The Bible – The Amplified Bible
17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).
18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.]
Thank God for seminaries and dedicated theologians who teach and counsel our pastors. But I am most thankful for the intervention of the God of this universe sending His Holy Spirit to dwell among men and to impact our lives daily. I am amazed how God is able to use the uneducated and especially those having graduated from seminary. As I said, I am thankful for our seminaries, so I have nothing against them, but a person filled with head knowledge but who refuses to call on God for help in delivering His message is totally missing the point, and therefore much of their preaching is in vain. Friends, I know that all seminary graduates do not fall into the same box, so I am not condemning them. However, we must all remember that the Word of God is worthless without the power of God and the presence of God. For without God, we speak mere words of man, and it is only through the Word of God and His mighty hand that man is saved, or hardened hearts are touched. In fact, when we stand before a crowd and attempt to preach or teach without inviting God to direct us and fill us with His words and His wisdom, we are assuming that our knowledge is greater than the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. Friends, we are truly wasting our time and making a mockery of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we meet (supposedly in His name) yet deliberately leave Him out of our meeting and not totally depend on His mighty hand. To our pastors, preachers, evangelists and teachers, please be encouraged that you can’t do the preaching or teaching on your own. Yes, you are capable, but why open your mouths and speak empty words that can’t possibly touch the heart of man? Please allow God His rightful place as Commander-In-Chief of worship services dedicated to Him. Please allow Him to use you in spreading His Word to His people that need Him so badly. Friends, we have a responsibility to pray for our pastors and teachers. We need a word from The Lord when we go to our worship services. Words from mere man is a waste of our time, so let us pray earnestly for the hand of God to work actively through the man of God that stands before us each week. God could demand even the stones to speak, so as we pray let us do it in confidence that He could speak through His messenger in ways and with the words that will touch, uplift, encourage and challenge our hearts.
Lord, to mere man this whole passage of Scripture must seem very fictional, but to the believer in Jesus Christ who knows Your power and have read about and seen your mighty works in action, we humbly pray that You would work very powerfully in the hearts and lives of our pastors and teachers this week, so that as we gather in Your name, we would receive a word from You. Please humble the hearts of the educated, and please uplift the uneducated, so that as they stand before your people this week, they will each depend solely on the power of the Almighty to do His good work among His people gathered together. Lord, as we strive daily to live for You and like You intended, we are constantly marred by Satan and his evil followers in this world. Please forgive us for our weaknesses and encourage us to draw even closer to You so the power within us might always be greater than the power in this old world. Jesus, we depend heavily on You daily, please forgive us of our sinful attitudes and desires and strengthen us to do Your will, and this I humbly pray in Your name, knowing that only You can grant this, AMEN!
NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.