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the weakness of god

the weakness of god

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Published by F. Remy Diederich
Can you follow Jesus if he doesn't answer your prayers? Too often people feel that God is "weak" when He fails to solve their problems. This series looks at what everyone feels at one time or another.
Can you follow Jesus if he doesn't answer your prayers? Too often people feel that God is "weak" when He fails to solve their problems. This series looks at what everyone feels at one time or another.

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Published by: F. Remy Diederich on Dec 23, 2012
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12/23/2012

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Can you follow Jesus when he doesn’t answer your prayers?
F. Remy Diederich
 
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the weakness of god 
Part One:
God is in the Whisper By Remy DiederichCedarbrook Church12.02.12Texts: 1 Corinthians 1:25, 1 Kings 19
Outline:
1.
 
The weakness of God shuns power and embraces humility.2.
 
God appeared to Elijah in a whisper, not the wind, earthquake or fire.3.
 
Meditating on the weakness of God will cause you to:a.
 
Be offended b.
 
Listen better.c.
 
Humble yourself.d.
 
Hear the voice of the weak.e.
 
Help the weak.
Message:
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, the weakness of God? For me, that phrase is anoxymoron: “God” and “weakness” are two words that shouldn’t be together. The two wordscontradict each other.I don’t like that phrase for the same reason I don’t like to talk about:
The weakness of my surgeon.The weakness of the pilot.The weakness of my lawyer 
.I don’t want the word weakness associated with anyone in charge of my life and health.How would you feel if you opened up the paper and read headlines that talked about…
The weakness of the armyThe weakness of the police department The weakness of the Green Bay Packers
It’s like, la, la, la, la, la… You don’t want to hear about that.And so, when we talk about the weakness of God, it’s the same way. There’s just somethingwrong about that phrase. Doesn’t the Bible say that God is our Rock? Our Fortress? God is our Refuge? God is like a Mighty Warrior? Those are terms of encouragement.So where did I come up with the idea of the weakness of God? Well, the Bible uses the phrase ina letter that Paul wrote to a church in Greece. Paul wrote:
 
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 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called,both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength
. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25Paul is answering the critics of his message. When Paul preached about the Savior of the worlddying on a cross his Greek audience ridiculed him. They mocked him. Greek gods were strongand powerful. Zeus was associated with lightening, a bull, and an eagle.They said, Do you hear what you are saying Paul? Do you know how foolish you sound…talkingabout a crucified Savior? They accused Paul of preaching a message that was foolish and weak.Embarrassing. And Paul’s answer was,
That may be true, compared to your gods our message may be weak and foolish. But even in weakness our message is still better than yours.
So, Paul wasn’t really conceding that God was weak. He was just using this phrase, “weaknessof God”, to prove his point.But still, having said that, we’ve got to admit …our message does sound weak. I mean, Goddoesn’t have a very good Public Relations department. He enters the world born in a stable andleaves it on a cross. His entrance and exit were at the lowest levels of the social strata. That’swhat I mean by the weakness of God. For some reason, there are times when God delights inrevealing himself in weakness. He shuns a display of power and prefers to manifest himself inweakness, or maybe a better word, humility.We can ignore this side of God, or we can embrace it and learn from it. So that’s what I want todo this month. I think it will make a great study during this season of Advent. Now, I asked Betty Verdon to paint a picture for us over the next few weeks. I specifically askedher to start small…with just a few brush strokes to begin because that’s how God entered theworld…with just a slight revelation of who he was.I want to share a story with you today from the Old Testament. A lot of Old Testament storiestalk about the power of God: creating the heavens and the earth, parting the Red Sea, or destroying the wall around Jericho. But that’s only part of who God is. There are many times inscripture where God reveals himself in very understated ways. You might say…in weakness.The prophet Elijah learned this. Turn to 1 Kings 19.We like to think of God’s prophets as overcomers, full of faith and power. But not always. Elijahwas so discouraged he wanted to die. False prophets were lying to the people about God. He feltlike he was the only true believer left in the land. And Queen Jezebel of Israel had pledged to killhim within 24 hours. So it says…
 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life… He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and  prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am nobetter than my ancestors." 
1 Kings 19:3,4 

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