Wisdom from God

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 

26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Karate Kid

Someone said that he loved watching the same movie over and over again.

Have you ever watched a movie over and over again to learn from it? What is it?

Have you ever watched the movie Karate Kid? Did you enjoy it? What did you learn? Did you learn how to practise Karate of how to defeat your enemies? Did you know that fundamental learning can also start from ordinary activities?

In the Karate Kid movie, the very first lesson of the Karate Kid was to wash a car and put wax on it. He was instructed how to wax on, wax off. Eventually, the wax on wax off activity helped the kid defended himself from the bullies.

Interestingly, when we were younger, we also resisted when parents gave us instruction for household chores. We obeyed but with much grumblings. Then, when we become parents, we observe similar grumbling from our children. Why? Truly, it requires wisdom to appreciate the essence of obedience to authority.

Together, let’s reflect on what it commands in Colossians 3:22 (NIRV), 22Obey your earthly masters in everything. Don’t do it just to please them when they are watching you. Obey them with an honest heart. Do it out of respect for the Lord.

How do you interpret the term “earthly master?” Does it pertain to anyone who has authority like: managers, employers, teachers, government officials and parents as well? Should earthly masters require absolute control of all activities? Not necessarily! They may have partial authority over us somehow.

Practically, how can we follow Christ as Lord and Savior? Can you accept that existing authorities had been established by God? When we obey authorities, we obey God subsequently. But why do we still sense resistance to authorities? It’s transformational work of Christ to obey authorities out of respect for the Lord.

By human standard of intelligence, we cannot easily understand/appreciate when the Scripture commands, “Obey your earthly masters in everything.”

By human standard, it is not easy to obey authorities with an honest heart.

1.  Standard

26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 

Surely, you know that by human standards, only few are wise; only few are influential; only few have noble birth. And it is observed during election, we elect candidates with better credentials: the wise, the influential or the rich individual.

In comparison, God chose the foolish, common, trivial things of the world to shame the wise. The term “wise” pertains to human standard of intelligence that may consider the gospel as foolishness. So, it does not include wise believers.

God chose the weak, insignificant, ordinary things of this world to shame the strong, powerful, influential people. God chose those things that are ignored to show his miraculous power of doing what is not ordinary to human standards.


Let’s learn from Gideon. When the Midianites oppressed the Israelites, they cried out to the Lord. The Lord instructed Gideon in Judges 6:14-16, 14“Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Gideon responded just like any other ordinary individual would. He looked at his capability, and his clan was the weakest among the tribe of Manasseh. He evaluated his influence, and he was the least in his family. How can the least save Israel by his strength? How can weakest clan solicit support from the Israelites?

“Pardon me, my Lord!” that could be very natural response of any ordinary person. Gideon had doubted his ability and maybe, he thought God was mistaken. But no! God chose the ordinary, weakest and least Gideon to shame the strong. Who were the strong tribe in the time of Gideon? Let’s read Judges 8:1-3, 1Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously. 2But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? 3God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.

Do you sense some sort of intimidation when the Ephraimites complained?

The Ephraimites tried to intimidate Gideon. They resented that Gideon did not call them when he went to war against the Midianites. Why? The Ephraimites may have thought that they should have led the war instead of Gideon. Why?

Did the Ephraimites assume that they were the best warriors among the Israelite army in the time of Gideon? But God did not choose them to lead Israel.

God keeps calling ordinary believers to participate in the ministry. If you’ve desired to participate, but you feel like you were not yet significant, pray that the Holy Spirit inspires you. The Lord empowers the insignificant ordinary believer to nullify, set aside, cancel and end the boasting of anyone who feels significant.

2.  Significant

28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 

Unmindfully, we also adhere to human standards. We choose things that we assume as significant or this world regards as important, special or essential. Most often, we also ignore the common, despised and ordinary things.

And why not? Just take a closer look at the uploaded pictures of food that people eat once a while, recreational activities that they do occasionally or places where they travelled once in their lifetime, those are not ordinary things and not regularly happen on their everyday routine. It could be ordinary to few people but it won’t happen always to everyone to have selfie picture with celebrity.

