'Word from Scotland' with Sandy Shaw
Originally posted on 02/12/2018
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never became weary in the area of service and ministry and HE says, “Follow Me.” He was and is faithful, and that is one of the qualities HE is seeking to cultivate within the lives of his disciples.
It is called ENDURANCE - being faithful to the end. That is the man who will be rescued and saved, and it calls for commitment and dedication. Again, that depends upon the decision which we make – not upon fluctuating emotions and feelings.
Look at verse 17 of Galatians Chapter 6, and you will see what can happen when we serve in this way and go on serving Jesus Christ in these ways. We can become MARKED.
Paul was a MARKED man. Jesus was marked - scarred - with mocking crowns, nails and a spear.
Paul had been travelling all over the Middle East encouraging families and fellowships and believers - teaching them - praying with them - and always praying for them - but that also meant being MARKED - being physically scarred.
He saw people come to Christ. He appointed leaders in the various fellowships, and he was in and out of various prisons and jails, being persecuted in various ways.
It cost him to serve Jesus Christ. This was revealed to Paul by Jesus right at the very beginning. We read of it in Acts Chapter 9 and verse 15 - chosen - to carry MY NAME - and SUFFER.
As he continued to minister he found this becoming more and more serious and more and more severe. But look at his prayer in verse 14 - the world and its attractions no longer had any real attraction for him. He had died to all that.
What man regarded as important - these were no longer important to beloved Paul - only the Cross of Christ. That is what can change a man - giving him meaning and purpose - and deal with his real needs - forgiving all his sins - healing his pains - ministering to his emotions and feelings – and strengthening him when criticised, maligned, arrested, imprisoned – persecuted.
He refers in these closing verses to those who want to make a good impression outwardly, then they try to get you to keep the law. They try to get you to become religious - and why? To avoid being persecuted for the Cross of Christ. He recalls the main reason for his writing this letter. Paul was no fake and no fraud.
He showed people so much of the reality of discipleship.
This is the real issue of this entire letter. What do we have - an outward show - or the real thing? The battle at times can be between - outward respectability - and serving Jesus Christ. Making a good impression outwardly is "doing the done thing"!
Did Jesus die just to give us new rituals, or to save us and rescue us and give us the power of the Holy Spirit? What does God think of it all? Is God impressed?
May I never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As far as I know the word "success" does not appear in The Word of God. It is a very dangerous word to use - in connection with the work of God - let HIM judge - let HIM reward.
Our task is not to faint - not to become weary - never to give up or give in - even though the enemy will do all he can to wear us down.
Interesting - the circumcisers wanted to mark the body. Paul says - you will be marked. Don't worry about that - you will be branded.
But even in the middle of all this he does experience PEACE – verse 16.
He concludes by saying - "don't trouble me" - don't be a source of bother and concern to me. Don't upset me by wanting to go back to old ways that are now irrelevant because of what Jesus Christ the Son of God has accomplished and achieved.
He closes with this powerful prayer - the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. He prays that these people will be set free from wanting to make a good impression outwardly - and if we are going to know that freedom, the grace and mercy and forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ is essential.
It is not ritual but reality.
It is not making our mark in life, but bearing the marks of Jesus.
It is not boasting in what we have done, but pointing people to Jesus and the Cross.
It is not doing our good deed for the day, but never becoming weary in doing good all the time.
“Lord Jesus, as we come to the end of this amazing and gracious letter, help us to learn all its lessons. Allow me to see the significance and centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ. Keep me free from the deceiving dangers arising from religion. Holy Spirit, grow that fruit in my life – the fruit which You alone can produce – in Jesus Name. Amen.”