This morning I read 1 Cor. 4, where Paul is talking about the apostles being fools for Christ’s sake. Vs. 12 says, “And we labor, working with our hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat.”
I’ve been reading a lot about martyr’s lately, both past and present. Because of this, it was so striking for me this morning to think about Paul’s words. These aren’t just words on a page. These are the true thoughts and facts about a human being’s life.
The apostles were truly reviled. They were left homeless and poorly clothed, spat upon, and condemned, and yet they continued to bless. For God’s sake, they continued to bless and offer the saving truths of the gospel of Christ.
The apostles were actually persecuted. They were beaten, threatened, jailed, and killed, and yet they endured. Looking forward to the reward of serving Jesus Christ, they were able to continue to pour out to as many as possible until the very end.
The apostles were defamed. They were falsely accused and imprisoned time and time again, and yet they continued to entreat those around them to accept Jesus as their Savior. They continued to speak the gospel, even in the presence of their accusers, so that anyone whose heart may be open to hear would receive salvation full and free.
I think of the bad days I have, when I can’t get my eyes off of myself. I think of the times I’ve been hurt, when I’ve allowed my pain to shut me down. Then, I look at what so many have gone and are going through for the cause of Christ and I know that I still need to mature.
The apostles were the ultimate example of doing all things to the glory of God.
While our individual talents, gifts, and callings may be a little different in description, we are all part of the body working towards the same goal: to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
In Christ, we have so much to offer those around us. Even if the time comes when, like the apostles, we are looked upon as fools, it will have been worth it. There is a great reward awaiting us and those who believe because of our own endurance.
We cannot keep God’s grace and His gifts all for ourselves. They were meant to be shared. His sacrifice makes our own sacrifices worth the price.
The song I’ve attached today reminds me that instead of wasting my time on things that don’t matter, I can give everything in my life for Him. He’s worth it!
Jamie, your blog reminded me of a thought I had earlier this week: Christians are not saved to be nice but to be fearless. Thanks for your words today. Go big or don’t go at all!
Fearless! Very true.
Help our trust in You to make us fearless, Lord. You will not let us down.
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