257. Faith in God's power
'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.'* ( 1 Corinthians 2:4) Those who have believed the message because they liked the preacher's wit, will be *unnerved* (make someone lose courage or confidence) when trouble comes because they haven't known the power of God. *"Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away."* ( Luke 8:13) Faith is birthed in us by the words of Christ and not by the words of men. *'Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said'* (Luke 10:39) and faith was instilled in her because *'Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith'* ( Hebrews 12:2), himself was the one speaking. And then when her brother Lazarus died, she had the faith to believe the Lord for a miracle, unlike Martha who didn't find time to listen to Jesus. *'Consequently, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ'* (Romans 10:17) Seek the Lord's word concerning a situation instead of finding the opinion of men! But *'if anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God'* (1 Peter 4:11) - *'not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.'* ( 1 Corinthians 1:17) How many times we have heard *'foolish talk and coarse joking'* from the pulpit *'which are out of place'* ( Ephesians 5:4)! Preachers who make people laugh are sought after, nowadays, instead of those who *'speak the truth in love'* (Ephesians 4:15). People must be *'cut to heart'* on hearing the word of God and not made to 'laugh their heart out'. *'For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.'* ( 2 Timothy 4:3) *'Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes ... do not be partners with them.* ( 5:6-7) Let our faith be in the power of God and not in the empty words of men who have no power. *'For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.'* ( 1 Corinthians 4:20) Amen.