The myth of ministry “success”

“The point of being an apostle, in any case, is not that one should be showy and spectacular; not even that one should be successful. ‘Stewards of God’s mysteries’, say some translations in verse 1; that’s fine, but the word ‘steward’ has been so overused that we may need to find other ways of bringing out the point. Apostles are like household managers, whose job is to look after the silverware and administer the domestic accounts. God’s ‘mysteries’ (see 1 Cor. 2:7) are like a rich storehouse of treasures, to be used appropriately. Apostles and teachers don’t own the treasure, they merely have to do what they’re told with it. What is required is simply that they be faithful with what’s been entrusted to them.”

Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (p. 46). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

The cultural status of our Christianity

I am taking a bit of a break from my normal daily lectionary reading and going back to something I have enjoyed my adult life walking with Christ. It is to walk slowly through a book of the Bible and pray. I like walking through a book of the Bible and study, pray, think devotionally, theologically, etc. This is something that has bubbled up in my spirit lately, so I asked the Lord where to land and I find myself in 1 Corinthians.

Read more

Spiritual “Know It Alls”

Reading for today:

Ps. 119:97-120; 81; 82
Gen. 45:16-28
1 Cor. 8:1-13
Mark 6:13-29

As we walk with God, it turns out that people who act like they “know it all” … don’t. And those who are quiet about things probably know a whole lot more. Read more

The astonishing power we have in mind and spirit… and ignore

This week in our Multiply Discipleship we are exploring the Local Church.

For this week’s general reading (and daily Scripture reading) GO HERE.

The Scripture for today is 1 Corinthians 1. I extended it for my own reading into chapter 2 since the thought process continues past the end of Chapter 1.

When I read these verses from Paul, I am always astonished at the power we have in the Spirit… and equally astonished at how I personally leave that power untapped. My challenge this week is not to talk about WHY we don’t use that power as the Church… but to simply start walking in that power.

No more excuses.

1 Cor. 2:10 is bold: The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. The invitation is simple and powerful… search the deep things of God. We have the Spirit. The Spirit searches all this out…

Go on an adventure!

Here is my challenge: move beyond the shallow questions. Those are the questions that deal with ME… I have to learn the universe doesn’t revolve around ME… so my challenge is to move into the mind of God himself. The deep things of God. Search out the deep things of God.

Paul leaves us with this incredible thought: “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16)

We have this astonishing power, along with an astonishing invitation. The challenge this week is to refuse ignoring that invitation and just plunge in.

The Spirit teaches. Let’s listen.

Let us be willing to die for something different

I want to know the feeling of “dying” for something different. By that I mean having a desperation for something that is just more. A place where I get beyond the internet fascinations of whatever is being discussed in the moment… and the tirades… to the possible. Not the possible of what can be done in human terms, but what is possible in the Kingdom of God.

These words from Paul to the Corinthians are soaking into my heart right now:

What we say is wisdom to people who are mature. It isn’t a wisdom that comes from the present day or from today’s leaders who are being reduced to nothing. We talk about God’s wisdom, which has been hidden as a secret. God determined this wisdom in advance, before time began, for our glory. It is a wisdom that none of the present-day rulers have understood, because if they did understand it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being. 10 God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, including the depths of God. (1 Cor. 2:6-10)

And this thought:

But we have the mind of Christ.

I am dying for something different. To serve the margins of society regardless of what the “left” or the “right” say about it. To do something wonderful to BLESS my community and my schools, rather than slinging verbal grenades at what is “wrong” with my community or schools. To work with and in another nation where I can contribute something to them… and they to me. To see radical, wonderful things happen to and for my Muslim friends as I pray for them during this Ramadan.

I am dying for something different. Beyond the vapid rhetoric slinging around in front of me. To hear the mind of Christ… to know the mind of Christ.

I am dying for something different!