From: August 5, 2019
Scripture for today: Ezra 1:1-2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 20:22-23
From: August 5, 2016
Some consider the story of the cross foolishness. They dismiss the gospel as folly. They see only weakness in Jesus. They are ignorant of His life-giving, resurrection power for those who believe. Yet, Christ is both the wisdom and the power of God. His wisdom and power are revealed to those who believe. Their minds and hearts are transformed, so that foolishness and wisdom, and weakness and power, reverse poles from North to South. They are made right with God and see all things as they really are, no longer walking in darkness, but in light.
From: August 5, 2015
King Cyrus of Persia enabled the Jews who had been captured by the Babylonian king to return to Jerusalem for the rebuilding of their temple. Persia (modern day Iran) overthrew Babylon (modern day Iraq) and showed favor to the Jews by not only allowing their return, but also giving back whatever temple implements that had been stolen and offering aid in its rebuilding. This Jewish return from exile was prophesied by Jeremiah.
I was recently reminded of this history by an Iranian named Reza that I met at a London coffee shop. When he suggested that I visit his country, I told him that I didn’t want to end up in an Iranian jail. “No!” he insisted. “We love Americans. It’s the politics, the mullahs that stir up trouble between us. Remember, we were Persians before we became Muslims. We were the ones who helped the Jews return to Jerusalem. Ninety-nine percent of Iranians love Americans!” I was surprised by his distinction of identity based on being Persian more than Muslim, and by his declaration that Iranians love Americans. I suppose the Jews were surprised by Cyrus’s favor too. It reminds me that things are not always as they seem and that God is still at work in this world and that one Day all prophecies will be fulfilled in Christ.
From: August 5, 2014
It is God’s plan that the “message of the cross” should enliven human hearts, yet it is also that which certifies that others are already dead. We often try human wisdom to reason and persuade, but it is the gospel alone that saves. And it is the gospel that reveals others to be lost. Only the message of the cross has the power to show we are already dead in our sins before making us alive in Christ. This message is a stumbling block to some and foolishness to others, but to us who believe it is the very power of God.
From: August 5, 2012
The message of the cross is spiritual wisdom. We are called to proclaim it to all, but not everyone will understand. God’s Spirit is the power that reveals the truth of the gospel. Explaining it with human wisdom falls short. Instead, we preach it, asking the Spirit to reveal the truth of it to human hearts. What happens when you survey the wondrous cross?
From: August 5, 2011
Paul, a brilliant and educated man, resolved to “know nothing” but one thing: Jesus! What have you resolved to know and think on and talk about today?