In the 1st century, just as in the 21st century, there were those who saw the ministry as a business. These false shepherds saw the flock of God as sheep to be fleeced, whereas the true pastor/shepherd sees God’s sheep to be fed. The false shepherds used the Word to cash in on the ministry for profit. But the gospel of God is not something to be marketed. Jesus is insulted when people use marketing gimmicks to promote what is supposedly God’s work. What a horrible indictment, that it could be said that we are “peddling the word of God” (2 Cor.2). Paul said; “out of sincerity as from God, we speak in the sight of God.” God knows & He sees.
Paul told the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1) about a hard situation he had experienced in Asia. He was burdened beyond measure, and without strength, so much that he despaired of life itself. This situation was beyond anything Paul could handle, and he thought it would kill him. But, as he looked back at the experience, Paul realized God’s purpose in the suffering was that he would give it to Jesus and learn to trust in Him instead. Sometimes God will put us in situations that we cannot handle, just to remind us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in ourselves.
Paul shared his plans with the church at Corinth, but then added “If the Lord permits” (1 Cor.16). Jesus taught us at Gethsemane & many other places, that we should always pray for the Lord’s Will to be done in our lives & not out own will (Lk.22:42/Jn.4:34 /Jas 4:15). We should always make that a prerequisite of any plans we make since we are now Christians, and Jesus is Lord and Master of our lives. As the Bride of Christ we need to stay flexible, and make our plans always subject to change. We don’t want to make our plans so rigid that God has to break us in order to change our direction. He will do that if it is necessary, but it is always better to stay flexible. I always say, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” Pastor Chuck Smith
Our physical bodies are both temporary & disposable. Our physical bodies are like seeds that must die in order to become a new creation. And all that the new creation needs is contained in the DNA of the seed. But what an amazing difference there is between the rose seed and the rose flower. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us there are “celestial (spiritual) bodies & terrestrial (physical) bodies.” The seed that is our terrestrial body will become our celestial body when we die, and “death is swallowed up in Victory”. The cells that make up my physical body are being destroyed & replaced every 7 years. But my spirit is constant & that’s what makes me who I am. So God will give Christians new spiritual bodies when we get to heaven. We will enjoy eternity in these new celestial bodies forever; they will never grow old or die.
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