Young and old, rich or underprivileged, celebrities or ordinary individuals, powerful official or regular citizen, everyone who has social media account upload things that they have done or experienced once in a while. It’s the current trend!

What do you think? Will God perform miracles on special occasions that are commonly uploaded on social media? If you’ve no economic resources to sustain such enviable experience, it is not fair for you, right? Ordinary or not, significant occasion or not, it is when we are obedient to God that he performs miracles.

Ordinary Shepherd

Let us reflect at the first time when the Lord performed a miracle in the life of the lowly ordinary shepherd David. It narrated in 1 Samuel 17:17-24, 17Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

It was another ordinary day for David. He was just obeying what his father told him. David was tasked to deliver food supplies to his brothers who served in the army because he was still young to serve in the army. David may have been amused how soldiers bravely sacrificed their lives just to defend their country.

David obeyed his father; he brought food supply to the battle field; he got a chance to watch how soldiers fought their enemies. He may have been dreaming all along to become soldier. A soldier should be 20 years old or older, but David cannot wait any longer for the day when he would be qualified to serve in the army, so he volunteered to fight the giant Goliath when everyone was scared.

And on that occasion, the Israelite army was terrified by the Giant Goliath. Only David wanted to fight the Giant Goliath. He trusted that God will give him victory. And miraculously, David was victorious. Israel was victorious that day. Can you agree that God anointed that day for David to practice his faith in the Lord?

What giant problem scares you right now? What giant concern bothers you, for quite some times now? Christ resurrected from the dead as practical proof that he defeated death, the most difficult problem of mankind. Do you trust that Christ can solve your problem? By faith, we believe. God set believers apart for his name’s sake. Pray for wisdom to know what it takes to be sanctified for Christ.

3.  Sanctified

30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  31Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

It is when we obey the Lord that godly wisdom functions in us creatively.

We obey the Lord if we know that it is favorable to us. Right? When we obey God, it practically proves that we are sanctified, set apart and holy to the Lord.

To be holy to the Lord is to be specially chosen as vessels of his blessings.

Obedience proves active faith in Christ; by faith in Christ, we become righteous to God. You are invited to serve in the ministry. Ministry in the church is necessary training ground to learn from each other how we may approach life privately. We encourage one another to serve God, as we participate in the church ministry.

Where should you start? Pray for godly wisdom to interpret personally which ministry God had prepared for you to experience his grace and excel.

God Will Make a Way – by Don Moen

Some of you watched the Don Moen in concert. Did you hear if Don Moen tells the story behind his song “God Will Make a Way?” “God Will Make a Way” has inspired millions of people with its hopeful lyrics. Accordingly, the song was composed to comfort relatives who suffered from tragic accident. Don Moen confessed, “I didn’t know what to say. I wondered what I should say to them. As I read the Scripture for answers, the Lord gave me a song to sing from Isaiah 43:19, ‘I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’

Don Moen performed the song for his grieving relatives privately, “Oh, God will make a way/Where there seems to be no way/He works in ways we cannot see/He will make a way for me.” Don Moen said during interview, “It was a song written in desperation, but it brought a word of hope to them. When everything around you seems lost, God is working in ways you cannot see.” We say, “Amen!”

Prayerfully, Don Moen used his gift of singing to minister to his relatives. Singer or not, you may have some sort of expertise: maybe you are great baker, artist or providing practical service. Be prayerful to easily realize when God is at work in you and through you. Divine appointment happens at any ordinary day.

Reflect: Don Moen found inspiration from the Scripture when he did not know what he would say or how he would minister to his grieving relatives.

Keep reading the Scripture also. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, and you may interpret personally when God tells you exactly and practically how you may experience much of his power and grace.

Can you accept that Apostle Paul prayed for us also in Ephesians 1:17?

               17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

May the Holy Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation inspire us to practically apply into our life the lesson we heard today!

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