I just love this verse. It fills me with both comfort and encouragement because it is good to know that your work is both appreciated and valuable.
Anyone who does any kind of work for the Lord should also take comfort in these words.
They are words of hope because they tell us we are valued for what we are doing in the service of the Lord. The highest calling any person can have is to serve others. And there is no higher call than to serve the Lord God and His son Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Your Labour Is Not In Vain”
If you must boast, than boast in the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the final words in this first chapter of Corinthians that Paul writes to the church both then and now.
As a general rule, and as we are told in other places, boasting is not good. Boasting of yourself is an attempt to make yourself out to be something more or better than you are. It is shameless self-promotion for the purpose of having other people look at you differently. It is a human weakness and I am sure we have all been guilty of it from time to time.
So the bottom line is…don't boast. It does not tend towards anything good and makes you look a fool if you are found not to be what you claim to be. Furthermore, the thinking that underpins boasting does not come from humility but from pride, and we are called to be humble servants of Christ.
There are many people with different Christian backgrounds who read this and other Christian blogs. They come from all denominations and sects of the church, both from mainstream churches as well as small independent groups, home churches and those going solo who are in-between churches.
The one thing ALL of these people have in common, apart from a love of the Lord, is they believe the path they are following is the right path, the true path and the pathway to the kingdom of God.
But they also all believe different things. They are all approaching the kingdom of God from slightly different directions. And unfortunately all too often we see bickering between brothers and sisters in the Lord over their differences of opinions.
And it is exactly this issue that Paul is addressing here. Bickering over opinions and differences is not appropriate for brothers and sisters in the Lord. Instead we need to learn from each other because NONE of us knows it all and all of us can learn from each other.
Let's look at it and see what Paul is teaching us that the Lord taught him.
The primary reason people come to Jesus Christ is that they recognize the fruitless ness and worthlessness of their life on earth through sin, and are seeking salvation. Jesus Christ is the Saviour and He is the way we must find salvation for salvation comes from God alone, through Jesus Christ.
But there is an interesting perspective on salvation that we can see in this scripture. Christians often talk amongst themselves asking the question of people whether they have been saved or not. There is also a movement in parts of the church who claim that when you come to Christ, you become “Once saved, always saved”.
This OSAS position is not correct, for being saved and receiving salvation are not the same thing. This scripture shows us this amongst other things. So let us look at what this verse is telling us.
So often today it seems that as soon as an elected government comes to power they are immediately lionized as being the worst government ever or being the source and reason for all the ills and evils that exist in that country.
This is especially noticeable on social media. The rants against governments and government leaders are frequent and often full of vitriole. The expressions of distaste, disgust and downright hate are beyond belief. And often I see this on the Christian sites and chat sessions too.
As Christians it is important that we stop and think about what is happening and if we are standing against the government of the day for the wrong reasons, we need to think very carefully about our position, as these scriptures tell us.
The differences between the followers of the lord and those who do not are strongly seen and felt in these two verses.
When it all boils down the major differences are based upon faith, attitude and priorities. The sum of those things leads the followers of Christ into a position that many in the world would consider desperate and untenable. It is not until a person comes to Christ that they see the power and the value in knowing and being known by God.
But Christians are not held in high regard by the rest of the world. In fact they are considered the lowest of all and hated by many. As this verse says,
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
It’s ironic how the actions of a few to stop something often leads to an expansion and growth of the very thing they tried to stop.
Think about the actions of the Jewish elders and especially Saul who became Paul. Before coming to Christ he persecuted and harassed the early church, even going to distant towns and cities to drag the Christians from their homes and throwing them into prison. Saul was so fanatical he wanted to stamp out Christianity from the very face of the earth.
But what was the effect of his threats and actions? This section of scripture tells us what happened and it is typical of the strength of the church and the power of The Lord.
Stephen was the first of the martyrs for Jesus Christ as far as we know. He was put to death for his beliefs and for preaching the gospel. Now you would have to REALLY upset someone for them to go to such extremes. What I mean is that Stephen was a God fearing man and clearly was well thought of by the Christians as they had put him forward as one of the seven to assist the Apostles.
Given the track record of the scribes, Pharisees and the religious leaders of the Jews at that time, that may have been enough to incur their wrath. After all, they had a track record of violence against the people of God having put the Lord to death not that long earlier and imprisoned the Apostles as well.
But there were some very specific charges they laid at the foot of Stephen that they did not like and which led them to having Stephen stoned. We see those charges in this section of scripture and need to understand why they were so incensed and what it means for us today.
This will be a two part post to cover this message. It is a lesson I have learned again just recently and it is one that many Christians are unaware of how serious a matter it is. You can't go back when you come to The Lord. You must continue to push forward.
And yet in these scriptures we see that even Jesus' disciples made this mistake mere days after He had died and was resurrected. And Jesus came to them, specifically to Peter for he was the one who made the error, and in no uncertain terms turned them around to move forward.
So today we will look at why you can't look or go back, and tomorrow we will look at what Jesus did with Peter when he looked back.
It has been mankind’s wish and desire to be able to live forever since the earliest of times. In days gone by there were wild stories about seeking and trying to find the fountain of youth, which of course never existed. Receiving eternal life through such methods was and always will be a myth.
It has been the dream of fiction writers and especially sci-fi writers for many years. In fact many futuristic sci-fi stories have as background to the main plot the ability to prolong life for hundreds if not thousands of years. But it is all just fiction and receiving eternal life is only wishes, dreams and stories.