8/7/16 We Are Made Nothing In Order To Bring People To God

“I don’t want you to misinterpret my words here, to believe that I am speaking against Peter in any way, so I will speak only in behalf of myself and Apollos now.  I want you to see us as examples of living by the words of Jesus, and not taking pride in our works.  We work together, not against each other, trying to outdo each other.  Who is it that has made you different from each other?  Do you possess anything of yourselves, or did you receive everything you have as a gift from God?  And if it was a gift, then why do you take pride in something that you did not do yourselves?  You act as if you are kings and queens of this world, with riches beyond belief and filled with wisdom.  You forget that in yourselves you have, and are, nothing.  And if you were kings and queens, we would be ruling with you.  But I believe that God has made us, His apostles, to be on display, in order to show the battle raging on the earth between Himself and Satan.  We are like those sent into the arena for the gladiators to show their skills against, condemned to die.  The world ridicules us, and we willingly accept this for the sake of belonging to Jesus.  We are weak and disgraced in the eyes of the world.  But you, though you have done nothing, believe yourselves to be wise and strong and honored.  Look at us as an example of what it means to make your lives living sacrifices for Jesus in this world – every day we face hunger and thirst.  We don’t have new clothing to wear.  We are ridiculed, despised, even beaten for the message we bring.  We have no homes of our own but live dependent on the kindness and hospitality of others when possible, and make camp at other times.  We work hard with our hands in order to support ourselves.  But where we meet hatred, we give blessings.  When we are despised and beaten, we keep going, strong in our faith.  When people speak lies against us, we lovingly speak the truth to try to change hardened hearts.  We are like garbage to the people of this world, but we accept this willingly in order to bring people closer to God.”

 

1 Corinthians 4:6-13

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