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We Do Not Lose Heart

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Thursday, July 11, 2013, 9:13 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with this song:

    I Pray for Them / An Original Work / June 4, 2013

    Based off John 17

    …“I have shown You to those whom
    You gave to Me out of the world;
    They were Yours. You gave them to Me
    And they have obeyed Your words
    And they accepted them. They knew
    That I came from You, and they believed
    With certainty, I was sent.”

    “Holy Father, I pray for them by the
    Power of Your name: Protect them,
    So that they may be one as we are,
    For they are still living in this world.
    I have given them Your word;
    Because of Your word, the world
    Has hated them.”

    “I pray they may have the full measure of
    My joy now living within them.
    Father, I pray You sanctify them
    By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
    As You sent Me into the world,
    I send them to tell the world to repent.”

    http://originalworks.info/i-pray-for-them/

    Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 4 (NIV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%204&version=NIV



    We Have This Ministry

    This second letter to the Corinthian church was from Paul and Timothy. They had just gone through a very difficult time of persecution in the province of Asia where the pressure was so bad that they despaired even of life. Yet, they knew that they were sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, and that their sufferings were for several purposes, one of which was that they would feel compassion toward others who were suffering, and so that they could comfort them with the comfort they had received from Christ. They also knew that their suffering was to teach them dependency upon God for all things, and so they would not rely upon themselves. Tough times often lead us to call more heavily upon God.

    Then, Paul (along with Timothy) began to share with the Corinthian believers a defense of his ministry, not because he was proud, arrogant, or full of himself, but because he was called to the ministry of leading them to know Christ and to grow in Christ, and there were those who were out to destroy his reputation and to discredit his work among the people. So his defense was really for the sake of the continuance of the full gospel of Jesus Christ being preached through Paul, and it not being brought into disrepute. For that period of time, the strongest opposition against the true gospel of Jesus Christ came from those who either did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah at all, or from those who made claims to Christ as Lord, but who were trying to lead the new believers toward trying to win God’s approval through legalism, ritual, tradition and/or religious forms of faith and practice.

    Jesus Christ, nonetheless, had set them free from trying to gain acceptance from God through human effort. He, via his death for our sins and resurrection, set us free from the power and control of sin and Satan over our lives; free to be transformed into the image of Christ via the working of the Holy Spirit of God; free from eternal punishment in hell; and free to love, worship and obey our Lord and to walk daily in his righteousness, by his grace, and in his power and strength within us. And, Paul and the other apostles were ministers of this gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus, which was not based on human effort, but on the grace of God in providing salvation, and upon personal faith in Christ via death to sin and being made alive in Christ. Yet, many remained ignorant and spiritually blind to the truth because they refused to believe in Christ and in the true gospel of salvation. Many chose instead to follow after lies of humans (and of Satan), content in their ignorance of choice.

    We set Forth the Truth Plainly

    Paul said that they did not use deception, nor did they distort the word of God. In fact, they had renounced secret and shameful ways. They also did not preach themselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and themselves as servants of the gospel for Jesus’ sake. And, they set forth the truth plainly. Awesome! I wonder how ministers of the gospel could honestly claim that today.

    Deception and distortions of the word of God abound in the church in America, all for the purpose of attracting the world and drawing in large crowds of people. The church in America has become, for the most part, just like big business, and is marketed just like a business, which uses gimmicks, tricks, manipulation of emotions, distortions of truth, etc. in order to “sell” the institutional church to the world. And, in order to keep the world coming, the gospel has largely been diluted in our churches. It has been reduced to something that does not teach the sinner that he or she must turn from sin, be transformed into a new creature in Christ Jesus, and that he or she must walk in faithful obedience to Christ. This new “gospel” entertains the sinner, instead. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” and many naïve believers (or professing believers), too, so that they can’t see the light of the gospel.

    We do Not Lose Heart

    Paul and the other apostles suffered greatly for their stand for Christ and for his gospel. They faced much strong opposition, false accusations, hardships, beatings, imprisonments, and many faced death for the sake of their testimony for Christ. Yet, they did not lose heart, because their dependency was not on themselves or on their circumstances, but on God, his mercy and his grace. They could endure all that Satan threw at them, though, only in the strength of the Lord and in his power and love. They were clay vessels just like us. They bled. They hurt. And, we do, too, when we are persecuted and rejected because of our stand for Christ and for his gospel. Yet, we can be encouraged by their lives knowing that when God calls us, he will also equip us, and he will supply all we need to stand up under even the strongest of opposition, and perhaps even from those closest to us. And, we can find comfort in knowing that the purpose of our suffering is so that Christ may be revealed in us – i.e. his character, love, mercy and compassion, and his passion for the lost sinner.

    We also do not lose heart because, although we may be going through trials, tests of our faith, persecution, rejection and the like, because of our stand for the gospel, we have the Spirit of God within us daily renewing our strength, hope, encouragement, and our desire for Christ, for his word, and for his work. Through our trials we should be encouraged all the more to continue in sharing the truth of the gospel, knowing that we are laying up treasures in heaven, and not on this earth. And, we make it through these times of suffering and persecution by keeping our eyes and minds focused on Jesus Christ and the goal of seeing many, many people come to faith (or renewed faith) in Jesus Christ. What we have to go through on this earth is just temporary, yet impacting lives for eternity with God is forever. So, woe to me should I not preach Jesus. I’m compelled to preach the FULL GOSPEL!

    Should I Not Preach Jesus
    An Original Work / July 4, 2013

    Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13

    Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
    I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
    I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
    To win their hearts to Christ.
    All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
    And for the sake of His Name;
    Do it for the sake of His gospel,
    So that I, its blessings gain.

    Scripture notates the sins of others;
    Written down for us as examples
    To keep us from setting our hearts
    On evil as did those of old.
    Do not worship other gods of man;
    Do not give your hearts to them;
    Not partake in immorality.
    Do not test your Lord and King.

    So, be careful if you think you are
    Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
    God has given his word to warn us,
    So through faith we will not fall.
    No temptation has o’ertaken you
    Except what is commonplace.
    God is faithful to not let you be
    Tempted past what you can bear.
    He gives the way of escape.

    http://originalworks.info/should-i-not-preach-jesus/
     
  2. Much of the western church has lost its first love, and become 'professional'. More humility is needed, with a return to the pure gospel of Christ.

    Good article... thank you!
     
    SueJLove likes this.
  3. Praise Jesus! The Lord Jesus gave me the article to share.

    I agree with your assessment of the western church. Thank you, too, for sharing what God has laid on your heart to share.
     
  4. Underneath "We set forth the truth plainly," first paragraph, last sentence, it should read: "I wonder how many ministers of the gospel could honestly claim that today." My husband discovered that I had left out the word "many" so I am making that correction.
     

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