Saturday, January 5th, 2019
Passionate! Like Paul: Plainness
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the Cross of Christ would not be made void.
1 Corinthians 1:17 (NASB)
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
We serve a Lord of boundless simplicity. He is revealed in a snowflake. Countless have fallen. No two are alike.*
Consider His Self-professed Name: 'God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you' ' (Exodus 3:14).
Can two tiny Words describe God? Yes, by His design, plainness is profound, perfection is pure and excellence is elemental.
Now consider some of the titles we give to ourselves: royal highness, grand duke, board chairman, right reverend, executive president and principle advisor. Letters of professional pedigree trail after names like puffs on the tail of a poodle: BA, MA, MD, JD, MBA, PhD, CFP. The more, the better.
By the standards of men, Paul had bragging rights. He was 'A Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee' (Acts 23:6), 'A Hebrew of the Hebrews' (Philippians 3:5), a citizen of Rome: a well-educated, multi-lingual, hard-working high achiever. Even so:
'What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ... for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ' (Philippians 3:7-8).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't be impressed by titles of talkers, awards of accomplishment or crowns of celebrity. Don't desire them.
Because celebrity is like standing on the head of a pin or the top of a temple. It's dangerous. Be like Jesus. He refused the position and stayed in submission.**
Be like Paul. He humbled himself: 'I am less than the least of all the Lord's people' (Ephesians 3:8). He didn't speak in 'Great swelling words of emptiness' (2 Peter 2:18), nor did he choose a fancy title, unless you consider 'A bond-servant of Jesus Christ' fancy (Romans 1:1).
If God brings fame upon you, example simplicity. Drive a Ford instead of a Ferrari. Live in a house instead of a mansion. Speak of God's greatness instead of your own. Therein, you witness the King you follow.
## Passionate! Like Paul: Plainness (Part 5)
* PBS News: The Science of Snowflakes and Why No Two Are Alike: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-science-of-snowflakes/
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 series called, 'Paul's Powerful Priorities.' In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Passionate! Like Paul series.