NT Fire Starters – Day 227: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16
READ: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16
THINK: Often, the best known, highest regarded, most sought after ministers are those who demonstrate the sharpest communication skills and seem to posses the most unique insights. While this may be a result of God’s gifting, it doesn’t make someone’s ministry more worthy, more powerful or more effective in God’s view. In fact, ministries that rely on human abilities will yield little or no long-term spiritual fruit. Regardless of peoples’ gifts, God wants your attention to be on His message, His power and His purposes, not on how much you enjoy listening to the speaker.
RESPOND: Though Paul’s speaking ability was apparently not impressive, why was his preaching powerful and influential? (See 2:1 and 2:4 notes.) In what ways can the Holy Spirit’s power work through godly preaching? (See 2:4 note, sub-points 2-4.) Why are those who know and love God able to understand Jesus’ message and God’s Word when worldly wise people do not (vv. 7-8)? How should verse 9 encourage those who love Jesus? How does God reveal what He has prepared for us (v. 10ff)? (See 2:12 note.) In what ways and for what reasons did the Holy Spirit inspire the writing of Scripture (i.e., God’s written Word) and how does He help people understand God’s Word? (See 2:13 note.) Why must people have an authentic relationship with God in order to truly comprehend what comes from God (v. 14)? When speaking of Jesus’ followers, what does it mean that “we have the mind of Christ”? (See 2:16 note. ) Why is this mind-set vital for Jesus’ followers and how does it affect their lives?
PRAY: Pray that you would never depend on human abilities and personalities in doing or receiving ministry, but that you would rely on the Holy Spirit’s power, guidance and insight to understand and apply God’s Word.
ACT: As you go through the day, practice having “the mind of Christ” (v. 16) in all situations. Try to maintain attitudes you believe Jesus would have. Do for others what you feel Jesus would do and say what you feel He wants you to say. Rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in this way, and be prepared for God to use you to bring encouragement, help and healing to people. If you have time, read the article on Three kinds of People, p. 1624.