Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?

" I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church," (Colossians 1:24, NKJV)

The above text is one that is among those that require a second glance. It may seem at first that the apostle Paul is saying that he is contributing to the work of Christ. Based on Paul’s clear statements of the gospel in Romans and more specifically his warnings to those who add to the gospel (Gal. 1:8-9), we know he does not mean to say that he is adding to the work of Christ.

In context, what Paul is stating is that he is being persecuted because people hate the gospel. The enemies of Christ continue to reject His message by attacking the messenger.
If you struggle with persecution for your faith, rest assured that the evil committed against you is really intended for Jesus. It is an honor to be counted worthy to receive the insults intended for Christ. This was the sentiment of the apostles and the early church.

"So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." (Acts 5:41, NKJV)

I wonder what God would do in our community if we adopted this same attitude?

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