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 2 times 2 is 4. 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 difficult to prove.
How do we present the Gospel so that it reaches the human heart? This question is not only important for someone preparing for a Sunday sermon.
It is also important for the grandmother who tells her grandson the story of Jesus. It is just as important 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 nor with impressively persuasive rhetoric.
Why? Because Paul feels that this is not appropriate 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 not possible to gloss over uncomfortable things, to accommodate the listener to bring it back. Because it is about human salvation. And Paul is prepared to tell it like it really is. And he is prepared to confirm his words simply by living the truth he proclaims.
Let’s face it, it is simply impossible for modern man to see God’s wisdom, healing, salvation in that martyred and defiled Jesus. Today it requires a show, a 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 own 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 the open heart of man like a mustard seed.
Only God can give salvation
You cannot convert a person. And you cannot heal his soul. 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, my mind, and my heart so that I may know You. That I may hear You. Please give me the grace not to miss that wonderful moment. Give me the light, give me faith and courage to live according to Your word, according to Your will. Amen.
Also read: Devotional for January 19