1 Corinthians 2 (The Message Version unless otherwise noted)
1-2You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
Jesus, Your message is simple and what You did says it all. Paul kept his words simple and straight-forward and left Your power do the work. Help me to live like that. Help me to live a simple, straight-forward life, and let You do the rest. Keep me simple Lord.
3-5I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.
Jesus, come with Your true power into me and my family. Help my own faith to not be a mental thing I’ve put together but a true structure of love created by You, new in me and through me. I need Your real life Lord. I need Your real power and love Lord, nothing from me.
6-10We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text:
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
Jesus, I know Your way is so different from anything the world has to offer. I know when I figure something out, it is foolishness. Only in trusting in You is there true wisdom. So why is my faith so weak and why do I spend so much time and energy trying to understand my trials and problems? Jesus, please, help me to not figure and plan and instead, rest in You. I’ll never get this figured out. Help me rest.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
10-13The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
Jesus, I have read and learned about salvation from books and going to church. At first I almost disagreed with this paragraph. But then I thought I little I really understood (understand?) until You make it alive in my heart. Without You personally moving my heart, none of it really makes a difference and I don’t really believe it. Thank-you for being real and alive and for living in me despite my weaknesses and failings.
14-16The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
Jesus, I know my spirit can be one with Your Spirit. I have experienced this. I know it is what You want. How do I live every moment like this? Why is my mind so weak that it drifts and wonders? Why is my heart so double-minded that it wants to sin and be separated from You? Lord, please help me to commune with You, my spirit to your Spirit, every moment of my life here on earth and of course forever in heaven.