You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. I Corinthians 2:1-5 MSG
I love Paul! He’s so real and down-to-earth with the way he communicates the message of Jesus Christ. It reminded me that at my worst, Jesus can use me. In my inadequacies, He shines brighter. Even as I write this I’m aware that no one may read these words, but they are still written, still working, still an effort to tell someone about Jesus and the simple people He chooses to use.
You see, it’s not up to me to produce from the seeds I plant. It’s very clear that if there is to be fruit, the increase comes from God. He didn’t call me to change people, He called me to speak the truth in love. And not my love, but His deep undying and unconditional love. That, my friend, is the fertilizer that grows the seed from the small dead thing that went into the ground, to the fruit that hangs on the vine, waiting for someone to partake of it.
When I began to recognize that it’s not about success, but obedience, my whole world changed. I made the leap from fear, to faith, simply by stepping off what I saw, onto what was not there yet. Scary? YES! but in an anticipating something crazy amazing kind of way.
Paul had traveled a long way from this experience, to the destination of, “It is no longer me, but Christ who lives in me” statement. Somewhere in the process of stepping out into a void, he found himself wrapped so tightly in Jesus that he was no longer visible to the world. He counted every persecution, every beating, every imprisonment, a joy. He gladly lay down his life in service to the one who gave His life for him, all for the prize of spending eternity with so much Love.
Oh Father, even as my fingers hit the keys, I sense the depths of Your great love. To give that kind of love is one of my deepest desires, even knowing the pain that will come because of it’s message, I could not live without giving it. Wrap me in Your arms, not so that I’ll always be safe, but so that no one will see me-only You. You risked everything so that I could bask in Your presence, the list I can do is pass Your presence on to others. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.