Wednesday 27 April 2022

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

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. (v. 27)

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Wednesday 27 April 2022

Psalm 114


Throughout much of history, churches of all denominations have valued learning and scholarship. For those of us reading these notes who are Methodists, we well remember that the embryo of our movement was an Oxford don and a group of like-minded students. Those of us who are ordained and who have doctorates usually manage to insert that into whatever title we go by, just in case anyone wasn’t aware of the level of academic achievement we have reached. Consequently, God’s word (choosing the foolish to shame the wise) speaks more sharply here to some of us than to others.

Psalm 114 reminds us that it was God’s power, not human ingenuity, that enabled God’s people to escape from slavery in Egypt. Elsewhere in the Bible, the child Jesus is shown debating with scholars and amazing them with his insights; and the scholarly, well respected Saul abandons all that prestige to become the somewhat reviled Paul, a follower of Jesus. Not many of us are famous, influential or important. We are significant to a few others, but that is usually it. Any Christian influence we might have is not based on our jobs or wealth. It's based on how we reflect the love of Christ to others.

There is nothing wrong with doing our very best academically and in all other ways. Indeed, we are called to devote all that we have to God and his glory. And perhaps that is the key. When our motivation is our own glory then it is ‘foolish’; when our motivation is to glorify God then we, like Charles Wesley will cast our accomplishments or "crowns before Him, lost in wonder, love and praise".


 To Ponder:

  • What is your greatest achievement?
  • Where have you seen the foolish confound the wise?


Gracious God, may my experience be that "the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
 In the light of His glory and grace." ('Turn your eyes upon Jesus', by Helen Howarth Lemmel) 

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