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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 Corinthians 4:10,11- "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." ...verse 16, " For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day".

The life of the apostle Paul absolutely amazes me! Over and over again in his epistles, you cannot help but see his utter selflessness and devotion to Christ, and his God-given love for people. Today as I read through 2 Corinthians, I was again struck by his accepting- with joy- the pain and extremely rough circumstances in which he found himself. No complaining, no self-pity, no pining for physical comfort or better days. He had one focus, and that focus was Christ.

I pray that God will cause us to see- with our spiritual eyes- this incredible devotion, and that in seeing this, He will cause us to yearn for Him, to desire Him, to covet Him in such a way that it in turn causes a life-changing passion in our hearts that nothing on earth can quench!

Read Paul's epistles- any of them- and in every verse you can feel the pain, the agony, the anguish of soul that brought him to this deep love for his Savior. He never regretted any of what his Lord had brought him through to get him to the point of absolute surrender because he adored Jesus Christ so much that he did not regard his own life.....

Very different than so much of what passes for 'ministry' these days, isn't it? You don't hear any 'prosperity' or 'comfort' or 'your own rights', or even legalistic teachings coming from Paul, and you shouldn't be hearing these things from those who preach the Gospel today!

Why do we so desire comfort? Why do we covet 'respectability', or eloquence, or admiration? Why do we want to please man rather than God? We Christians are to preach and teach Christ- crucified and risen-NOW, while there's breath left in us. Please understand that my aim here is not to look for faults or to castigate ministers of today, but rather to contrast much of what we hear today with the truth of the actual Gospel of Christ, and in so doing, I fervently pray that God would take hold of the hearts of His people and move them back to Him. The apostle Paul would not tolerate error or false teaching concerning the things of God- His life was thoroughly Christ's, and he always pointed people to the cross. May we all imitate his example.
Pastor Jim Ewing
En Agape,