Who are you following?

I don't know about you all, but I had to read this chapter a couple times to start to grasp it.  (perhaps it's due to the strong doses of allergy meds I'm on!)  It helped me to read a more contemporary translation, then go back to the NIV again.  Any way, here's the two sections that caught my attention:  vs. 11-17 & vs. 27-31.

In verse 17 specifically, Paul talks about how he was sent to be a messenger, a preacher, but not to have a following.  I think this is a struggle that everyone has had at one point in time--the fine line between respecting the preacher or teacher in their life without "following" them or putting them up on a  pedestal.  I've seen time and time again people's faith shattered because they put too much faith in a person.  And while, yes, leaders in the church are called to a high standard, they are humans with flaws who will experience failure.  When we loose sight of their humanness and focus only on their wisdom and teaching, forgetting that it comes from God in the first place, we will always be disappointed.   I also believe that this happens to Satan's great delight for it opens the door to dissension and confusion.  Each time I have witnessed a similar situation, my heart has broken for the person, the leader and the church.  I absolutely beleive that it's important to find teachers and preachers that we can trust to share God's Truth with us and that we respect as Wise in God and His Word.   But we always need to be mindful that we are trusting and following Christ first, not the messenger.

Let me share verses 27-31 from The Message: "27 Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, 28 chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? 29 That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. 30 Everything that we have - right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start - comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. 31 That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

In children's ministry we want young ones to understand that they, too, can be prepared and used by God.  We look at people like Moses, David, & Joseph.  Ordinary people that God worked in and through to do extra ordinary things.  That's the same thing that these last verses of today are talking about.  God chooses us plain people, even messed up, flawed people,  so that when He does something amazing, others have to know it's from God because we are not remarkable enough to accomplish it on our own.  I love that!  If those are the job requirements, I'm perfectly suited--I'm yours God!  

I encourage you to do as I have this morning and think about the times God has used you in all of your weakness and failures to bring glory to His name.  Think about it, then Thank Him.

1 comment:

  1. 2 We are writing to the church of God in Scottsdale,... 12 Some of you are saying , "I am a follower of Paul." Others are saying, "I follow Don Doe," or "I follow Matt," or "I follow only the Bible."
    I wish this chapter applied more to what our church is dealing with. :)
    The note in my Bible says God's message is more important than any messenger.... Our allegiance must be to Christ and to the unity that He desires.
    Lori, I love v. 27, too!