Keep it Simple
"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." I Corinthians 2:1-5
I am a man of many words--far too many words. Ask me to write a paragraph and I will pen you a chapter, if you want me to write a chapter--get ready for a novel! In my thirty-three years on this planet, I still have not learned how to say a simple "Yes", or "No" to most questions. Oops, here I go again, I am already writing too much!
Last week I heard someone say a phrase that has been bouncing around in my head for days now. He said, "You haven't arrived at perfection when you can add nothing else, but when you can afford take nothing else away." I often do the opposite of this. If I am writing a song, I try and fit in as many words and verses as possible. I'll have 60 tracks of instruments going on at once and try and find the ever-evasive perfect blend. If I am cooking, I throw every spice into my recipe. I am always amazed when I find something that is so full, yet so empty--something that is all killer and no filler. The only thing that’s left is the essentials—the bare necessities. Like a magical song that only has three instruments and very few words, yet you can’t get it out of your head. Oops, there I go again, blabbing away…
Paul was also long winded. In fact, he was notorious for his killer sermons--no literally, read Acts 20. In Troas, Paul lead a church service that lasted all day long and he kept speaking until midnight! As he talked on and on, a young man that had drifted to sleep in a windowsill ended up falling three stories to the ground and dying. So what did Paul do after healing him? He kept talking until daylight!
Now contrast this story with Paul's actions in I Corinthians chapter two. When Paul came to Corinth he did not come in eloquence or superior wisdom. He didn’t try to impress with a polished speech or the latest philosophy. He came in weakness and fear with much trembling. He was unsure, felt totally inadequate and was scared to death. He kept it plain and simple. He preached a short and simple message that was void of wise and persuasive vocabulary.
He beautifully summed up the gospel in four simple words, "CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED.” With such a simple message, any positive reaction had to be in response to the Spirit and not Paul’s golden tongue. He used a straightforward message so that the listeners wouldn’t be distracted by the messenger, but focused on the message. Why did he do this? To give God the glory
This is why God uses sinful people with a message of forgiveness; fools with a foolish message; and simple people with a simple message--“So that no one may boast before Him” (I Cor 1:29).
1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
God, let me resolve to know one thing intimately--the cross of Christ. Let my life proclaim the simple message of Christ and Him crucified to this dying world. Help me to choose my words wisely and only speak when I need to. Guide my words and bridle my tongue when necessary. When I do share this life-giving message, may it never be void of Your Spirit’s power. Lord, don’t let me rely on my own wisdom or eloquent words, but on You alone. I love You Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
|Not Ashamed||Romans 1:16 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Favoritism||Romans 2:11 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Action Talks||Romans 2:13 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Tattooed Heart||Romans 2:15b (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|Missing the Target||Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)||Mark Mohr|
|A New Identity||I Corinthians 1:2||Mark Mohr|
|Unmerited Favor||I Corinthians 1:4||Mark Mohr|
|'Til The End||I Corinthians 1:8-9||Mark Mohr|
|Perfectly United||I Corinthians 1:10-13a||Mark Mohr|
|Gambling for Garments||I Corinthians 1:12-17LIV||Mark Mohr|
|The First Missionary||I Corinthians 1:27-29||Mark Mohr|
|THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD||I Corinthians 1:19-20||Mark Mohr|
|The Unusual Suspects||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|A Broken Vessel||Heb 11:34||Mark Mohr|
|Achilles Heel||James 3:2a||Mark Mohr|
|Refurbished Heart||I John 1:7-9||Mark Mohr|
|Unworthy Applicant||Psalm 51:1-2||Mark Mohr|
|Foolish Thinking||I Corinthians 1:18-23||Mark Mohr|
|Boastful Thinking||I Corinthians 1:29||Mark Mohr|
|The Runt of the Litter||I Corinthians 1:26-28||Mark Mohr|
|Keep it Simple||I Corinthians 2:1-5||Mark Mohr|
|Parlez Vous Christianese?||I Corinthians 2:2||Mark Mohr|
|No Eye Has Seen||I Corinthians 2:9||Mark Mohr|
|A Word from the Lord||I Corinthians 2:16||Mark Mohr|
|Let Go, Let God||I Corinthians 3:6-7||Mark Mohr|
|To The Foundation||I Corinthians 3:10-11||Mark Mohr|
|All-Seeing Eyes||I Corinthians 4:5||Mark Mohr|