Christ could have very easily stayed after his resurrection to reveal himself to the rest of
the world. But he didn’t. He left that job to us believers to do. He gave us the opportunity and privilege, no, the joy to suffer and deny our selfish desires in order to complete what is “lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions” by taking the truth of the gospel around the globe to teach people of the love of God and give them the hope of eternal life which is held out in his word.
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
2 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the truth and the God of hope, and I give both to my chosen ones, my children. I have chosen to use men to take my message to the nations. You are my messengers along with the prophets and the apostles. It is my word that will change you and make you holy and give you hope. Only my word will keep you from being deceived by the evil one. Only my word will give you strength and courage to face uncertain times, and only my word will make your faith strong for to be lived out for others to see. Unless I reveal the “mystery” of my truth to you in my Bible, you cannot know it. This truth reveals me. If you want to know truth, you need to want to know me. If you want me, then I will show myself to you. When you ask, like my servant Paul did, “who are you Lord” then I will tell you and you will know me.
The secular world cannot understand my word, because after all, it is foolishness to them. To them my word is nothing but myths and fairytales. So, I have hidden from them all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge of Christ. But to those whom I have given my Spirit, they alone can know me with complete understanding. My word is the message and power of my righteousness which you are to give to them and prove to them by your lives. My word is to make you perfect in Christ – your only Hope of glory as my word says; “He who has the Son has Life…” 1 Jn 5:12 “In this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Jn 17:3
But because I AM Love, I desire all men to know me like this and that they obtain the hope of eternal life. So just as I have sent my son to give up his life for you to have this life, so I want to send you to give up your lives for others so that they may have it as well.
Paul considered it a privilege to fill up in his flesh Christ’s sufferings so that you and I could know God too. He rejoiced in his sufferings knowing that others were being saved. In this passage God is sharing His own heart beat that he put into Paul and desires for you and me as well. God loves to see his children love others by laying their lives down voluntarily in order that people may know the love of God. Let’s catch God’s heart for the world and rejoice to lay aside our pleasures and comforts to fill up in our flesh what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings so that those around us can have Hope and know the mystery of God.
We surely live in a privileged age. We possess the entire Word of God, all of the gifting and fruit of the Holy Spirit, and have all of His strength made available to us for the asking so that we can help others know Jesus.
More to come,