Friday, March 12, 2021

The Message of the Cross


"I [Paul] know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God."

1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT

Have you ever been called a fool for sharing your faith? At times, I have played the fool for faith. 

I used to feel frustrated when those who criticized me for my faith didn't understand my perspective. I wasn't making fun of them for what they believed...didn't they owe me the same measure of respect? 

Through Bible study, I learned they cannot understand the message of the gospel until the Holy Spirit enlightens their hearts. 

The gospel is "foolish" not because its message is unclear, untrue, or irrelevant to today's world. Rather, it sounds foolish to them because their hearts are unmoved. In fact, the gospel can sound offensive to them, especially if they grew up in the church but may not yet have authentic faith. 

Knowing this has changed my prayer life. Before I meet with people who have criticized my faith, I pray that their hearts would be softened, receptive, and open. I don't worry about looking like a fool anymore, though I am careful to speak the truth in love.

Since God has changed me with "the message of the cross," it has been easy to see how it shows up as "the very power of God" in my daily life. 

Sometimes I pray for the simple tasks like, "God, give me the strength to finish washing these dishes, because I'm feeling overwhelmed right now." Or, after an especially weary day of mothering and working, I pray that God will give me just one more half-hour of energy for time with my husband. 

Once those prayers are answered, I know God's power worked through me, because I had no power of my own on reserve. When I see God's power in those small things, it gives me hope that my "bigger" prayers will be answered.

Often my friends and I have mused, "What if we had to face our mountains without knowing God's power is available to us? It would feel so lonely and overwhelming." 

I feel so blessed knowing God will give me his power in both the small things as a wife and mother, and more so in the big things, and that he is with me all along the journey. 

How do you see the power of God working in your life, if you have been saved by the message of the cross? 

Want more Lenten posts? Check out my resources for Lent HERE.

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Have a blessed weekend!

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