Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.

One afternoon in 1998 at my house in Texas I presented God a prayer.
My prayer was Lord I want to be like Paul. I loved reading all that he went through and how he had the desire to do nothing else but preach Christ and Him crucified. So when I prayed that prayer I was wanting that same desire. Later that evening we went to our weekly home church meeting. During that night we were waiting around for a lady coming in from England.
Once they arrived we sat down ate the wonderful meal and afterward there was a time of prayer.
Someone asked if anyone needed prayer. I have and always will feel that if someone ask to pray that we need to be front in line to be prayed for. So I sat down in the chair and it happened that the lady from England had laid hands on me. Up to that point I haven't had a chance to visit with her. So as she started to pray the following words came out; Lord God I ask that you make him like Paul. As she said that I was reminded by the Lord of what I had prayed earlier that day to be more like Paul.
Now since that time I am continuosly reminded of how Paul was and how he acted. He walked worthy of his calling. He was persecuted for his belief and he didn't waver.
I however haven't walked in that way all the time. So I don't dare compare my life so far to what Paul went through.
One thing though that I have stuck with on and off of course. That is to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Especially concerning the lost. I have note books full of thoughts and words that I wrote down almost everyday from 1996. As I sometimes think that I am just starting to have a heart for the lost all I have to do is read one of my many many notes.
I am then reminded that this is not new for me. The Lord put it in my heart to reach the lost whether through prayer or evangelism.
Lastly though since moving to Conway, Arkansas some of what I really fought and believed took a back burner to some other issues.
You see I get caught up in issues that don't mean a hill of beans to God. I allowed myself to get to much knowledge and not enough of the Holy Spirit.
So my focus was changed.
As that has happened I am being reminded of what Paul also wrote continuing in 1 Corinthians 1:17
"....and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."
So much of what I have been focusing on has been words of eloquent wisdom. In turn for me the cross of Christ seemed emptied of its power. I have been following when I am supposed to be leading. In turn I have made things foolish when it comes to the gospel.
Paul was careful in how he approached issues. He didn't let the world or wisemen draw him off the message. He stuck to the most important issue ever. Christ and Him crucified. PERIOD!
I want to look at more of chapter one in 1 Corinthians. Vs. 18-25
"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. For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debator of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
You see Paul asks who is wise and where is the debator. We must realize that God has made foolish the wisdom of men.
Where I am coming from is we can label ourselves to identify what we believe, but that only matters to men. God has given us a name already. A name that stands above all names. That name is Jesus Christ! A name above all names.
Our focus should always be on HIM and not on our own agendas or thoughts. As the Lords thoughts are higher than ours. His ways is greater than our ways. We must be about the work of our Father. He is and always will be my all in all.
If all I ever read again is the Bible, that will be enough. If I lose my right to have a bible that is ok, because the creator lives in me and He will show me how to continue on.
My point is this. We need to be like Paul and the other apostles. We need to be imitators of Christ. Most of the apostles were not schooled. They were foolish men in the worlds eyes. Yet many signs and wonders were done through them because they believed and had faith in the Lord.
I am tired. I am worn out. I have been chasing rabbits. Now it is time for me to prove what I believe by living out my faith. I need every believer. I need to be rebuked when I go wrong. I need to be forgiven because I still make mistakes. I need to meet with other believers. I need to love and be loved by others. I need most of all the continuing life giving blood of Jesus Christ.


featuring chas pike said...

man, this is great steven, so uplifting. i taught on wisdom this week, and the corinthians quotes were a major part of it. the old testament shows wisdom as such a desirable characteristic to posses. but if we trace the biblical root, it starts in the garden. eve sees the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and sees that it is desirable for gaining wisdom. solomon was gifted with more wisdom than any man, and he followed his worldly wisdom away from God, building temples to other gods, and many other sins. in revelation the depiction of the antichrist uses the key word wisdom and points us back to solomon.
in the new testament we learn from Jesus, paul and james that there are two kinds of wisdom, that of God, and that of man. wisdom is no longer to be sought after as a character trait, instead, we have Jesus. he is all wisdom, as all our needs are found in him. Jesus. the wisdom of man is folly. the wisdom of God is Jesus. thanks for posting this and reminding me of just what a fool i am!

Steven Owen said...

Charles, I apprecitate the fact this blessed you brother.
The Lord has put me in a direction of showing how important He is compared to what we feel is priority.
Using His Holy Spirit as well as using brothers in the Lord.