WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Life is complicated. Christianity – that is, Biblical Christianity – is refreshingly simple. It is whole-hearted devotion to Jesus Christ. If you let Christ as Lord invade and permeate the complexities of your life, you will find that He begins to sort them out according to His preferences. Life may not become easier, but it will become simpler.
Does Jesus like something? —Do more of it. Does something displease Him? —Do less of it. How do you know which is which? —You read the simple stories and plain instructions in His Word. How do you understand them? —You take them at face value. You assume He had them written to clarify His will, not to obscure it. You assume He wrote them for you rather than for professionals to explain to you.
The church at Corinth had a real problem with that. Paul had brought them the simple good news about Who Jesus was and what He had done for them. He proudly admitted, “My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not be based on human wisdom…” (1 Cor. 2:2-5). However, after Paul left Corinth, “super-apostles” arrived, teaching that there was a lot more to Christianity than the simple-minded apostle had let on. Some had fallen for it, and Paul was concerned that the whole church could be infected.
“I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. [Then Paul chastises them with some sarcasm-] For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully” (2 Cor. 11:3-4 NASB).
WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – “The simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” That is Christianity. The difficulty of your past hasn’t changed that. The complexity of your present doesn’t complicate that. The uncertainty of your future won’t require additions to that. Whatever your challenges, you can start living each day in single-hearted devotion to Jesus, and you can start enjoying the smile it puts on His face.
You make it your business – by the power of the Holy Spirit and the study of the Word of God – to do what Jesus likes, think as He thinks, and want what He wants; and you’ll find life much simpler. On the other hand, you focus on what other people do and think and feel and want, and your mind will swirl with the complexities of how you can fit into all that.
Ever since the Garden, Satan has convinced people that God didn’t tell us the whole story (see Gen. 3:1-6). When Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3), He said precisely what He meant. That’s the Jesus you met, the Spirit you received, and the gospel you accepted. Don’t be led astray from that.