Sunday, January 8, 2017

2 thoughts

This is a section from Paul's second letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth.

He is talking in this chapter about the “false apostles” who are basically saying that Paul & what he says is of not use, or isn't valid.

2 Corinthian 11

23 Are they servants of Christ?

I have served him far more!

I have worked harder,

been put in prison more often,

been whipped times without number,

and faced death again and again.

24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.

25 Three times I was beaten with rods.

Once I was stoned. (dan note: & he was left for dead!)

Three times I was shipwrecked.

Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.

26 I have traveled on many long journeys.

I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.

I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.

I have faced danger in the cities,

in the deserts,

and on the seas.

And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.

27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.

I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.

I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

  28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.

29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?

Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?  

30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.

32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.

33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.

Every time I read that section, I wonder certain obvious things

If Paul had had all those things happen to him, he must have been a mess!

Just the beatings alone must have played havoc on his body!

What kind of injuries would a stoning leave on him?

And what about being shipwrecked or adrift in the ocean for a night & a day? Good grief!

And people walked everywhere back then, so he didn't get enough food & walked everywhere – I bet there wasn't a lot of excess fat on Paul!

This man must have been pretty banged up. Can you imagine?!

The other thing I think about is I wonder how any of us precious & prissy Christians of today would react if we had suffered just one of the things Paul had.

How many of us would still be a Christian if we'd been beaten just 1 time 39 lashes with the cat of nine tails they used to beat people with?

How many of us would be Christians if on a regular basis we went hungry & were really really cold because we didn't have adequate clothing.

How many of us would be Christians if we'd been stoned by an angry mob & left for dead?

I think we'd all agree if any ONE of those things happened to Christians today in America there would be a falling off of attendance at our dog & pony show worship services.

Think about it...

Would you follow Jesus?

Would I?

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