Plain and Simple
22 May 2015
Reading: 1 Corinthians 2; Psalm 119
1 You’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. 2 I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 MSG)
Paul was writing to the most “spiritual” of all the churches he had planted. He was writing to admonish them to deal properly with conflict and sin in the church and to keep their “spiritual experiences” in balance and order. When he first came to them with the Good News, however, his message had been plain and simple. He told them about Jesus—who he is and what he has done.
Jesus lived with such an awareness of how much God loved him that he called God “Daddy.” Jesus lived and taught and served and sacrificed as one who has fully received God’s unconditional love and is living towards others out of that kind of love. Jesus’ innocent death for guilty humanity was the ultimate declaration of God’s grace and forgiveness. Jesus’ resurrection was the ultimate demonstration of God’s life-giving, hope-creating power over our ultimate enemy, death.
The Good News is plain and simple. It’s all and only about who Jesus is and what he has done. When you or I or anyone hears that plain and simple message, and believes the Good News, we become a new spiritual person through faith in Christ. It opens up a whole new world of awareness. We begin to learn, experience, and share things that we couldn’t even know existed before believing the “plain and simple” message of Jesus.
But let’s not get carried away! Even after we’re spiritually born again, it’s still pretty plain and simple. God loves us, so we love God and other people. Now we’re learning to think, speak, and act, out of that love. And that’s how it goes, plain and simple!
Father, Please help me to keep it plain and simple and to help those I influence to avoid getting caught up in complicated religion and spiritual pride. I know that the most important thing I’m learning in this season of my life is the greatness of your unconditional love. I know the most important thing I have to offer others is the settled and confident assurance of your unconditional love. I want to live the love I’m learning. Help me to keep it plain and simple. Amen.