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Its not what I can do.

September 15, 2010

1 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-5

I like this a lot.  Paul is writing here to the people of Corinth, which was a large impressive Greek city, where big words, clever communication and impressive wisdom would have been greatly valued.  Those who came across well, communicated well, would have been greatly admired.  And then Paul steps in and basically says that what they value is wrong, how they measure ‘cool’ is way off.  He basically refuses to play their game.   He bluntly tells them that his focus isn’t how cool he sounds or how clever his words are, but that his focus is completely Jesus Christ.  And as if to hammer the point home, he then points out how weak and plain he is.  And boldly states that he relies on the power of the Holy Spirit. He states he did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

I have been a public speaker, a communicator for many years and will now admit that I can way too much rely on my own power and ability.  I have worked hard at improving how I come across, at being more interesting and engaging.  Seeing it as a job I must succeed at.  And really in relying on me and my ability, I can see that this is one way of saying I don’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This passage is a powerful reminder that I need to open myself up to the Holy Spirit and not rely on my ability.

Once I was invited to speak to a theological college, to the students and staff.  I spent many days carefully crafting my presentation and with it in my bag I flew to the city to speak.  As I was due to speak early, I came up the day before and stayed a night in a motel.  Once settled in the motel I pulled out my speech to run over it one last time, I had worship music playing and found myself drawn into the presence of God through the worship experience.  And in the midst of that experience God prompted me to completely abandon the carefully prepared speech.  I grabbed a piece of paper and started writing a few points of what God wanted me to share.  The next day my speech was very well received, but not through anything I have done, but through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I want to be completely reliant on the Holy Spirit so that I might point not to myself, but to the power of God.

God bless,

Mark Brown

http://www.facebook.com/MarkBrown.page
http://twitter.com/RevMarkB

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for today is: Psalm 96-98


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25 Comments
  1. Michelle permalink

    Thank you for sharing , this is one of my favourite scriptures, as I often feel that I dont have the right words to say, but God want s us to speak from a heart of love and the Holy Spirit flowing in and through us , thank you I was meant to hear this again today.. bless you Mark.

  2. Sandra permalink

    Thanks Mark. I agree, when you allow the Holy Spirit to speak the words just seem to move people. I have enjoyed listening to you.

  3. Amen brother Mark!
    I too agree, when you allow the Holy Spirit to speak the words just seem to move people. I have enjoyed listening to & watching you. I like both formats of communication. I like the videos as I prefer watching/listening rather than reading but both are a blessing to me.

    Blessings to you sir!

  4. christine permalink

    Dear Mark,
    Today I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to listen to Hillsong’s In the Potter’s Hand, I thought of this song for you for it seemed that all day today you got ripped on about who you are and what you state on your pages…Thought of you when this song came on…..

  5. Brandon permalink

    God bless you Mark, and praise God that you are surrendered to Him, the only one who saves; our Lord Jesus Christ.

  6. Brandon permalink

    Thank you again for the encouragement….

  7. Yesterday I was reflecting on your ministry. I thought how wonderful it is that so many believers (tens of thousands) have responded to your postings. Found myself, then, like the Berians, examining your ministry in order to see if what you preached was Biblical. Then yesterday I viewed your video where you commented on criticism you had received from certain readers and how you determined to react to that criticism not from human wisdom, but from scripture alone. Thought to myself, “Right on, Brother.” Now you have have followed up, in effect, by bringing to our remembrance 1 Cor. 2: 1-5. Pride and a lack of humility can ruin a Biblical ministry as it has in so many cases here in the U.S.A. May I simply encourage you, Mark, for the Holy Spirit of our one true God and the Lord Jesus Christ has blessed you, indeed. I would pray that He will continue to use you through His “authority”, the word of God, to illuminate this dark world we live in. Peace be with you, Mark.

  8. MARTIN ESHO permalink

    Amen. To God be the glory.

  9. kelly Mclaughlin permalink

    I have been sober for 24 years. Part of that process is getting up and telling your own story. And the one thing we are told to try and do, is to let God speak through you, so that its his message and not yours.

  10. Amen Kelly M! 16 yrs clean & sober here. I was so nervous the 1st time I got up & told my story. Wrote down notes & all, but God had different notes. That was so much better than anything I had written down to say.

  11. Carol Cox permalink

    As all ways, I am blessed to read your words of inspiration. But, today your message is exactly what I needed. I am out of work, and at an age that in my part of the country is not a plus. But this message reminds me that God is Good and he will supply my needs and that his love is endless.

    Thank you for your daily message that I also follow on Facebook.

    Carol Austin Cox
    Greenville, South Carolina, USA

    2 Corinthians 3:5

  12. Greg permalink

    Dear Mark, I love the way the teacher is the student with you. I learn so much from you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    Greg

  13. David permalink

    One thing our pastor does before each sermon is to pray that the Holy Spirit will allow anything that is not from God be struck from all ears and all that is from God be absorbed. If only we could all speak and hear only what the Spirit provides.

  14. Chrissy permalink

    Thanks for this scripture. It is a wonderful reminder that we must rely on the Holy Spirit in all things. I know that I don’t always know what to say to someone who has questions, but when I rely on the Holy Spirit, He always delivers the words, the scripture, whatever it is that is needed. He never fails. Sometimes I think back on a conversation and question, “Where did that come from? Oh yeah! The Holy Ghost guided that one! Hallelujah!”

  15. thank you for sharing this….

  16. Joseph Lyles permalink

    Amen. The most important thing is not speaking well, but speaking God’s words, letting the Holy Spirit empower us and speak through us.

  17. Our part is so small, that we can not see that it will possibly do any good. We have to do our tiny little part and believe. We have to be willing to take the boat out and throw out the net, even though we fished all night without results. Night is when the “good” fishing is. When we think our tiny little part is the important part – Satan has won! When we think our tiny little part is so unimportant we do not do anything at all – Satan has won! http://mommemau2.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/grizzly-bear-faith-and-your-300-00-dollar-part/

  18. Amy Hammond permalink

    I love reading your messages…They are such an inspiration and blessing in my life. Thank you for sharing the word of God and your experiences with each of us who long to have His will as our main focus in life. God bless you and yours! 🙂

  19. Teri permalink

    Wow! Brother, you have no idea how right on time this is. I struggle with the same issue on a pretty regular basis. It helps alot to know that I’m not alone in this trial. Thank you, but more important, thank God for those willing to share their struggles.

  20. Cory permalink

    Just wanted to share that it’s funny how God works. He tells us to abandon what we’ve done sometimes, often at the last minute, when we’ve written something for Him. He wants us to trust Him, and let Him work instead of us.

  21. Lydia reyes permalink

    God Bless you for sharing that. I also feel when I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me, people come to me and say how they were touch by my words,then I realize that it was the spirit working thru me because it amazes me the things that were spoken and I know that it was not my doing but the spirit working thru me. When we are willing to speak to others about God he will give you the right things to say.

  22. Footprints permalink

    Hi Mark – just wanted to say thank you. The Holy Spirit has guided you to write today – I’ve got a meeting today and I was wondering what to say and was starting to feel a little anxious. Thank you for the reminder that I can ask the Holy Spirit for help and guidance.

  23. Annette P. Tejeda permalink

    This message has really been a blessing Bro. Mark. Often, when the Holy spirit works through me is when i don’t plan it and just let Him take over with what He wants me to say or do. Those are the times when most hearts get touched and people get healed and set free. Never had a computer till a couple months ago and it has truly amazed me how the Lord is raising up mighty ministers of the gospel in these days. i don’t have alot of education but i love to read and have a great love for God Almighty and people. To be honest… This hurting world needs more love than ever if we are going to win them to Christ. God bless you mightily!! Awesome Man of God…

  24. Barb permalink

    Hi Mark Brown,

    I was intregued by your message. It was familiar as the night before God was speaking through you! That is amazing and yet important. May christians like to know what brought you to the point of where you are today in your ministry. I know I am, it makes me feel like “Wow they are human as am I”
    If it wasn’t for what I went through in my life it won’t have brought me to the Faith I have that follows me every day of my life today! I am so thankful I found Jesus in my life and ask him as I read my bible for understanding and guidence. I truely want to know what I am reading and its full potential that it was written. When I watch your video’s, it helps me out too.
    I pray for direction everyday as i walk in Christ’s name and for protection as i go about my day! This has an importance to me knowing that I am working through him and that I have a the chance to share his word and love through me whenever I get the chance.

    I am thankful for people like you in my life, as well as others to guide me through my spiritual life as we go through it together. Thank you for your story and for praying with me and being there for me. Great job on your speech and allowing God to be there for you…With God all things are possible. I think of this often during each day as I am growing in my christianity. Knowing I am not alone helps me a lot. Have a great day!

  25. lucy ng permalink

    In whatever I do , LORD may you increase & i decrease!!

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