II CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS, & COLOSSIANS
|It is the day after Christmas, and I have enjoyed leisurely reading God's Word this morning. I so enjoy reading when I have plenty of time. Here are a few highlights:|
1) SPEND AND BE SPENT- Once in a while I discuss the ministry with some young pastor or someone relatively new to ministry (less than five years into it), and they mention some hardships and hurts. The apostle Paul understood that all too well. In II Cor. 12:15 he says: "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved." The ministry is full of highs and lows. Joy and pain. Help and hurt. But that is not new... Paul is describing it perfectly. We love deeply, we hurt deeply, but the joy of loving overcomes the pain of hurt and rejection. In any form of ministry, there must be a willingness to open up your heart to hurt in order to help others! Don't close up your heart to ward off hurt; in doing so, you close off the ability to help. Love deeply and let God heal the hurts that occasionally will come your way.
2) CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM- We may not be Jewish, but we are the children of Abraham if we have trusted Christ as our Savior. You see, there were children by flesh, and children by faith. The promises of Abraham were to the children by faith, which we are! Here are some verses to show that:
Galatians 3:9 "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Galatians 3:14 "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Galatians 3:29 "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Ponder these verses and see that we have the promises of Abraham given to us by faith.
3) WHAT JOY IS HEAVEN! A verse I love is found in Ephesians 2:7 "That in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." The ages to come refers to Heaven! And in Heaven, He (God) will show the "exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us"! Now this phrase..... "in the ages to come" not only refers to Heaven, but it means that as we are in Heaven, God will throughout the ages, continue to show to us what is the riches of His grace in His kindness towards us". It will take an eternity, in order for God to properly convey to us.... how much He loves us! Wow! and double Wow!!
4) DEPTH AND HEIGHT- Two special verses are found in Philippians 2:8 & 9. Here is what they say: "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:" Notice this principle: Jesus humbled himself so lowly as to become a man, born a lowly birth, and to die on a cross a symbol of a being totally cursed. (Acts 5:30 "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Galatians 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:") NOW, because He humbled Himself so lowly; He was raised so highly by God the Father ("highly exalted him"). So the principle is this: The lower you humble yourself, the higher God can exalt you. James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." 1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" Humility is the way Up in God's economy!!
Well, so much for today. I had the time, so I enjoyed writing more. Hope some thought has been a blessing. May God richly bless you and yours!
Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor