The Dark Side of Serving Others
by Charles R. Swindoll
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:5-9
Read the words of the apostle Paul—-an honest, humble, transparent servant of God:
For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:5-7)
We Christians have received a priceless treasure (the glorious gospel) in a very frail and perishable container (our weak bodies). There is a reason. So nobody will have any question about the source of power, it must be of God and not of any human origin.
And so—-to verify just how frail our humanity is, Paul lists four common struggles servants live with. I’m calling them consequences. Let’s see all four in the two verses that follow before we analyze each one in the next few posts.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
If you have a pencil handy, you might circle the four terms in your Bible: afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. These are four consequences of serving God. Although we’ll unpack and apply these terms in the next few posts, take a moment and read those verses again—-emphasizing words you’ve circled.
Have you experienced these consequences—-yet?
I am so looking forward to part two tomorrow!!! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!:):):)
Tonight I pray that you be still in the presence of Jesus!!! Even though everything in the world seems to take all of your attention, Nothing in this world is as important as spending time with Jesus!!! I pray that you let nothing take the focus of Jesus out of your life. While you wait in His Presence, I pray HE will do his best work in you: transforming you by the renewing of your mind. I pray that you not skimp on this time with the Lord Jesus, or you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities missing the richness of what he has planned for you. Do not seek the Lord for what He can give you, remember that He is an infinitely greater than any gift He may impart to you…. When He is the ultimate desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of idolatry. As you wait in His Presence enjoy the greatest gift of all: Christ in you, the hope of Glory! In Jesus name we pray, Amen and Amen!… I love you all… God bless you!! http://dlvr.it/54GWrT
TONIGHT I pray that you would stand on the truth of His Word with wisdom, knowledge and understanding! He has given you the keys to the Kingdom that whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatsoever you loose on earth would be loosed in heaven according to the Word of God. Let your will be bound to the will of the Father that you will be constantly aware of His purpose for your life. I decree that you are bound to the truths of God that you will not be deceived by the many subtle deceptions of the enemy. Stand up for the truth of the Lord Jesus and His Word!!! You are bound to the blood of Jesus Christ for miracle working power to restore, heal, protect and preserve you, in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love you all… God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/53rsvq
TONIGHT I PRAY that you realize it is simply impossible to praise or thank God too much. The Bible He tells us that He inhabits the praises of His people. Sometimes your adoration is the spontaneous overflow of joy, in response to radiant beauty or rich blessings. At other times your praise is more disciplined and measured… an act of your will. I pray you realize just how much the Lord loves you and dwells equally in both types of praises. Thankfulness, also, is a royal road to draw Him nearer. A thankful heart has plenty of room for the Lord Jesus. When you thank Him for the many pleasures that he provides you with you affirm that HE is God, from whom all blessings flow. I pray that when adversity strikes and you are thankful anyway, your trust in His sovereignty is a showpiece in invisible realms. I pray that you fill out the spare moments of your life with praise and thanksgiving. This joyous discipline will help you live in the intimacy of His Presence. Walk in that joy and light!!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!! God bless you!!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/534JVP
TONIGHT I PRAY THAT you realize that understanding will never bring you peace. That is why the Lord Jesus asks us to trust in HIM and not lean on our own understanding. Human beings always want to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over our own lives. That as the world presents you with these problems and another set of problems pops up to challenge you, the relief you had anticipated it short-lived. Soon your mind is gearing up again: searching for understanding (mastery of your own problems), instead of seeking the Lord. I pray that the Peace of the Lord is not an elusive goal hidden at the center of some complicated maze. I pray that you realize you can have HIS Peace, which is inherent when you are in HIS Presence. As you look to the Lord Jesus you will gain awareness of HIS Precious Peace. I pray that no matter what storms may come to try and upset that balance, that you stop and affirm your trust in HIM alone. Leave everything in HIS capable hands. Through trusting prayers, resting in His sovereign control, rejoice in HIM! As you trust in him, He will watch over you continually. You are his child and HE has engraved you on the palm of His hands. I pray you realize how great you are loved! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!!… God bless you!!!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/513sh3
I Call Forth TONIGHT every part of your being into divine alignment with the will of God. Lord, everything that you are doing in this season let the Holy Spirit sensitize and include us!!! I bind up the spirit of fear and declare that you approach the throne of grace boldly with great confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ!!! For it is through Him that every blessing and benefit will be assigned to you and your family! Let the Spirit of the Living God teach you that you can grow strong in your weakness when you put all of your trust in the Lord!!! For it when you do this that the glory of the Lord will rise through you!!! WALK IT OUT!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love you all… God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/50HwZk
TONIGHT I PRAY that you come to the Lord and find rest. He is all around you and wants to bless and restore each one of you. We need to breathe Him in with each breath we take. The way ahead can be dark and steep. Grab unto His hand with openness and trust. Ask the Holy Spirit within you to order your day and control your thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. You can have as much of HIS peace as you want, through correct choices that you make with Him each day. Choose to get closer to Him through His Word and prayer, so that He will be an ever present help in times of trouble. As you savor this gift, you find HIM. When you abide in Him, you find joy and peace. His peace will never leave you even until the end of time. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!!! God bless you!!!! http://dlvr.it/4z76jF
The Mother Who Prayed
Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.—Matthew 15:28
When we are praying for something that we believe to be the will of God, we shouldn’t give up. Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking — that is what Jesus told us to do. In fact, when Jesus saw the great faith of a mother from Canaan who was doing this very thing, He gave her carte blanche, so to speak: “Let it be to you as you desire.”
This mother believed that what she was asking was the will of God, and she would not give up. Maybe you, like this mother, have a child who is under the Devil’s influence today. He or she has rejected your influence, at least for now. It is tough because you have raised this child in the ways of the Lord. The very thing you have prepared your child for — to become independent — has happened. My advice is, hold on. You will come through it.
That thing you may believe is the worst-case scenario might be the step toward bringing your child to a true, heartfelt faith. The rebellion may be difficult to endure right now. But it also may be short-term, and it may be what it takes to bring your child to a place of realizing his or her own need for Jesus Christ. Our kids need to get these convictions in their hearts as their convictions, not just as Mom or Dad’s convictions. It may mean a detour into the land of the prodigals. It may mean hitting bottom. But don’t give up.
This devotional from Pastor Greg has a special place in my heart. I have trained my children up in the way of the Lord and when they were younger they strayed. I am so thankful that my God is large and in charge and led them back to Him. I really believe that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I hope that you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
I Pray TONIGHT that the glory of God cover every aspect of your life that every good gift your heavenly Father has for you is released in the name of Jesus! I pray you reject every evil spiritual load placed on you. I pray that every evil imagination and plan contrary to your life and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ will fail woefully! From the ashes you will rise to proclaim the mighty name of Jesus!!! Let His love call your name and may you heart be open to hearing His voice and answering Him! I pray that every doorway and ladder to satanic invasion in your life will be abolished forever by the blood of Jesus! Every plan of impossibility is set to naught. All things are possible in Christ Jesus!!! You have been engineered to succeed created in the image and likeness of God! You have been blessed and given dominion!! Walk it out… In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/4ygM6B
TONIGHT I PRAY that each one of us step out in faith and take our walk with the Lord Jesus seriously. That we will begin to realize that as Christians we are justified by faith and faith alone. That Jesus plus nothing equals everything!!! I pray that we make time to give God our first fruits and not just our leftovers. To do everything for the glory of God!!! To realize that anything other than God’s will for our life is sin. That if we are willfully sinning we should question if we are really born again or if we just said the words of a prayer without living the meaning behind them. That the FREEDOM that the Lord Jesus gives us to be set free from sin and to be joined with HIM in righteousness!!! Walk in that FREEDOM, for when the SON sets you free you are FREE indeed! Fall in love with Jesus all over again and begin to live your life for Him. Rest in the warm glow of His love and let Him cover you with HIS righteousness. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/4xpg5q
Your Love Guard Me Through The Night….
Tonight I pray that you refuse to worry!!! Look to Jesus for everything that you need He will never leave you or forsake you!!! I pray that you get a real hunger for His Word in these last days so that you can hide His Word in your heart so that you will have it there when you need it. Rest in the comfort of HIS Presence and remember that ALL THINGS are possible through Him!!! When worry tries to wedge its way into your thoughts, remember that you have a Shepherd who will take care of you and you need not worry at all!!! Though sometimes this fallen world can seem dark and dangerous, know that the safest place that you can be is in HIS will for your life. For He has a plan for you and they are good!!! Simply thank Him and trust Him for all the good that will come out of this trial. Rest in Him and He will strengthen you and prepare you for what lies ahead! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God Bless You!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/4v26KL
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