As Toronto City Mission strives to build loving relationships and bring hope to children and families impacted by poverty, it is important for us to consider Paul’s teachings from I Corinthians 1:1-5.
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Our human instinct defaults to rely on self. However, Paul was humbled before our mighty God and quickly learned that the ways of the world, prized by so many, was folly before God. Our physical abilities, human wisdom, charming personalities and mental capacities are of no account, before our Lord.
When Paul first arrived in Corinth to preach the word, his focus was not to impress folks with exceptional speech or astound them with his eloquent words. Nor did he floor them with cogent thoughts. However, being moved by God’s spirit, he decided to share nothing other than Christ Jesus, and Him crucified.
To accentuate how meaningless worldly wisdom was, Paul who was so greatly accomplished in wisdom and knowledge, decided not to minister in his own literary abilities, and articulate brilliance. But rather, Paul came in weakness, in fear and with much trembling. I think we can all understand this.
The basic message of the Gospel and of Paul’s service was uncomplicated and forthright. That the faith of those we serve, should not be established on the wisdom and ability of women and men, but rather through the power of God.
This is an important reminder to all of us. Of course we have been gifted and blessed by God with lots of abilities. And of course we should use these gifts and abilities in our witness. Nevertheless it is through our faith and reliance on God that allows us to be most effective in our service.
It is our desire to make sure that the people we serve understand that we are doing good works not because we are good people, but our good works is sourced from our worship and through our worship we gain the strength to be effective servants.
In other words, we do ministry with God’s power, and not from our own power. Wherever our service lies, we do this through the demonstration of God’s power!