Friday, January 2, 2015

The Ministry Part of Suffering

It is the second day in a new year. Great time for me to make a second start on a new blog post. It has been some months since I have blogged and years since I did it faithfully. Seasons change. Jobs change. People change. Priorities change. Yet my core values remain intact, my calling as real as it has ever been, and my hunger for God greater than it was yesterday. 

Resolutions are not my thing. Most are inflated ideas, fueled by good intentions, and destined to fail without discipline and prayer. But I will say that I have been stirred to return to writing this blog. Perhaps out of my need for discipline or structure, but most definitely to focus on the goodness of the Lord & to share the Good News.

Recently I took another look at one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I say, "another look", what I mean to say is this; I read it from the KJV, I read it from the NIV, I read it from the NLT, in all I read it from ten different translations.  The essence of each translation was the same, yet when I read it from the J B Phillips version, the word "ministry" came to mind.

"This priceless treasure we hold, so to speak, in a common earthenware jar—to show that the splendid power of it belongs to God and not to us. We are handicapped on all sides, but we are never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but we never have to stand it alone: we may be knocked down but we are never knocked out! Every day we experience something of the death of the Lord Jesus, so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours. Yes, we who are living are always being exposed to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be plainly seen in our mortal lives. We are always facing death, but this means that you know more and more of life. Our faith is like that mentioned in the scripture: ‘I believed and therefore I spoke’." II Corinthians 4:7-13 Phillips

Our perseverance testifies of the power of the TREASURE within us. When others see our troubles overshadowed by the light of His strength shining through us, they are in fact receiving the Good News of Christ. That my friend is the ministry we do when we are "going through".

My prayer today is that I will persevere through aches, pains, ailments, hardships, & loss and that all attention will be drawn to His light within me and not to my condition or circumstance. 

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