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Ring of Truth provides 366 daily ‘proofs’ that the Bible is consistent throughout from Genesis to Revelation, and relevant for our lives today!


22 October 2018

2 Corinthians 11:23-27

“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”

Ouch!

Do you still want to be a great apostle? Do you still want to be a great missionary? Do you still want to be like Paul? Do you still want to follow Jesus?

Who said the genuine Christian life was easy? Our problem is that we have portrayed Christianity as a convenience, a better way of living and a path to financial and personal material prosperity. With it we have cheapened the call of Christ to follow Him.

But Paul was different. He lived in a time of barbaric cruelty; a time of severe persecution against the Church, and he was called by God to extend the influence of the Church across the nations.

So what has changed? Are we not asked to extend the influence of the Church across the world? Are not some of those lands barbaric today? Is there not severe persecution rife in the world? The only difference is that we don’t know or hear about the Pauls of today.

We hear only of those T.V. Evangelists and those who draw crowds in the West. The real servants of Christ are unsung heroes awaiting their true rewards in Heaven.

Which do you really want – man’s applause now or God’s later? I’m not knocking the ‘superstar’ speakers of today so much as trying to suggest they are not the only way. The trouble is that they, rather than Paul, have become the role models that we all want to copy and emulate. Paul didn’t go for men’s applause – he went to extend the Kingdom of God – not through eloquence but by a demonstration of the power of God. Which is something that tends to be somewhat lacking in our churches today. The speaker has to perform or get out. (See also 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5.)

Maybe there is just time for us to get back to being people who are prepared to pay the price of sacrifice so that others can be set free from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light.

Jesus said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed” (John 12:24). “But if it dies…”

Paul put it into practice. No. He didn’t set out to knock up the biggest score of opposition and hardship. He set out to preach Christ and extend His Kingdom. The trouble is that so often they actually go together.

Tell me – no, tell God - What will you put up with; what will you endure for the extension of His Kingdom?

Do you want to bless or to be blessed?

It takes looking out instead of looking in all the time.

What price are you prepared to ‘pay’?

 


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Sold Out For Jesus and Ring of Truth – daily devotionals by John White
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