Psalm for the Day

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nail prints in the heart……

“In all their distress he too was distressed,
and the angel of his presence saved them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them
all the days of old”.  Isa. 63:9  NIV

The truth of our devotion to Jesus is not measured by our words, but by our sufferings.

When Paul urged the Colossians on to greater zeal for God, he did not argue; he was direct; “With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul, Do not forget my chains!......” (Col. 4:18 GNT).   If his sufferings for Christ could not convince them nothing could.

What started Paul thinking about Jesus----Stephen’s speech or his death?          (Acts 7:60-8:1)

Paul has left us many memorials of his devotion to Jesus Christ, (letters, sermons, miracles, etc) but he left nothing greater than his chains, the symbol of his sufferings for Christ’s sake.

The measure of a person’s devotion to any cause, right or wrong, is the depth of the suffering he is willing to undergo for it.   That is why Paul could say, “I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).

What scars do I bear for Jesus?

Scars are not an end in themselves, but signs of an inward commitment.  I must not seek scars of the body, but rather scars of the Spirit.   The scars of the Spirit are the sacrifices of my will, self-dependency and self-centeredness for Christ’s sake.

Whether or not I ever wear physical scars for Christ is not essential; it is absolutely essential that I wear spiritual scars for Him.

How else can I be a witness….a living epistle for His Glory? 

Spiritual scars speak the truth of God’s Word…..you may go through the wilderness, test and trials, or the fiery furnace……..He will NEVER abandon you.

Are there nail prints in your heart?

Only then can you help someone else.

Paul rejoiced in his scars, because then, he said, “the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Cor. 12:9-10); he was willing to trade scars for the privilege of bearing fruit.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more”. John 15:1-2 NLT

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