Thursday, April 19, 2007

What did Paul struggle with?

I never did write about the item that I alluded to in the last post, so I'm going to write about that now.

I feel that God has called me to encourage the body of Christ. More than that, I feel that God wants me to stir up my brothers and sisters to draw near to God. I think that my spiritual gift is teaching, so it goes together pretty well with my desire to encourage others to follow God closely. Yet, at times, I find this call to be a rather frustrating one.

Specifically, when I receive something from the Lord and eagerly wish to share it, I find myself becoming disappointed when it is not received with understanding or even a hint of zeal. I think, "C'mon! This is good stuff! Why don't you understand?! Jeepers creepers!" And yet, I know that this is not God's modus operandi in dealing with people. He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. His mercies are new every morning. But to me, nothing is so frustrating as longing for fellow believers to be mature and yet still seeing glaring immaturities. Paul apparently had to deal with it:

Galatians 4:19-20
My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you--but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Romans 13:11-14
The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

But there is wonderful news: God is faithful. *Long sigh* How wonderful!

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

What a blessed hope. I pray that all of you who read this will be able to comprehend how high, how wide, and how deep the Lord's love is for you.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.


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