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Summary: Comparing God’s power with man’s weakness

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SERIES: “OVERCOMING OBSTACLES THAT OBSTRUCT OBEDIENCE”

TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-16

TITLE: “NOT MAN BUT GOD”

INTRODUCTION: A. Several years back, Paul Harvey told about Duane Cowgill, a barber in Marshall,

Michigan. Duane had an overabundance of produce from his garden one year. He

gave away as much as possible to friends, neighbors, and family but the produce was

coming faster than he could eat it or get rid of it. He couldn’t figure out what to do

with it all.

Finally, he came up with a solution. He piled a small mountain of leftover produce

on the bench that sat on the sidewalk out in front of his barbershop with a sign that

read: “Free – Help Yourself.” By the end of the day, all of the produce was gone.

The only thing was Duane forgot to remove the sign from the bench. When he

arrived at work the next morning, the bench was gone.

1. Sometimes we put too much stock in our own solutions to problems

2. We usually find out that we lack the wisdom, the strength or the force of will to

adequately solve the problem

B. Why do we insist on working out, thinking out, or determining out a way for

ourselves?

1. Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to

death.”

2. A young couple with a two-year-old child went to visit some wealthy relatives.

While the adults talked, the two-year-old got board and wandered away. The

adults heard the child yelling and discovered him in the room across the hall with

his hand stuck in a very expensive vase.

The adults worked feverishly to get the young child’s hand out of the vase.

They tried to twist and turn it. They tried pouring oil around the little boy’s hand

and the rim. Nothing they tried worked.

The man of the house said, “Obviously, we’ll have to break the vase. I’ll be

right back.” He left the room and came back with a hammer.

Very carefully, he broke the vase and the child was free. They all knew then

why the boy’s hand was stuck in the vase. He had reached in to grab a penny that

was in the bottom of the vase and in his childish ignorance, refused to let go.

3. Prov. 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own

understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths

straight.”

4. Let’s hear what the apostle Paul says about trusting in our own efforts

I. NOT BY HUMAN STRENGTH BUT BY GOD’S POWER

--1 Cor. 2:1-5 – “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I

proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except

Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 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 not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

A. Human strength

1. Have you ever seen TV show World’s Strongest Man?

--As impressive as those feats of strength are, they’re nothing compared to God

2. Our brains can devise machines that can apply thousand of times more strength to a project than we


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