Suffering for the Glory of the Church

Daily God Walk for Saturday, April 30, 2010

 This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal… Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.       – 2 Timothy 2:8-10

There are some very important thoughts presented in this passage. The first is Paul’s sense of ownership of the gospel he preached. The second is the suffering he willingly endured for the church. The third is the purpose for which he suffered; the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Paul had a right to call his message, “My Gospel” because of his unique calling. He experienced a dramatic conversion while on his way to persecute believers in Jesus and from that time his life took a radical turn in a direction he could never have predicted.

He gained a remarkable insight into the grace which God was extending to the Gentiles. Nearly his entire ministry was to the people of the Gentile world. He planted churches in nearly every major city in Asia Minor. Indeed, to those who heard of Jesus, the Christ, through the ministry of this great man of God, he was the gospel personified.

Paul was not just a fair weather preacher. He endured the most trying circumstances to bring the gospel to the Gentile world. In one place he lists his trials; “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked…” (2 Corinthians 11:25) and the list goes on. A lot of the New Testament which he wrote was written while in chains.

Why did Paul endure all of these hardships and after enduring continue to press on preaching the gospel? Because he knew that he was opening the door to eternal glory for those who would hear his message and believe in Jesus the Christ.

In one place Paul wrote, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” That is a challenge which we must consider if we are to win our world to Christ. We must be willing to endure hardship and to even suffer persecution and chains to bring this message of the hope of eternal glory to others.

Prayer: Lord, I need your strength and your grace to take the gospel to those who need to know your eternal glory. Amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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