An Outlandish Story

March 29, 2017 – Wednesday
Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Focus: vs. 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.”

Have you ever had an experience that was so outlandish that you couldn’t figure out how you were going to tell the story to your friends and family? I like to go fishing when I get a chance. I love the Spring season the best when the fish seem to be waking up from a long winter’s nap and they are ravenous. Everyone knows that fishermen love to tell tall tales of the fish they have hooked and lost. Those are the best ones because nobody can refute your tale, no matter how outlandish it seems. My favorite stories involve a three-foot walleye and a largemouth bass that tried to hit me with my own lure. Was that walleye really three feet long? I will admit that most people consider it a foolish story when I tell it.

When writing sermons I have a habit of trying to listen to my words through the ears of another. It helps to think of faces the message will be delivered to and consider the situations I know they are facing.  On top of that, I will hear my words through the ears of someone I know who doesn’t believe so I can consider how to speak words of life to them. This gets interesting because, quite often, the gospel of Jesus sounds like foolishness through that second set of ears. Following the train of thought helps me to see how to broaden my words to reach the lost as well as the found.

Our passage in 1 Corinthians turns Paul into a fisherman realizing that his outlandish tale about Jesus sounds like foolishness to those who don’t believe. Maybe my walleye wasn’t really three-feet long but the story of Jesus, crazy as it sounds, is absolutely true. It’s foolishness to those who are perishing but it’s the very power of God to those being saved!

I will admit that sometimes it sounds like I’m telling a crazy story to my friends when I talk about what Jesus has done for me. I hear the words I’m saying and I’m sure I sound completely nuts to them. I’m positive they’re going to quietly say “good for you” as they slip the straight jacket onto me. That doesn’t stop me from telling my story, though. The reality is that what the world thinks is wisdom is often nothing but foolishness; and what the world thinks is foolishness is actually the greatest wisdom of all. What does it take to turn that foolishness into wisdom for the one who hears the story? It takes God’s whisper in their ear and the Holy Spirit’s touch upon their heart. That’s what turned my world upside down. When that day came, I realized the foolish story was filled with power from God.

If you want to hear some foolish words, come talk to me? Have I got a story to tell you!


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