Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weak Things of the Earth

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.     1Corinthians 26-29

Tomorrow is my CBS Bible study, and true to form, I did the entire weekly lesson this morning.  None of this little bit every day business for me!  Way too sensible.

The lesson always begins with a commentary, and today's commentary was on Colossians 1:1-14.  They began by talking about the word "saint" as it is used in the New Testament.  I must say that that was the most encouraging part of the entire lesson.  It has stuck with me all morning.

Here's a quote:
Character of a Saint (Colossians 1:2)  The phrase "holy man" may bring to mind the image of a man with long hair, sitting in a lotus position in a cave, and saying wise things to pilgrims who come seeking "truth."  But the Bible gives a very different picture.

The Greek word translated holy in the NIV is word also used for saint.  It is hagios and is used 279 times to describe ordinary people in the New Testament.  In classical Greek, hagios indicated a person who caused awe, amazement, respect.  In the adjectival form, it means clean.  In the Greek religion, it was used of the most beautiful and sacred items in a temple -- things not accessible for public use, reserved for the use of the gods.

Therefore, when Paul calls the Colossians holy or saints, he is calling them vessels cleaned and set apart for God's pleasure and personal use. So holy means clean and set apart and faithful means adhering firmly and devotedly to a person or a cause -- in this instance, Christ.
Somehow this just rocked my world this morning.  The idea that I am in God's eyes I am clean and set apart for His personal pleasure and personal use.  That's the part that got me.  It really makes me want to live up to the reality.  Sort of backward, isn't it?  It's already true, but it's also true that I have the opportunity to live up to the reality moment by moment.

Knowing that I am set apart for God's pleasure fills me with joy at the thought of pleasing Him.  Crazy!

But it also makes me laugh that I am so one of the weak and foolish things of the earth.  On earth, in this world, I am absolutely a nobody.  I have all the makings of nothing.  I am not especially pretty, my personality is flatlined, I am overweight, I am smart but way too timid to do anything with it.  And God, in His wisdom, has chosen the weak and foolish to shame the wise and strong.  That would definitely be me.  A pleasant, non-threatening nobody.  And God has set me apart for His personal use and pleasure.

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