Friday, February 20, 2015

THE ESSENTIAL MESSAGE

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Here is the view of Athens from the Acropolis down towards the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Here is the view of Athens from the Acropolis down towards the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:1, 4

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God…And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

 

Athens, where Paul preached his famous sermon on Mars Hill, was very different from Corinth. In Athens, he did use “excellence of speech” as he debated the philosophers (Acts 17:16-34). In today’s reading Paul has moved about 40 miles south to the largest city of Greece, Corinth. Athens was the intellectual centre. Corinth was the commercial centre. Because of its location on a very narrow strip of land between the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, almost all shipping to the eastern regions of the Roman Empire passed through Corinth in order to avoid the dangerous trip around the southern peninsula. A canal was dug in 1893 for the ships, but back in the first century A.D. it took at least a week to haul the ships on rails or great wagons up and over to the opposite Sea. Meanwhile thousands of sailors, government officials, military personnel, businessmen, etc. would have a week of leisure. Paul, who financed his mission here by making tents, would’ve had no trouble selling everything he made to accommodate the travelers. It has been estimated that there were at least 5,000 prostitutes in Corinth.

I wrote the above in order to set the stage for Paul’s ministry, which will unfold for us as we continue over the next few days to read and consider these two letters from Paul to Corinth. The intellectual discourse of Athens would not get a hearing there. Demonstration of the Spirit and of power was absolutely essential in order to get anyone’s attention for the preaching of the Gospel. I’m way over 100 words….sorry.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, just as Paul had to understand the cities in which he communicated Your message, help me to understand the people and places where I live and witness for You. Please show me when and how to make Your case for believing in You. In Your Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve been asked how I decide which books of the Bible come next. Back in the 60’s and 70’s I read the Bible from cover to cover once a year, three chapters a day and five on Sunday. I encouraged others to do the same. Our ministry published study guides which were ordered by readers in advance. I discovered that by the time we reached Joshua, almost 80% of those who started with me had dropped out. In the 80’s and 90’s I moved our readings to two years through the Bible, moving from the Hebrew Scripture to the Greek, with alternate books for variety and balance between the Old and New Testaments. Approximately 80% of those who started with me in the new reading program ordered the materials and completed the entire Bible. These publications are out of print now, so I’ve moved into the brave new world of cyberspace just for you!!!

Yours for God’s gift of sanctified stubbornness in not giving up, (Oh yes, Doreen, we’ll be back in 1 Samuel after we finish 2 Corinthians, God willing!)

David

These are the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The Temple construction began in the 6th century BC.

These are the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The Temple construction began in the 6th century BC.

12 thoughts on “Friday, February 20, 2015

  1. anyone wanting some inspiration check out “This Little Light of Mine” on U Tube plus “Homeless Boy Steals Talent Show” …spring is on its way! Tonight I go to a concert on the tickets I won! Thank you Lord for that blessing! have a GREAT day everyone!

    • Good morning David,
      Thank you for your messages every day. It is the only way to start my day with the Lord. Glory to our saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to you to David and all of your Crossroads family.

    • where do I
      find this song”this little light of mine”
      the “homeless boy who stole the talent show”
      thank you. this is something I have never done before– so it is
      all new to me thanks annie

  2. What power was demonstrated in Paul’s ministry or does that come later?
    Great pics!
    Thank u so much for your stubborness Rev. M. There’s times when that quality can be such a blessing, and this is one of them.

    “Winston Churchill noted: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.””.

    God be with us always.

  3. Thank you pastor David for setting the stage it is so interesting . I prayed the prayer. I have just gone on Facebook for the first time & I pray dear Lord give me the words to tell about Your Love for those lost souls give me love discernment & wisdom to put what you would have me write so any who read Your Word will see the light Your Light Your Glory. For I know You don’t want any to perish & I want what You want.

  4. I especially like and prayed your prayer David as some opportunities have come up for me too and I need the wisdom of God. Thank you for your word of faith for me yesterday Sah. It’s amazing that the Apostle Paul didn’t think he was an excellent speaker or at least he was making a point that it took the power and spirit of God to change a man. Blessings from stormy N.B.

  5. Hi David, I think I have been with your bible blog now for over a year and I am still faithful in my daily reading and studying. I just wanted to say “thank you” for this wonderful opportunity to study the bible like I’ve never done before. I hope to complete the 2-year study with you David. God Bless you!! Bea

  6. Got kind of a bit of a shock when I read the last part of the blog. “Oh yes, Doreen” you said. I had to do a double take on that. It has been a strange day today. I was just about to pay for my coffee and muffin at McDonald’s this morning on the way to the nursing home, when a young man stepped up and told the lady to put it on his bill! I tried to dissuade him but he insisted. Very surprising in this day and age. May God bless that young man greatly. Doreen Brown, that message from David was for you! I was the one that got the coffee!

  7. Thank you so much David for setting the tone by explaining the difference between the two cities of Athens and Corinth. I am so thankful for your blog. It was a real answer to my prayers to finally go through the bible and understanding it better. I am reading it every day with everyone else and praising God to continue to inspire you to share with us what He layes on your heart every early morning hours of every day.
    I was especially inspired today to be a good listener. I believe that this will help me see better God moving through people’s heart. God bless you David and thank you again to be so faithful to us and to Our Lord and Savior’s calling in your daily life.

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