Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.
Insights: This week we have observed how Paul sacrificially lived. He did not care about his own reputation. He invested years to grow in his educational pursuits. He resigned from a cushy job. He gave up his freedom and literally was imprisoned. He was literally tortured for his faith and he endured major discomforts for the gospel. Verse twenty-eight today reveals one more area in which Paul sacrificed and that was in his emotional well-being. Day and night he was consumed with the spiritual growth and vitality of all the churches he had planted throughout his many missionary journeys. Beloved we ought to have that kind of burden for the spiritual well-being of those around us. We ought to be asking them what the Lord has been showing them in their quiet times and rejoicing with them in their pilgrimage with Jesus. There is one word that describes all of these sacrifices Paul willing gave. That word is PASSION! Paul had such a passionate love relationship with Jesus that every sacrifice he made was really a gift of love back to his Lord and Savior. It was not a heavy burden for him, but rather a joyful grace that he would have chosen every time he had the opportunity to point people to Jesus. People are passionate, but our passions are not always geared toward Jesus. In fact, I dare say, most of those attending local churches in America are not passionate about Jesus. Let me give you a modern day example of passion. Today starts the summer Olympics. These athletes are very passionate about their pursuit of the gold medal. They sacrifice food, relationships, time and so many other things for a moment of earthly glory. Their example to sports and Paul’s example to Jesus makes me wonder about my life. Is there any area in which I am sacrificing for Jesus and showing my passion for Him? Beloved, our lives ought to be a single candle burning at both ends for the glory and proclamation of Jesus. – SIDE NOTE – Happy Birthday Kristy Tharp!
- Have you ever been so burdened for the lost and the spiritual health of another that it affected your emotional well-being?
- Are you living life with this kind of passion we have been writing about this entire week?
Prayer: Lord, I want my life to be an example of radical devotion to You. I want to go to bed thinking about You and I want to rise thinking about You. I want to live my entire day centered in Your will and the proclamation of the gospel. Lord, do a transforming work in my life and grant this request. Amen.