I often describe my family, the one I grew up in, as being dirt poor. That may be a little bit of an exaggeration but we were definitely poor. I am not sure how we got by, but somehow by the goodness of God we did.
If the truth be told, the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God are at odds in our world today. To many it seems foolish for one to spend their time much less there life getting the gospel to the world. I suppose it seemed foolish to many that someone as poor as I would even consider going to Bible college.
To give some more of a reason to shake their heads at such foolishness, I was dropped off on a college campus 800 miles away from home with $600 to my name. A few days later on registration day, I paid the first month’s tuition, the first month’s room and board and a few other fees. There wasn’t much money left and I truly did not know where I’d get the money for the next month’s payment.
I didn't even have a job that first year and I was not going to be able to get a job. Simply put, I believed God wanted me to go to Bible college. I would just have to pray my way through. And pray I did!! Every morning at 5 a.m. I got up to read my Bible and pray.
It has been said that prayer is a declaration of our dependence upon God.
There were others praying for me, too. My dad and mom, my Pastor and his wife, my church family to name a few. And God answers prayer.
Though this seems foolish to some, I went to college trusting the Lord to guide and provide each step of the way. To give God the praise, in all of my four years of praying my way through college I was financially withdrawn just two times, yet I never missed a day of classes.
I remember so well the first time I knew I was going to be financially withdrawn and unable to go to class until my bill had been paid. It was my sophomore year. I owed $110 but it may as well have been $10,000 because I did not have it. I decided I would get up and get dressed to go to class. Maybe my bill had been miraculously paid overnight.
Since I was a little anxious to see how God would provide, I was ready early and that NEVER happened! LOL! I was literally wandering through the halls when I saw the teacher of my first class, Mr. Elmer Fernandez. He was the Spanish Pastor at our church and he taught the Spanish Soul Winning class that I took two days a week.
I needed this class because on the weekends I was working on a bus route in what was called “Little Mexico” in Chicago. Many of the people we would visit and invite to church did not speak any English. I wanted to be able to invite them to church and share the Gospel with them. This class could help me do that.
Seeing Pastor Fernandez in the hall, I immediately thought it would be much better to find out BEFORE class if I was withdrawn than to wait and find out IN class and then be asked to LEAVE class. So I blurted out, “Bro. Fernandez, do you know if I am on the financially withdrawn list?”
Pastor Fernandez said he had just arrived and had not yet gotten the list from his mailbox. He asked me to follow him so I did. When he opened his box and looked at the list, he told me that my name was on it. I thanked him and turned to walk away thinking I would not be able to attend class that day. I was about halfway down the hall when I heard Pastor Fernandez call my name. I turned around and he asked, “How much do you owe?”
I responded with the amount and wondered if he was going to pray for me, but then he took out his wallet, handed me $110 and told me to go pay my bill! And that is just what I did! I wasn’t even late for class. God is good!
Years ago I chose to live what some who are wrapped up in this world would call foolishly. Learning to be a soul winner and proclaiming the gospel was and still is a priority for me. And God has proven Himself to be faithful to His promise to provide over and over again.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
To a lost and dying world, the preaching of the cross of Christ is foolishness.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18
But it is this same “foolish” preaching they desperately need. And we must continue to proclaim it.
And to those of us who have been saved and washed by the Blood of the Lamb we know it to be the power of God. Oh what power there is in the preaching of the cross!
Power to become the sons of God. (John 1:12)
Power to be a witness for Christ. (Acts 1:8)
Power to do good as Jesus did. (Acts 10:38, Matthew 10:1)
Power to be saved. (Romans 1:16)
Power to abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Power that works in us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think. (Ephesisans 3:20)
Power to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10)
Power to wait and endure suffering with joy. (Colossians 1:11)
Power to be an unashamed partaker of the afflictions of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)
God has proven His strength to me over and over. In my weakest moments He has shown up with great power. It is true that God's weakness is stronger and more powerful than the strength of men. His foolishness is wiser than the wisdom of any man. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Through it all God has taught me that there is great wisdom in losing.
Loser Bible Study Series Theme Verse:
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated perish in I Corinthians 1:18, our verse for today.