NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by “NP”, a local staff serving at an AMI church in E. Asia. A recent graduate of Columbia International University (M.Div.), he was just licensed by AMI. Congratulations.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise…”
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For 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. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? 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 miraculous 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 man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
If you have ever tried to share the gospel, you must have experienced some degree of inner struggle. While you certainly feel excited to share the gospel with your family and friends, you start to get a little nervous, wondering if you will be mocked for your faith. If you think about it, it is a bit ridiculous to share with others the story of a man who was crucified more than 2,000 years ago and that he can redeem you.
Like many of us, Paul understood the “foolishness” of the cross, for he says, “But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” This suggests that Paul also experienced the same mockery when he shared the gospel with the Gentiles (a.k.a., Greeks).
Since the Greeks were famous for their philosophy, it is no surprise that Athens was full of people who “spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas” (Acts 17:21). Imagine how they would have laughed at Paul when they heard the gospel. In fact, that is exactly what happened when Paul visited that city for the first time. In reference to the apostle, they said, “What is the babbler trying to say” (Acts 17:18).
But, as Paul shares in today’s passage, the truth of the cross is to shame those who think they are wise. Today’s world is full of all kinds of wisdom: the secret to happiness, the secret to success, the secret to happy marriage and so on. This is to say, in today’s world we are not short of worldly wisdom.
Even in the church, there are all kinds of wisdom shared in Sunday schools, marriage counseling, and discipleship training. It is, therefore, important that all this wisdom or knowledge has the same foundation—the cross. The truth of the cross appears foolish to this world, which means that it seems unreasonable to believe in and rely on the cross. Therefore, we need to be completely humble and realize our own weaknesses in order to embrace the truth of the cross.
The premise of worldly wisdom is that we are good but misinformed or not informed at all; the truth of the cross is to let us know that we are totally corrupt. The wisdom of the world provides methods, while the truth of the cross provides a Savior. We cannot be saved by human methods or wisdom. We need to rely on the Savior.
Let us spend some time today praying and thinking about the cross, as Paul said, “For the truth of the cross is foolishness to those who perish. But to us who are saved is the power of God.”
Prayer: Dear Savior, we thank you for letting us know the truth of the cross. Although it seems foolish, the cross is full of God’s wisdom. Please help us learn to rely on our Savior, not a method. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen!
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 17
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 16:25-27: Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Questions to Consider
- The passage above is found at the very end of Romans. Accordingly, who is able to establish us and through what?
- Through what means has “the mystery hidden for long ages past” been revealed? What is its purpose?
- Can the gospel establish you in any and every situation? What will help us to be established?
- Only God alone can establish us, and He establish us through the gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ.
- Through the prophetic writings, “the mystery hidden for long ages past” is revealed so that all nations might believe and obey him. And the gospel has this power because it is the mystery that is revealed.
- Meditation and prayer. Take some time to meditate and pray for God to establish you through the gospel.
The gospel contains great mysteries that the world cannot understand. We have the privilege of allowing the power of the gospel to govern every aspect of our lives, so that God’s Gospel can be revealed through us. We have to rely on Jesus to wait for his timing, to endure while undergoing adversity, and to trust in his faithfulness. We can do this through deeper experience of the power of the gospel! Mediate on that before going to bed tonight.