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Posts Tagged ‘missionaries’

Verses 11-12: “O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.”

In the 1965 Pink Panther cartoon, Pink Ice, the Panther is running a diamond mine in South Africa. However, all his diamonds continue to be stolen by rival mine owners, Devereaux and Hoskins. When the bumbling duo attempts to get rid of the Panther, he uses good ol’ fashioned cartoon tricks to ultimately make them distrust each other and have them at each other’s throats, all the while taking their diamonds in return. This was one of those rare Pink Panther cartoons where the Panther actually spoke (the voices of the Panther, Devereaux, and Hoskins were provided by the legendary voice actor, Rich Little.)

Though very humorous to watch how the Panther gets Devereaux and Hoskins to begin sniping at each other and eventually antagonize each other, there are people today and back in Biblical times who would set people against each other. This happened in the case of Paul and the Corinthian church; false prophets had filled the church with lies about Paul, and the church didn’t return the affection back to Paul that he had honestly and openly shown them. Paul correctly admonishes them, telling them that they are their own worst enemy; that Paul and his company of missionaries are not restricting them, but they are hurting themselves.

How many times have we allowed our own misconceptions or groundless beliefs about something to get in the way of the Lord’s work? We need to listen to the truth from Jesus Christ, He who is the Truth. Think how much the church could do today if all its members were united in following God, and not trying to add a comma where God put a period?

Something to think about.

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verses 8-12: “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.”

I have an outline header in my Ryrie Bible here for this passage entitled “The Circumstances of the Ministry”. Paul had his share of persecutors who would dog him wherever he preached. He’s describing here what he goes through in the ministry, and is sharing that with the Corinthians in his letter. But he even counts it glory of even suffering what he does, as long as he is doing it for Jesus. He remembers and draws analogies here to what Jesus suffered for us during the crucifixion.

Most of us truly “have it easy” when we compare our lives today to what Paul went through. But there are missionaries today in parts of the world who suffer or are under threat of the same hard persecution that Paul endured, yet they share the gospel of Jesus though it may cost them their lives. Remember them and pray for them today.

When times get tough for you, please remember the words of one of my favorite praise songs:

“When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams,
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes,
When you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears,
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in, seem to disappear!

Praise the Lord! He can work through those who praise Him,
Praise the Lord! For our God inhabits praise!
Praise the Lord! When the chains that seem to bind you, serve only to remind you, that they fall powerless behind you
When you praise Him.”
–Praise the Lord

Have a blessed day!

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