October 15, 2011

Fear and Trembling

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might … rest on … God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5


Lord willing, I will be inaugurated as president of Calvin Theological Seminary today. Today also marks my ordination as a pastor.

I remember very well my first preaching assignment. My wife had gotten me a new pair of shoes for that special day. She advised me to scuff the soles so that my steps would be a little more certain. I forgot. (She might say I ignored her advice.)

As I walked toward the pulpit, I felt fairly confident. For this memorable day, I had decided to take a picture to mark the moment. I took the picture and, with camera in hand, began ascending the pulpit steps. The soles of my new shoes then acted like skis, and the carpet like snow. I took off in flight and quickly landed at the bottom of the steps—upright but a little surprised. So was the congregation.

I recall that incident like it happened yesterday. God has a way of reminding us that his power is revealed not by our wisdom but by the Spirit, who works through us.

Today’s verses remind us in a very vivid way that God uses ordinary people for his extraordinary purposes.

God also uses the wisdom of a spouse. And I now scuff the soles of new shoes before wearing them.

Lord, may your Spirit direct and lead us. Thank you for calling each of us to be used by you. May we become demonstrations of your Spirit’s power in us. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!