Contemplations

What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Serving While Suffering

DAY SEVENTEEN: Friday, October 31, 2008

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28

"If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world." 1 Corinthians 15:19 (NCV)

Those of us who follow Christ without persecution, suffering or deprivation are basically in the minority when the global Christian population is taken into consideration. Millions serve Jesus all the while knowing that they are risking their liberties and in some cases even their lives.

The same was true for Paul. He suffered many harsh experiences simply because he was wholly dedicated to the spread of the Good News about Jesus. (See 2 Corinthians 11:23-29) That may be part of the reason that he said, "If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world."

One of the things that enabled Paul to endure persecution, hardship and personal sacrifice was the future hope he had of eternal life established by His resurrected Savior, Jesus. He knew that this life was not all there is. And acting on that knowledge was a huge part of what made him god on serving while suffering.

Action step(s) for today:

1) Say "no" to any self-pity for the difficulties you've faced for being a Christ follower who is trying to advance the cause of Jesus.

2) Thank God for the certain hope you have of eternal life in Christ because of your faith commitment to Him.

3) Set aside money for Bibles for children in countries where the Good News about Jesus is outlawed. Give your gift on November 9, "The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church."

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