Are they servants of Christ?-- I speak as if insane-- I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments
Insights: There are two areas of sacrifice being discussed in today’s verses. First, is in regards to labors. If church history is correct, Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of elders that consisted of seventy men. In modern day business, Paul was a member of the board of directors or a vice-president of an organization. The point is Paul had arrived at the top. He was admired and respected, but after Paul encountered Jesus, he realized all this success was for nothing. So, Paul sacrificed his career and became a laborer for Jesus. He went on three missionary journeys. He planted numerous churches. He wrote long letters of theological significance. He was a great example of sacrifice. Second, is in regards to freedom. Paul, was completely sold out for Jesus. If that meant he was to be imprisoned for the gospel, so be it. In fact, Paul probably took these times of imprisonment as an opportunity to get caught up on some of his correspondence in which he was behind. We live in a society whose advertisements are, “Get it your way…Obey your thirsts…just do it…” and the like. In this kind of self-centered world, the sacrifice of freedoms seems extreme. Paul would argue a different perspective. He would tell us whatever sacrifice was required for the advancement of the gospel would be worth it. If that meant prison, then so be it. Beloved, we need that kind of zeal for the Lord in the church today.
- Do you work hard serving the Lord?
- Are you willing to sacrifice your will to the Lords?
Prayer: Lord, I live in a world that promotes self and personal gain. Forgive me Lord, when I act like the world. Help me to understand it is not about my promotions and my freedoms, but Your will. Let me passionately pursue You. Amen.