Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Will Be Worth It All!

As I said in the last post, I found out that there are two more English words that translate from the same Greek word for "passion." They are "affection" and "suffering." I blogged about affection last time. This time I want to blog about suffering.

Paul said in Phil. 3:10, "...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..." Many people only quote up to the part about power of His resurrection, but you cannot connect with the resurrection until you connect with His death on the cross. Just remember, for every cross-bearing trial you go through, Sunday's comin'! You will be resurrected out of it in a state better than you were before it happened.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV)
The Greek word for "working" in the scripture above is "katergazomai." According to Strong's, it means,
1. to perform, accomplish, achieve
2. to work out (i.e. to do that from which something results)
3. to fashion (i.e. render one fit for a thing)
Wow! You can probably come up with your own sermon out of that! Do you ever think that the trial you are facing is doing all that? Basically, what it is saying is that what you are going through is preparing you to be ready for the bigger call of God on your life! What are those dreams He has placed in your heart to accomplish for His glory? Count the costs! It will cost you some times of suffering. But GOD! In the end, it is worth is all!

Remember what Paul said in Romans 8:18 (NKJV),
“I don’t consider the sufferings to be worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What is Affecting You?

I did a word study on "passion" and found out the the same Greek word for "passion" also translates into "affection" and "suffering." More on the suffering part on a future post. This time I want to talk about "affection."

Think about it. You will be affected by that on which you place your affections. As with anything, that can be good or bad. If you have a burning desire for food, for example, chances are you will be affected not only in a mental way, but also in a physical way by gaining too much weight. As with any unhealthy addiction, the affects are numerous and far-reaching. Family members and friends also end up being affected by your affection.

Personally, I want my affection to be on Christ. To be a Christian is supposed to result in being Christ-like. If I set my affections on Him, that will start to happen. I will be transformed. Colossians 3:1-2(KJV): "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." That chapter goes on to say in verses 12-17, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Colossians 3 goes on to talk about family relationships and how to treat each other. If your affection is on Christ, the affects will be positive. They, too, will be far reaching and start to affect family members and friends. Hopefully your loved ones will see the peace that only Jesus can give and want it, too. Unfortunately, however, some will be offended by the Christ in you. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV), "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life."

Why does Christ offend so many? Peter puts it this way (1 Peter 2:6-9 NKJV), "Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, 'Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.' Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,' and 'A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.' They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..."

Keep praying for them, and keep your affection on Christ no matter what others do around you. When you truly get this, you will not be affected as much by what people do around you. You can be whole with peace and joy even in the midst of trials!