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Paul

How to gain Christ, give you life to Him and Go!

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The call to serve Christ will not be easy.

The word of God shows us that Paul began to learn that pain, struggles and oppression awaited him in the next town he was visiting!

And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. (Acts 20:22, 23 ESV)

As Paul I too want to be lead by the spirit and even though the cost may be great, I want to be totally willing to lay aside the concerns of the flesh in order to share the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit can speak to us and tell us about things to come. Don’t worry if you are not sure who is speaking here (I think we sometimes don’t think the Holy Spirit can tell us it’s going to be tough). The word tells us that many times it won’t be easy and we need to learn this as disciples of Christ as sometimes we think its all going to be comfy and cushty!

Then Paul says possibly the most amazing line of one who is fully committed to making Christ known!

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)

We can learn from this hugely – reading this inspires me because I too want to live like this, totally committed to making Christ Know. Reality is it won’t be easy and it’s all very well to say yes yes yes – no now we need to actually live it!

Luke the evangelist wrote ( it is very interesting that Luke almost certainly wrote the Acts of the apostles and so it’s brilliant to see unity in both Luke and Paul’s heart about what Jesus taught) about the huge cost of being a disciple. It’s not an easy walk!

Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26, 27 ESV)

Finally I leave you with Paul’s writings from Phillipians. Brothers and sisters even though Christs call may be hugely challenging the reward is Christ Himself.

We gain Christ as we go for Christ!

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)

My dear friends as you read this I pray that you get a glimpse of eternity and the need to live for Christ wholeheartedly, totally sold out for His Cause. Lets give, lets go, all for Jesus Sake!

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Overflow of Love – Bible study on 1 Thessalonians and Paul

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Over the last few days I have been reading 1 Thessalonians and have been amazed by the teaching and Love of Paul to the Church in Thessalonica.

Let me paint the picture a little. Paul was probably writing from Corinth, which is in Greece. This was not his native or home turf but it was where God had called him to. Praise God he was obedient to his call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

Galations 2 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b]

 

He was writing to the Church in Thessalonica, which is some 360 Miles Aw

ay from him at the time. Can you imagine walking this by foot… http://bit.ly/LvtzAG

It was one of the first Letters written to the Church around 50 or 51 AD. So it was a young church only really 20 years after Jesus departed to heaven.

Paul was under persecution and threat from all sorts of people. He was being thrown into prison and treated in such an awful way Read Acts 16 & 17. Yet he did not give up.

Acts 16

37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”

Paul caused such uproar wherever he went so much so that people rioted. It is amazing how much preaching the Gospel will shake things up. I think it is important to realise this.

Acts 17

But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city

So there you have it a brief picture painted of what life was like for Paul at the time of writing to the Church in Thessalonica.

I want to take a look at how much love Paul had for these people. Even though he was going through such hell and persecution he still had the love and desire for the people who he once ministered to. He had one goal and that was for people to have a Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Right at the beginning in Chapter 1 he says something profound.

1 Thessalonians

For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

The spoken message and gospel of Christ carries such power through the Holy Spirit. Words are not enough it has to be anointed by his spirit. I believe if we simply proclaim the Gospel the Holy Spirit will work and convict peoples souls.

 

In Chapter 2 I was really touched by Paul’s love for the people he preached to. It says he felt “torn” away from them in person but NOT in spirit. He had and “intense longing” to see them. I get the impression that Paul could not stop thinking of them. Are we thinking of people in our Lives and longing to see them know Christ more?

Capter 3

10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.

Are we praying for people and friends around us to grow deeper in the knowledge of Christ? It is so important we pray for our dear friends and family and people who we interact with. I challenge you to pray day and night for someone or a group of people.. pray that God would supply what is lacking in their faith.

Capter 3

12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.

I pray that we would learn how to love people and others in such a way that it goes beyond our own selfish inward looking nature. I pray that our love for Christ and each other would overflow in our communities and friends. Lord would only you make this happen and help us be even bolder than the great examples we read of in the Bible such as Paul.

 

Please let me know your thoughts?

How can we be more passionate for people to know Christ through Love?

Does anyone have any stories of testimonies of people who have changed their lives just simply though loving them unconditionally?

What is stopping us proclaim the Gospel of Christ fearlessly as Paul did?

Does any one have any stories of how the people are fearless proclaiming the Gospel both big and small?

I will write a post about Gods Call to purity next as this is on my heart and comes up in 1 Thessalonians 4.

Blessings in the Name of Jesus.

 

CREDIT http://godismydelight.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/my-cup-overflows.html