Sunday, October 16, 2011

Like Paul

Like Paul

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2nd Cor. 12:7-10)

Paul began writing to the churches under the unlimited inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The book of Romans is written to the Romans as an instruction manual, while 1st Corinthians and 2nd Corinthians are written to the church at Corinth to help them to make it through a bad case of spiritual immaturity.  Philippians (the Epistle of joy), Colossians (a church infiltrated with false 
teachings), Ephesians (a church in need of a recipe for godly living), and Philemon (a letter of bargain for a slave by the name of Onesimus) were all written during Paul's prison stays.  Paul also wrote 1st and 2nd Timothy (more of a mentor for young Timothy).  The books of Hebrews, Galatians, 1st Thessalonians and 2nd Thessalonians are parts of Paul's writings.  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2nd Corinthians 12:7)  The thorn in Paul's side was more than likely a physical ailment.  His concern about being puffed up probably came as the result of such a turn around in his life.  Paul is now preaching with power.  That same passion he used to persecute the church, he is now using to defend Jesus Christ.  Paul is a great man of influence because we can see at least two elements that brought him success during his missionary journeys.  The first element is his capability to concentrate his enormous talents, his spiritual and physical powers toward one goal; serving Christ.  The second element was his total commitment to Christ's directive grace, which inspirited him and gave him strength to overcome all outward obstacles and personal weaknesses.  God's grace helped him to convert a major part of the Roman Empire to Christ.

Is there passion in your walk with Christ, or have you lost it along the way?  Are you committed to the things of Christ, or more to your own things? Like Paul, if we would focus on the things of Christ, and allow the grace of God and His word to help us overcome obstacles and personal weaknesses, we too can have success in our Christian walk.  We can become a major part of converting souls to Christ.  Let us pray today that God will give us passion to go out and advance His kingdom; just like Paul!

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