It’s ok to suffer-but not for my gain!

http://bible.com/111/1pe.4.16.niv

When I suffer because of my flesh – I deserve to suffer. When I suffer because I bear the name of Christ God is glorified!!

We live in a world where we will suffer all sorts of atrocities simply because the enemy will find someone who will do his dirty work for Him. However, how we suffer determines our worth. Read Phil 3: When we know Christ personally we do not live in the past. The present, the basking in His love, His righteousness, His glory, prevents us from hurting others and glorifying ourselves. Paul said, he suffered, but it is not something that he boasts about.

He boasts only in the knowledge that he KNOWS Jesus Christ. He had all knowledge pertaining to the law- It meant nothing to him.

2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.

He had all rights to make people suffer according to the law-that meant nothing to him. Persecuting the church – he was blameless because he was following the OT laws.

But, his biggest gain in life was knowing Christ and knowing Him in His suffering and in His death. Father give me the grace to be willing to suffer as you suffered and to suffer even unto the point of death.

10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

Remain Focused on the Goal of my calling/ your calling. 

Every single one of us was called for a purpose. We allow things to get in the way of that purpose. We allow people to get in the way of that purpose. We allow self, and our vanity to get in the way of that purpose. Look at what Paul announced. He knew that he was still human and in the eyes human being and his own eyes He was imperfect.

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. [Transformation is taking place. When transformation is taking place in our lives we do not play the get even game!] Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! [ and as such we should be acting like it we are citizens of heaven. We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

Walk forward friends, not in guilt and shame. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through us as we stand in the gap with you this year as you press on in Him! Book an appointment with us and let us be God’s instrument that helps you to leave the past behind and develop the skills to press on in Jesus.

 

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