The love of God has always caught people off-guard.
When we expect micromanagement,
God loves us expansively.
When we expect to be ranked and rated,
God loves us impartially.
When we expect to be found guilty,
God loves us unconditionally.
When we expect to be excluded,
God loves us with arms wide open,
ready to draw us in.
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:20-24next >
People have always had reasons not to believe. Some people wait for God to do bright, glaring miracles complete with giant pointing arrows and neon lights, and refuse to believe without seeing those signs. Others want to be able to apply their intellect, and decide that if they can’t understand, then they also can’t believe.
These reasons are as old as Scripture itself. For thousands of years, humans have given God standards before we will believe. We tell God, “When you prove your existence,” or “When I can understand it all, then I’ll believe.”
God turns our standards upside-down. Instead of using magic tricks and showy acts, and instead of demanding that we ace theology exams, God invites us to believe in the power and wisdom of love.
When we believe in the love of God, we begin to see God’s miracles in the world, and we immerse ourselves in studying God’s Word and ways. When we believe, God calls us to wonder and to learn!
Nikki Finkelstein-Blairnext >
Thank you, God, for inviting me to believe and to receive your love! Give me eyes to see your wonders and a heart that is open to your wisdom. Amen.next >
When we let God surprise us
we cannot help but carry that love
to our world.
Let our message catch people off-guard:
that God loves them beyond belief,
and so do we.
Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, wife to a US Navy chaplain, and stay-home mom to two little boys. In every new duty station, she participates in church life from VBS to pulpit supply, and is regularly involved in women’s ministries and writing. She blogs seasonal devotions at The Ordinary Times.
Nothings Ever Really Gone