God's Standards Should Be Our Standards
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
May 3, 2015
Central Passage
1 Corinthians1:18-31
Subject
First Sunday Service
Description

Excerpt Data Commentary - Source by: Chuck Queen

"What does God want? What does God require? What is “the good” that God expects? It is this: “to do justice (that is social justice, restorative and distributive justice, working for a just society), and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” This is the sacrifice God wants, sisters and brothers: lives and communities committed to social justice, to deeds of mercy and compassion, and to authentic humility.

I know it’s the Old Testament, but could there be a better summary of what it means to love God and love your neighbor as yourself? This is the wisdom of God. This is what saves. This is the main course. Everything else is an after dinner snack that we probably don’t even need. If we just focused on these main things – social justice, deeds of kindness and mercy, genuine humility before God and one another – then everything else would take care of itself.

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The wisdom of God can be found anywhere, right in the midst of the so-called secular. You don’t have to be in some holy place to encounter God’s wisdom. God’s wisdom can show up anytime – anywhere to challenge our assumptions, expectations, commitments, and priorities rooted in the normalcy of this age.

Paul wrote, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God choose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” Humility and generosity and forgiveness are the only appropriate responses to the wisdom of God. Indeed, they are expressions of God’s wisdom.

In an article in “The Christian Century,” Pastor Matt Fitzgerald wrote about a shocking encounter with the wisdom of God when he visited a man on death row who had been convicted of brutally murdering a teenage girl 21 years earlier. This man had claimed God’s love and had experienced God’s grace.

Fitzgerald wrote: “This man had claimed the love of God as his own. He had claimed what I preached. And yet when the evidence was in front of me, I could not believe it. I’d spent a lot of energy trying to contain God’s presence. I had carefully learned rituals and chosen music and crafted sermon sentences that aimed to cultivate grace.”

“What I had either forgotten or never learned is that right next to all of us is something that’s out of control: the power of God. It’s a surging and crackling energy, a wideness that the church hints at but doesn’t own. When I felt it come alive in that prison it made me jump because it defied a deeply, ingrained belief in justice and decency [justice as in getting what one deserves]. How could a murderer grab hold of the same love I’d been given?”

The wisdom of God is all about this kind of undeserving love and the way it brings about humility, honesty, generosity, and forgiveness. Forrest Gump captured the wisdom of God in a single line: “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” Whenever love is present, God is at work; whereever love is, God is."

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