The word lecture doesn’t conjure up warm, fuzzy, happy feelings for me. It’s more like a heaviness that makes me feel as if I’m shrinking from bearing up under its weight. I don’t like it! But, I suppose it’s not always a bad thing. I’m sure some lectures are educational and inspiring, some funny and enduring. Those are not my lectures. The only lectures I am personally familiar with are the negatives ones that try to take over in my head, telling me why and how I need to do things better. Every lecture I hear comes from myself with the traits of perfectionism neatly tucked away between the harsh words. This morning I was reading in 1 Corinthians and I started to think about how nice it is at times to have the apostle Paul’s example to follow. Now, that man could lecture! His teachings make me want to try harder, to do better, to always be stretching, growing where I’m planted, and moving forward to finish my race well. But, here’s what I really love about him. The Lord used him to speak grace into my life this morning. I had my prayer journal out and I’ve been asking the Lord what He wants me to say to the next group of people I’m speaking to soon. I just have a topic sentence, “Lord, we feel you leading us to do this outreach and I need You to show us how You want us to do it and what You would have us to share with these ladies.” Anyone can do this, you just write down whatever it is you need answers to, and then you pull it out everyday during your prayer time and ask the Lord to speak to you. So, I did that this morning, and that led me to 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. Our goal is always the same as Paul’s was, to reach people with the Gospel. However, our method is a little different. I don’t see Paul doing manicures, facials, make-up, or massages as he preached, but that’s what we want to do. Sometimes we see the value in others before they see it in themselves. When that happens we get the unique opportunity to love on them and tell them how precious they are and that God loves them extravagantly. We are all called to do different things in ministry, and we do them in our own unique ways. Isn’t it wonderful that we are not restrained to boredom and mundane repetition? We all preach the same message, and some plant, while others water, but the Lord makes it grow. Thank you, Lord! But, here is where Paul and I are really the most alike. He takes so much pressure off of me when he says “I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:3-5) Isn’t that how we are? We want so badly to serve God with hands on, in the trenches, ministry, but then when He opens that door we stand timid and trembling, fully convinced that we heard Him wrong, or that He surely chose the wrong person. How glorious that our goal should be only to preach a very plain message! NO clever words or persuasive speeches. Hallelujah! We just get to be ourselves and relax in the power of the Holy Spirit. He will tell us what we need to say, and when its His words coming through us, nothing could be more plain or more eloquent all at the same time, because He always speaks the truth in love. He’s amazing like that! What is it that the Lord would have you share with someone today? What thought is He nudging you to speak to a friend, a co-worker, or maybe to Him in prayer? As you take the first trembling step, your timidness will be overcome with the steady calmness of the sweet Holy Spirit and your words will not be a heavy lecture, but the good news that someone needs to hear.