The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Great Challenge, Great Enabling"
The ability to communicate the Lord Jesus Christ to our world in life, prayer, and word involves much more than merely memorizing Bible verses and seeking to apply godly principles to our lives.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, 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 alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (II Corinthians 4:7-11).
The Apostle Paul reveals by personal testimony how God works to administer "the life of Jesus" in us and through us. Challenges of trouble, distress, perplexity, persecution, and death working in us make possible the blessing of others. This, of course, follows the pattern of the Lord Jesus Himself and His life of continual challenge. "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" (Matthew 10:24-25).
Of course, the matter involves far more than mere imitation of our Lord. He lives in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Galatians 4:6). As He leads and empowers us, we can therefore expect the same experience He knew during His earthly lifetime, namely, great challenge leading to great enabling to minister to others. In Paul's terms, "the dying of the Lord Jesus" results in "the life also of Jesus made manifest in our mortal flesh."
What if this trouble, or that challenge, or some difficulty, or any number of trials serve to make possible our service to God and others? They do. As we trust and submit to our Heavenly Father in our pains and difficulties, our Savior yet again walks the earth in loving devotion to God and others. This time, He does so in us. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). Our Father privileges us to walk as did our Lord. He graces us to walk by our Lord's indwelling presence and power. He honors us by leading us down paths of pain in countless forms for the purpose of revealing His Son through us to others. "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ" (II Corinthians 1:5).
Certainly, let us memorize the verses and seek to apply the principles of godliness found on the pages of Scripture. Let us not for a moment, however, believe this will be enough to prepare us for ministry to others. Such calling is far too personal for mere memory and understanding to suffice in service to God and people. The Christ who walked the winding, treacherous, and rocky paths of the present world now walks in us along those same ways of challenge. We will share His experience in many and varied ways, making possible the sharing of His life with others in a manner that bears weight, substance, and authority. The matter involves life and death, as the Apostle Paul testified of his Lord's "dying" and "life" yet again revealed in the glory of God's redeeming grace…
"So then death worketh in us, but life in you."
(II Corinthians 4:12)
Weekly Memory Verse
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)