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1 Corinthians 1:18-31(CEB)

18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. 19 It is written in scripture: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent.[a] 20 Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. 22 Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24 But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Look at your situation when you were called, brothers and sisters! By ordinary human standards not many were wise, not many were powerful, not many were from the upper class. 27 But God chose what the world considers foolish to shame the wise. God chose what the world considers weak to shame the strong. 28 And God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life—what is considered to be nothing—to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing. 29 So no human being can brag in God’s presence. 30 It is because of God that you are in Christ Jesus. He became wisdom from God for us. This means that he made us righteous and holy, and he delivered us. 31 This is consistent with what was written: The one who brags should brag in the Lord!


Oswald Chambers said about The Cross: “The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be.”

The Cross of Calvary, who wouldn’t want what Jesus did for us while on the cross?

Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Many just don’t understand it, like me, for so many years .

Paul wrote about me in Philippians 3:17-19, “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”

I was an enemy of The Cross — even after I became a Christian.

I really didn’t have a clue what The Cross meant to Jesus and what it means to me and for me. Yet I was full of frustration as I tried unsuccessfully to follow the commands of Jesus in Matthew 10:38, “and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me,” and in Matthew 16:24-25, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

If we want to be Christians, we can’t ignore these and similar verses. Carrying our cross doesn’t mean dealing with hardship like gimpy knees, a grouchy boss or even cancer. But how we deal with such things is reflected in our understanding of carrying our cross and how we do it.

What takes place on crosses? Death. We are to die to ourselves.

Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I can only do that by His Spirit living in me and understanding His tremendous love for me. Over and over Paul prayed that Christians would be “rooted and established in love, and have the power with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

That’s the only way it can happen. We have to willingly pick up our cross and die in response to His great love. It can’t be forced like Simon from Cyrene, who was made to carry Jesus’cross on the way to Calvary.

The decision is ours. The love of God makes it possible.

By Rick Reed

For Pondering & Prayer

How much time do I spend thinking I’m wise, when I’m really being foolish. And I also wonder how much time do I think I’m being foolish and I’m really being wise. But 1 Corinthians 4:10 tells us “We are fools for Christ, but you are wise through Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored!” But Paul added in verse 14,” I’m not writing these things to make you ashamed but to warn you, since you are my loved children.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, fool or wise, I hope that I am always yours. I want to be like Paul and say at the end of verse 13, “We have become the scum of the earth, the waste that runs off everything, up to the present time.” Help me to count myself as nothing, so long as I am counted as one of your disciples. Amen