4th Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
In all the chances and changes in his life, Paul maintained one main concern: to show himself as a sincere faithful minister of Jesus Christ. He would say without reservation that the Christian life style is not for the faint of heart.
When Satan and his demons throw trials and temptations at you, you must persevere.
Winston S. Churchill said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. it is the courage to continue that counts.”
In today society too many expect that once they confess their faith in the Lord Jesus the Christ life will be a bed of roses… roses without thorns.
In our text for today, Paul is sharing the eternal conflict of a true Christian life style. There are all sorts of conflicts that constantly weigh down our hearts and spirits.
I was going to my office to prepare this message when the telephone rang. It was about 9:30 AM, and it was my nephew calling to tell me his sister had killed herself. She was my only sister’s daughter. I had to spend quite a bit of time to get my thoughts together. I don’t understand the “why” in this situation, only that the Lord will guide and comfort our whole family during these difficult days,
Like Paul, I know the Holy Spirit is in all of life’s up and downs and He will be with us always. God loves us regardless of whatever is going on in our lives. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in prison, yet Paul was in prison seven times for speaking about the Lord.
He suffered at least two beatings with a cat of nine tails and got 39 lashes. Because he was a Roman citizen they were not permitted to give his 40 lashes, as the 40th lash might have caused his death.
I don’t know how many ship wrecks he was involved in.
And we get upset when someone says something that offends us or hurts our felling. If Paul had acted that way there would be no Christian church today. But he stayed with his course of action in preaching and witnessing the Gospel, that we might have a true witness to the pitfalls of being faithful to our confession in Jesus Christ our Lord.
As I look back over the trials and treatment of Paul and His labors to preach the Gospel, I can not see one time in my whole ministry even once that I have suffered anything like Paul suffered for his love for our Lord. And today we are a spoiled lot. We gripe because its either too hot or to cool. We get furious when someone says something about us or what we supposedly did or didn't do.
Remember the old saying: “It’s unwise to change horses in the middle of the stream!”
But in spite of our narrow tempers and misunderstanding with one another, the church is still alive and doing business for the Lord Jesus the Christ. May each of us look at our service for the church today and where we may be a stumbling block to one another. Maybe we should repent, ask for forgiveness, and then seek to find the gifts of the Spirit God gave us to illuminate His presence… in us!