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I have ZERO ability to build a church.
I’m sure a good marketer or CEO could come in here and get a weekly gathering, but I doubt it would be a church—a called out assembly of baptized believers.
A church is GOD’S work, not man’s, and we do well to remember that. I do well to remember that. Because I know how easily a pastor’s identity can become wrapped up in what “his” church is rather than what Jesus is in him. When I find my identity solely in Christ, I’m already complete. I need nothing else.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:8–10)
God intended a simple message to build His church—the message of the cross. It’s not a marketing campaign, and it doesn’t have a lot of WOW to it.
To the smart person, Christianity is for dummies. To the strong person, Christianity is a crutch. To the rich person, Christianity is merely an attempt to jump the ladder up to “their” level.
But God has chosen the weak things of this life to show us his otherworldly wisdom.
James 3:13–18 says, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
I’m not too enamored with fancy-sounding language and impressive people. I’m mostly impressed by people that love Jesus and appreciate his free gift of salvation. The people that never get over the cross are the ones that go on to do mighty things for God.
In today’s text (v. 31,) Paul summarizes Jeremiah 9:23, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”
When we come to the end of ourselves, that’s right when God can start to use us. Do you have a bunch of money? Don’t trust it. Give it to God—sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally. Do you have a speaking ability? Don’t waste it on yourself; redeem your words for God! Do you have a knack for serving? Make life wonderful for others in the name of Jesus, and watch God get the glory from your life.
Supernatural work happens through natural means, but not through natural power or natural inclinations. Give God yourself and watch God work miracles!