).
And His surprising, confounding ways are always the best ways. By: Amy Peterson
Reflect: How is God surprising you today? Why is it true that God’s ways are better than your ways?
Today’s Prayer: God, with Isaiah I pray, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are Your ways higher than my ways.
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