Faith is a gift from God. Why do I say this today at the January 20 daily devotional? Listen to me.
Devotional for Today, January 20
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (full text at 1 Corinthians 2:1-9)
But how to preach the Gospel?
Well, my brothers and sisters, tell me, how do you preach the Gospel to a skeptical person? And how do you proclaim it to a superficial person? And how do I proclaim it to an indifferent person?
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For example, it is easy to prove that two times 2 is 4. Likewise, it is easy to prove that liquid water becomes solid at sub-zero temperatures. And even if a person is skeptical, he will still be convinced of these truths in life.
But proving that Jesus, crucified in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, has a decisive influence on life today has always been challenging to prove.
How do we present the Gospel so that it reaches the human heart? This question is not only crucial for someone preparing for a Sunday sermon.
It is also essential for the grandmother who tells her grandson the story of Jesus. It is just as crucial for the nurse who stands at the bedside of a seriously ill person. How do you tell a dying patient about Jesus?
The Gospel of Faith
The Apostle Paul speaks from his own experience of such situations. He says: I did not come with human wisdom or impressively persuasive rhetoric.
Why? Because Paul feels this is inappropriate for the Gospel, he is preaching.
It is a harsh, shocking, crucified Jesus’ Gospel. The Gospel is a truth that is unpleasant to the ear of the hearer.
It is impossible to gloss over uncomfortable things to accommodate the listener to bring them back. Because it is about human salvation. And Paul is prepared to tell it like it is. And he is ready to confirm his words simply by living the truth he proclaims.
Let’s face it, a modern man can’t see God’s wisdom, healing, and salvation in that martyred and defiled Jesus. Today it requires a show, superman, and special effects.
Faith is a Gift from God
That leaves the eternal and unchanging truth: faith is a gift from God.
Yes. It’s a free human decision:
- A man on his side – opening the door of the heart. He is ready to accept the unbelievable.
- God, for his part, plants the seed of faith. The Kingdom of God enters man’s open heart like a mustard seed.
Only God can give salvation
You cannot convert a person. And you cannot heal his soul. So, of course, you cannot give him salvation. Only God alone can do that.
Prayer for Today
Lord, You have chosen to come to me. Therefore, open my ears, mind, and heart to know You so that I may hear You. Please give me the grace not to miss that wonderful moment. Give me the light; provide me with faith and courage to live according to Your word and will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Also read: Devotional for January 19