When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom.1 Corinthians 2:1(HCSB)
How the flesh likes to be applauded by other people: "how well you sang," "that was a very encouraging sermon," "what a lovely devotional you wrote," "you pray so beautifully," etc etc.
Oh! how the flesh likes to be applauded by other people. But Paul in this verse clearly demonstrated God's method of doing things, when he wrote: "I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom." Everything that Paul said was to point people to Christ. Nothing Paul did was to draw the attention away from the Lord to himself. Had Paul uttered the most brilliant speech to proclaim the gospel of Christ, or had he been awarded the Israeli literary prize for gospel preachers, then the glory would have gone to Paul and not to the Lord.
Down through the centuries, clerics, and clergy would examine the syntax and sentence construction of Paul's writings. Priests and preachers alike have deliberated over his exquisite wisdom and excellent elocution, and sought to emulate his line of reasoning and reconstruct the same brilliance of speech in their own little homilies.
But Paul did not come with exaggerated eloquence or human wisdom. He did not come with lofty words or impressive scholarship. Paul resolved to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul resolved to decrease as Christ increased in him. Paul resolved to keep self nailed to the Cross: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." And so Paul chose to walk in the Spirit, speak the words that lifted Jesus up and not himself, to the glory of the Father.
This should be our resolve - to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified so that our song or story, sermon or speech, points only to the Lord and does not seek to draw away the attention and glory that alone belongs to the Lord our God.
Loving Father, I pray that in all I say and do, that You may be lifted high in my heart so that people only see Jesus in me, until I am nothing and He is all in all. In His name I pray, AMEN.
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