Sunday, April 5th, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 19)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the Cross...
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
If perseverance is 'steady persistence in a course of action... especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement' (Random House Dictionary), then Paul's life was an obstacle course.
When the zealous prosecutor met the innocent Defendant on the road to Damascus, Jesus asked: 'Why do you persecute me?' (Acts 9:4). Saul's spiritual blindness lifted, and Paul's physical blindness followed. Three days later he was healed. Then the hunter became the hunted. 'I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name' (Acts 9:16).
So Paul suffered, 'In troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger... beaten, and yet not killed... sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything' (2 Corinthians 6:4-5,9-10).*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Stay in it to win it. 'Press on toward the goal' (Philippians 3:14), that 'Through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures' (Romans 15:4), others may share in your hope.
'For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise' (Hebrews 10:36). What promise?
'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him' (1 Corinthians 2:9).
'For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My Soul has no pleasure in him' (Hebrews 10:37-38).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't draw back. Instead, go forth with perseverance, not expecting easy success. Satan encourages that myth, but the lives of Jesus, Paul and every victorious saint prove him false and God true.
To Be Continued...
* Paul's sufferings in greater details: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+cor+11%3A22-33&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.