pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Core Truth

Reading: 1st Corinthians 2: 1-5

Verse 2: “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”.

Who is the most accomplished person you know? That answer can vary greatly depending on your field of expertise or area of interest. How would you introduce that person at a big event or gathering? Sometimes in this world an introduction can be longer than the actual content of the talk or speech. At other times an introduction can be very short but much more impactful. Sometimes less is more.

One could easily argue that Paul was the apostle with the longest list of credentials. Yet in our passage today, Paul instead chooses to rely on one thing. He chooses to let that one thing be the focus of his message. Paul speaks the one thing in a way that is clear and easy to understand. He does not use $20 words and he does not go on and on about ancillary ideas. No, he simply states, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”. Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ was his only thing when he began his letter to the Corinthian church. The central focus of that good news was Christ crucified. In this simple story we get how much Jesus loved us (willing to die for us) and we get the purposes of his death (to atone for our sins and to open the way to eternal life). It is a pretty simple message.

Paul began with the core truth. This good news is the framework for our faith. There is more, of course, to faith than just this core truth. But faith begins at and remains grounded upon the acceptance of the basic truth of Christ crucified. May we, like Paul, choose to claim this bedrock truth as our foundation. In all we do and say, may we center on Jesus Christ crucified. May it always be so.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the simplicity of this truth: Jesus died to save us. In this simple truth we find the greatest example of love and mercy and grace. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Fill me with these things as I seek to share my faith with others today. Amen.


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Daily with Christ

Reading: Philippians 3: 4b-12

In our darkest moments Christ is still with us.  In times of deep despair or intense suffering, we can still call out and sense the presence of Jesus with us.  These things we know in our hearts and we trust with our brains.  But sometimes the trial drags on and we begin to question or doubt.  We struggle with how a loving and caring God can allow the struggle to go on for so long.  Thankfully these are just moments.  The trial begins to wane or we again connect to Jesus and realize He has been there all along.  We begin again to trust in our hearts and to know in our brains that He is always present.  As our trust and faith in Him is again secure, we are reassured that nothing compares to or is better than our life in Christ.

In the trial and certainly in everyday life, living with Jesus as the center of our lives is how God calls us to truly live.  Life is simply better then.  Any life without Christ is simply less.  Even when challenges come along and when temptation rises up, we move forward more confidently knowing Jesus is with us and on our side.

Paul speaks of all the credentials he had accumulated in life.  But that was BC.  All the accolades were achievements in the human realm.  Once he came to know Christ, he called them all rubbish.  Paul came to know his identity and the true source of strength in his life came from Christ alone.  The value of knowing the resurrected Christ far outweighed all earthly gains.

The same is true for us.  God calls us heavenward towards the same goal Paul was striving for – to be resurrected with Christ.  In our day to day life, in the good days and in the bad, we always must keep our eyes fixed on the goal: our call to our eternal home, found as we journey with Christ.  We are truly blessed in this life and in the next as we journey daily with Christ, trusting in Him alone.