1 Corinthians 1:18 – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” NKJV
I had a person send me a message on Facebook over a birthday greeting I sent to a mutual friend. He called me some vile names and said, that I was a purveyor of hate because I promoted, in his words, “my invisible friend”. I’m not sure how that was hate, other than hatred for sin, but He continued to tell me that I was offering false hope to people and thereby robbing them of the ability to live life freely and fully. He considered my Christian blessing foolishness. He laughed at my declaration that I have experienced God’s blessings and the message of the Cross as the incredible power of God to transform. Truly, he was an example of this scripture.
After I returned home from the Vietnam War in 1968, I spent a year searching and trying to satisfy an emptiness in my heart. I tried many things (not opioids) but things very detrimental to my physical and emotional well-being. I even considered reenlisting and returning to Vietnam because I was empty and lost. I had no one to talk to and when I tried, they could not understand the emptiness of my heart and my frustration. Most of them were in the same condition I was in, Lost, and without God.
I encountered God’s love through people in Palestine, Texas at Westside Assembly of God and after several weeks of the constant display of that love, I received Jesus at the kitchen table of my sister’s house around midnight on a Saturday night, as I sat alone reading Proverbs 3:5-6. The experience was incredible. The weight of the world lifted from my shoulders, the peace of God flooded my heart and I was changed. No, changed is not an adequate description, I was TRANSFORMED! I was Born Again!
The Cross, the message of Jesus’ sacrificial death on my behalf and His resurrection, provided the Transforming Power to completely rewrite my life. I have encountered people who believe as did Karl Marx that “religion is the opium of the people.” They believe as did Friedrich Nietzsche, “God is dead” or that God does not exist.
I have encountered avowed atheists who insist that there is no God and agnostics and followers of Gnosticism that insists it would be impossible to know if there is a God or not. I beg to differ I have experienced Him. I meet people who believe that a loving God would never allow sin, sickness, and evil to exist and therefore, there cannot be a God because a loving and benevolent creator would not allow pain in people’s lives. They take exception to our message that God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere Present, and Loving.
I love the apostle Paul’s retort to those who disbelieved and were attempting to discredit the message of Good News in the Gospel. He said, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
God’s love is immeasurable and the Father’s willingness to allow Jesus to be born of a woman, live on this planet which He did without sin, die for man’s sins, and rise again ascending to heaven to intercede for us is nothing short of amazing! That is the descriptor of Grace – AMAZING! No wonder John Newton in 1772 would write the incredible anthem of the Church, “Amazing Grace.”
God’s Amazing Grace is sweetness to my ears and my heart. I was lost and He found me and allowed me to find Him! I was afraid and He quieted my fears. I face dangers, toils, and snares, and He never leaves me. His Grace is the doorway to lead us into the presence of God, bring about the New Birth, and lead us to our eternal abode and heavenly reward. Hallelujah!
Those who are atheists, skeptics, agnostics, and rebellious may consider the message of the Cross foolishness but those of us who have experienced the Love, Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness of God know its Power!
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!