And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1–5)
When you walk into church on a Sunday morning, what are you expecting?
Do you expect to hear an engaging sermon? Do you expect to sing along to some great songs? Do you expect to be greeted with a smile and a pat on the back?
No matter who you are, you will place a certain set of expectations upon our Sunday morning experience—all of us do! And while not all expectations are wrong, we need to be careful not to allow them to overshadow what matters most.
When it comes to our expectations for church, we must look no further than the cross.
Paul had a difficult relationship with the Corinthian church. They had a certain set of expectations for his ministry. They wanted someone with impressive oratory skills to teach them about God. But Paul did not adjust his ministry to their expectations. Instead, he claimed to know only one thing among them: Christ crucified.
For Paul (and for us as well) this is the only way for the Gospel’s power to be truly manifested among the church.
Therefore, our expectations for church must adhere, not to our self-formulated preferences or standards for what a church should be or do, but to the way of the cross. When we walk into church this week, the cross must have supremacy in our expectations. Full-fledged cruciformity is the only way for a church to experience the Gospel’s true power.
PRAYER & REFLECTION
- As you look to Sunday, does the cross of Christ have supremacy in your expectations? Or are they being determined by something else? Ask God to take you back to the cross. Humble yourself before Christ crucified.
- Do you sense the Spirit’s conviction? Let the cross lead you to repent of all sin, self-righteousness, and/or spiritual lethargy.
- How does the cross of Christ affect your relationship with others? What points of connection can you make between Calvary and LifePoint? Pray that LifePoint’s gatherings would exalt the cross. Ask that the love of Christ crucified would have its full effect among us, in our fellowship and in our worship.
Set List for Sunday, February 24, 2019
- Welcome the Healer (B. Brown, S. Curran, J. Johnson, B. Younker)
- In the Hands of Christ My King (C. Collins, M. Dawes, A. Ivey, B. Land)
- Come Thou Fount (R. Robinson)
- Man Of Sorrows (B. Ligertwood, M. Crocker)
- More Like Jesus (B. Ligertwood, S. Ligertwood, K. Stanfill, B. Younker)