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Foolish Things Shame the Wise

The Task-Filled Life Bible Study — Week 5, Day 1

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:9).

Go with gusto! Do everything you ever dreamed of, no matter how many you have to step over to get it. Acquire wealth and you will be happy. You can have it all. Don’t let anything stop you.

These are all thoughts that the world shouts at us today. Encouraged to win it all, desire it all, and fight for it all, we assume the power rests in us as we do our best to be on top in everything we do. In the process we become stressed out, bottled up, and pulled in to endless accomplishments and desires that only bring temporary peace and joy. After years of striving, we soon dry up and wonder why we bothered doing any of it. Perhaps we have forgotten a key element: It’s not what we do for ourselves that brings satisfaction but what we do for others. 

Christ opens the eyes of believers to a different world – a world of opposites and contrasts. In His Word, God reveals to us that [He] chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; [He] chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [He] chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it was written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

The Beatitudes themselves explore even more fully these contrasts. The poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. The merciful will receive mercy. The pure in heart will see God. The peacemakers will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:3-9)

Jesus flipped the world upside down – in thought, in power, and in understanding. Rather than listening to the way of the world, we are encouraged to view it through the eyes, ears, and heart of Christ. He noted that in order to be the greatest, we need to be a servant. To be first, we must willingly serve others, for He Himself “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). (See also Mark 10:43-45)

His believers were to see things differently, to hear the truth through His Word, and to listen to the Spirit as He uses the means of grace to instruct us. For as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God…Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10,12).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, as a beloved follower, I desire to seek Your wisdom above all things, for Your wisdom is powerful beyond all words. By seeking You, I will discover that You are the power of God and the wisdom of God and know that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:24-25).

(In your quiet time, read Proverbs 2:1-11 for it reveals true wisdom and its benefits.)

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