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Always Carrying About in the Body the Dying of Jesus

August 19, 2018

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Always Carrying About in the Body the Dying of Jesus

For now,  we all have earthly bodies.     We can get sick,  hurt,  or killed.    And,  of course,  we all go through the aging process.     Some people even have jobs  that put their earthly body  in jeopardy every day.     The apostle Paul  was most glad to spend his life going about preaching the gospel,  but his job was dangerous.     He was in physical danger  much of the time  as Christians were being imprisoned,  tortured,  and killed.

In all of his physical weaknesses,  Paul compared his body  to an earthen vessel — a clay jar — that is very breakable.     His weak body is what he had to use  to carry the gospel  wherever he could.     So,  he traveled by land and sea  through all the countries  along the Mediterranean Sea  with a body  that had experienced beatings  and imprisonments.     Since many were wanting  to kill Paul,  he wrote to the Corinthian congregation  about using his weak body  to carry his precious treasure — the gospel  of Christ.    Paul says  in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11,

But we have  this treasure  in earthen vessels,  that the surpassing greatness  of the power  may be of God  and  not from ourselves;   we are afflicted  in every way,  but not crushed;  perplexed,  but not despairing;  persecuted,  but not forsaken;  struck down,  but not destroyed;  always carrying about  in the body  the dying  of Jesus,  that the life  of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our body.   

For we who live  are constantly  being delivered  over to death  for Jesus’ sake,  that  the life  of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our mortal flesh.

Very few Christians today suffer  in the same way Paul did.     Nevertheless,  we can make a comparison  to Paul’s life  with our whole lives.     In our bodies,  we can experience  being afflicted,  perplexed,  persecuted,  and being struck down  in various ways.     What Paul wants us to know  is that such suffering  has a purpose.

As we live a Christian life  in faith,  love  and obedience,  the world will see  that we have all sorts  of physical weaknesses.     But,  they will see us continuing on  in the true faith,  in spite of our physical weaknesses,  trials  and set backs.     Our earthly bodies do  go through all sorts  of challenges,  but we remain spiritually strong  in the truth — even as we get old  and decrepit.

We are carrying a treasure  in our weak bodies — that treasure is  Jesus Christ  and the gospel of salvation  through Him alone.     So,  no matter what is happening  to us physically,  we are “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus”.     Our weak bodies  are a witness  to the fact  that God Almighty chose to save us  through the physical weakness  of a human body  in Jesus Christ.     Although He is God,  Jesus let His body suffer mockings,  tortures,  crucifixion  and death,  so that His sinless life  could pay  for the punishment we deserve  for our sins.

So now,  when we live our weak lives  for the Lord,  we are also witnessing that we,  too,  will be resurrected — just as Jesus was resurrected.     We are able  to accept  whatever happens to us physically,  because we know  we have a better life — an eternal life — with Jesus Christ.     Instead of centering our lives  on ourselves  and our desires,  we center our lives  on Jesus.     Everything we do  is for Jesus’ sake,  because He is the one  who gives us eternal life.

When  in our weakness,  we still faithfully witness  to salvation  in Jesus,  the world can see  that we are not the ones  who are powerful — they can see  that the power  of God  is manifested  in our weaknesses.     That’s the way  it should be — even though the world  does not expect  to see God  in our weaknesses,  they know  there’s something different  in the Christian’s life.

Paul put it this way  in Romans 14:8,

For if we live,  we live  for the Lord,  or if we die,  we die  for the Lord;  therefore  whether we live or die,  we are the Lord’s.

There is a blessedness and peace  in knowing  we are the Lord’s  in every situation.     In giving up our lives  for the Lord,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  it is so good  to know  that Your suffering and death  have paid  for all  of our sins.     Now we are  free  to live for You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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