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Delivered Over to Death

August 20, 2018

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Delivered Over to Death

When was the last time  you had  to face the impossible?     There was absolutely no way  you could ever get through  that situation.     And yet,  you are here today — not even wanting  to think about having  to face such a fearsome  impossibility ever again.

What were you like  in that situation?     You did get through it  somehow or another,  but, what were you like?     What did you learn?

The apostle Paul learned a lot  as he faced  all sorts  of impossible predicaments.     He was whipped,  beaten,  stoned,  on the run  from those trying to kill him,  in shipwrecks — and somehow he made it through.     Paul could not help but realize  that he was holding  onto life  by a mere weak thread.     With so many harrowing experiences,  Paul had to explain  what he learned  from it all.     He wrote  in 2 Corinthians 4:11,

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

Paul lived through those death defying experiences — “for Jesus’ sake” —- and God’s whole purpose behind that was — that the life of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our mortal flesh.”

God was protecting Paul’s life  through all those horrendous experiences.     Paul was totally vulnerable  and inadequate  to live through all that  by his own power,  knowledge,  expertise,  and wisdom.     Just as we are also totally vulnerable  and totally inadequate  in facing life’s challenges.

It is always  “for Jesus’ sake”  that God helps us  through all the impossibilities  that confront  and challenge us.     In each situation,  does the world see us  putting our hope and trust  in Jesus?     In Paul’s predicaments,  the people did see Paul  trusting  in God  to lead him  in standing strong  in the truth,  in faith,  hope  and love.     Paul was not out there  wringing his hands  and crying out,  “Oh woe is me!     God does not love me  any more!     Everything’s going  to pot.”

Instead the people saw Paul  humbly accepting  whatever God’s will might be  for that situation.    Paul trusted  that the Lord would  work all things together  for good  in the end — whether it meant his death  or  his living on  to preach some more.     Whatever was  to happen,  Paul knew  that God’s way  was best — and that God was  in loving control  of everything.     The awfulness  of the situation  did not indicate  that God was not  in control,  but it was a test  of faith.

Paul’s kind  of faith  was a witness  to “the life of Jesus”.     All sorts  of unbelievers  saw Paul trusting  in God,  even in near death experiences.     Paul’s trust  in the Lord’s ways  for his life  (whatever that might be)  made the people around him think  about the kind  of faith  they were seeing.     Unbelievers came  to realize  that the LORD God  is different  from all the idols  and religions,  and philosophies  they were accustomed to.

Paul’s witness is still helping and strengthening people  in the true faith today.     For the help and strength we need  in growing  in the true faith,  let us daily open up our Bibles  and learn more  about what God has done  for us  in Jesus Christ.     Only then  can “the life of Jesus”  “be manifested  in our mortal flesh.”

Growing stronger each day  in the truths  of God’s love  and forgiveness,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  it is totally marvelous  how You are  in control  of all things.     Lead me  in the way everlasting,  that my life may become  a witness  to the true life  in Christ Jesus.”

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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