1 Corinthians 1:17-18 - For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The doctor was quick to let his patient know the test results and what to expect. "Our tests confirm that you have inflamed sinus tracks with concentrations of pharyngeal sediment and mucosa delimiting your respiration. You can expect this to last for some time, but with the appropriate regimen of antibacterial pharmaceuticals, class C vitamins, and zinc-based minerals to combat your exacerbated symptomatic exigencies, we might be able to get a handle on it."
The patient was aghast after hearing his expert and astute prognostications and not a little befuddled as to what it all meant. "Just give it to me straight, doc. Am I gonna make it?"
The doctor put on his bi-focals and scribbled something cryptic on a note pad. He tore off a sheet and handed it to the now-shrinking patient. "You've got a nasty head cold. Take two of these every six hours, drink lots of water, and get some rest. You'll feel better in no time."
Isn't that the way it is sometimes? The telling of the straight and forward becomes an exercise in the long-winded and bewildering. What could be a matter-of-fact explanation is muddied up, leaving the hearer scratching his head.
Thankfully, Paul and the other disciples of Jesus told it like it was—not with overblown words that no one could grasp or understand, but with hearts wanting to share the simple and straightforward Good News: Jesus died and rose again to defeat the devil. His victory over the grave is ours through faith in Him as Lord and Savior.
Rather than overcomplicate the Gospel message—"lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"—Paul knew that he must speak in a way that people understood what he was saying. His message had the core truths that he himself had heard and understood as God's Gospel: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Paul was the mouthpiece, but God created the opportunities, and when He did, Paul wanted to be ready to speak in plain and no uncertain terms. "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak" (Colossians 4:3-4).
May we likewise speak as we ought.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may our words be plain-spoken and sincere when we tell others about Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In His Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. When have you been baffled by an explanation that could have been said more clearly?
2. Has God been clear and unmistakable to mankind in how He has redeemed us? What does our salvation require?
3. When/if Jesus comes up in your conversations, do you consider who you're talking to, their background, and how you can most effectively (and conscientiously) share the Savior with them?
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