Daily Devotional, Year 3 – May 7 (Paul’s Godly Example, Part 3: “Like Paul In Suffering!”)

By admin On September 4th, 2016

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 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Daily Devotional, Year 3 – May 7

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Paul’s Godly Example, Part 3: “Like Paul In Suffering!”

To read Part 1, go here…Daily Devotional – June 29th (Paul’s Godly Example!)

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.http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/The%20Early%20Church%20Artwork/target8.html

“(I Paul) who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church:” Colossians 1:24 

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Paul Shipwrecked – Acts 27:41-44 – www.lavistachurchofchrist.org – Public Domain

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Those of us who are weak in faith quite often fall completely apart when things don’t go our way.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johann_Heinrich_F%C3%BCssli_-_Woman_Sitting,_Curled_up_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Whether it’s some little set-back, grief, or annoyance, it will send many of us, into a tail-spin, as they say!

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We just don’t handle life’s little difficulties very well, quite often.

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Maybe we don’t get the good news we were hoping for.

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Or maybe some disappointment, big or small, causes us to question God’s love and providence.

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Johann Heinrich Füssli – Woman Sitting, Curled up Google Art Project US public domain

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“AND ALL THE CONGREGATION MURMURED…”

Joshua 9:18

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:041A.Moses_Breaks_the_Tables_of_the_Law.jpg.

This faithless inadequacy was the very same situation during the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel.

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If their water was delayed, they began to murmur against God.

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If their diet was too plain, they clamored for the fleshpots of Egypt which they had left behind.

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And God suffered their murmurings time-after-time during those years.

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fixed – Dore – Moses breaks stones – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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“FOR OUR ADMONITION”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_100326-N-4774B-066_Chaplain_Lt._Jason_Gregory_reads_bible_verses_on_the_weather_deck_aboard_the_guided-missile_cruiser_USS_Bunker_Hill_(CG_52).jpg

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Of course, the Bible reveals that…“all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1st Corinthians 10:1

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Yes, truth-be-told, those Old Testament stories were actually recorded more for our benefit in these last days, than they were for the Old Testament people (who mostly didn’t bother to really study the Bible, anyway).

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US Navy – Chaplain Lt. Jason Gregory reads Bible on weather deck – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain

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“THEREFORE I TAKE PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES”

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But those of us who complain to God whenever we face some hardship, little or big, need to look to none other, than the Apostle, Paul, and his sterling examplehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg of faithfulness and fidelity in suffering!

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Listen to Paul…“And He (God) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I (Paul) rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9, 10

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This is perhaps, one of the most remarkable passages in the Bible and is worthy of memorization by each and every true child of God.

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Paul actually took pleasure in his infirmities!

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Paul the Apostle – Artist – Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier – circa 1500s – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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GOD’S GRACE: THE SECRET TO PAUL’S STRENGTH

.http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart/1901/acts22.jpg

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Yes, Paul actually took pleasure in his sufferings!

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Of course, this amazing ability was not the result of Paul’s own goodness.

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No, as Paul freely testified, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1st Corinthians 15:10

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And it was merely the grace of God working in Paul, that caused him to be the sterling role-model that he was!

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Paul Converted – www.thebiblerevival.com

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CHEERFULNESS & HOPE IN SUFFERING,

A POWERFUL WITNESS

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anger_during_a_protest_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

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The fact is, in a world in which we humans don’t handle our problems so well, quite often, the Christian can become a great witness, by handling his or her problems with faith and with grace, and with cheerfulness!

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This is a powerful witness to an unbelieving and faithless world!

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Anger during a protest – by David Shankbone – Wikimedia – Share-alike-License

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TO BECOME CHRISTLIKE

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_What_Our_Lord_Saw_from_the_Cross_(Ce_que_voyait_Notre-Seigneur_sur_la_Croix)_-_James_Tissot.jpg

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And the fact is, this is one of the primary reasons why God allows us to go through our trials, big and small!

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He wants to strengthen us, that we might be transformed into the likeness of the One of whom it is written…“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

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Yes, Christ endured infinitely more suffering that we can know, that He could win the grand prize of our redemption from the grave!

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Brooklyn Museum – What Our Lord Saw from the Cross – James Tissot

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“QUIT YOURSELVES LIKE MEN!”

1st Corinthians 16:13

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And so, today’s encouragement is that we Christians need to quit crying out for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Munch_Det_Syke_Barn_1896.jpgdeliverance from our trials as much as we need to cry out for the same grace that caused Paul to delight in his sufferings!

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Yes, our daily prayer should include the request that God will make us to, “quit yourselves like men”, and to also, “take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:10 (see also, 1st Corinthians 16:13)

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And with this kind of faith, we can begin to become real true witnesses for Christ, to both family and friends, as well as the entire onlooking world around us, “that God is in us, of a truth!” 1st Corinthians 14:25

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Munch Det Syke Barn – 1896 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO!

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The Real Accusing Finger -www.signsofheaven.org-copyright 2011

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Of course, giving such bold advice is much easier than actually living by that same advice.

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And so, please excuse the hypocrisy by those of us who give tough advice that we can’t follow ourselves.

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But what we all can do is to humbly ask God to strengthen us.

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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Dear Lord, Help me to catch that same fiery Spirit which caused Paul to joyfully suffer the loss of all things in his relentless pursuit of Christlikeness…

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READ MORE…

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For further information on this topic, you can read… April 4th (Apostle Paul’s Fun & Recreation), or you can also read this longer article…Running The Christian Race (Part 1: Paul & John: Our Role Models)

 

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THE END

.Orion Constellation at Eagle Ridge

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN:

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7 STARS IMITATE THE CROSS OF ORION

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This phenomenon begins in late October, in the pre-dawn hours. It then begins a little earlier each night.

The Cross of Orion Constellation star-chart.

This Wikipedia star-chart to the left, has this constellation sketched in. You must locate Orion, when it is mid-sky, between east and west. You’ll be facing southward most likely, unless you are far south. Try to imagine it as a Cross on a steep hill. The 3-star belt of Orion becomes the crest of the hill. The 3 very faint stars that make up Orion’s head become the very top of the Cross.

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Next, locate the 7 Stars Constellation. This 7 Stars Constellation is seen by facing northward. It stands upright a little later in the night. Eventually, Orion will lay down and no longer be seen as an uplifted Cross! Beginning in November, the 7 Stars (AKA Big Dipper) can be seen as a Cross a little bit later in evening.

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When you are comfortable in locating Orion & The 7 Stars Constellations, then show a friend. This can be a great witnessing tool!

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READ MORE…

To read this entire article, just click here… “‘7 Stars’ Imitate ‘The Cross of Orion'”

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TOMORROW:

May 8 (“He That Hath An Ear To Hear”, Part 3: “Do Ye Not Hear The Law veiled in Allegories?)

 

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20+ MINUTE AUDIO STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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THIS STUDY #125 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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above picture: Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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