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Entries in Gospel (4)


Show me the marks!

The question is:  "Sally, what marks do you have for the gospel?"
Mark:a visible impression on a surface, as a line, spot, scratch, dent, or stain; a noticeable or lasting effect; imprint.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul has a list of sufferings - things he endured as a result of his faith in Christ, proclaiming the gospel and speaking truth. Each suffering left a mark - an impression or imprint and as I read through Paul's list, I am deeply moved and challenged.  Paul's "marks" are:
· Labors
· Imprisonments
· Beaten times without number
· Often in danger of death
· Stoned 3 times
· Shipwrecked
· Frequent journeys
· Dangers from rivers, robbers, countrymen, city, wilderness, sea, false brethren
· Hardship
· Sleepless nights
· Hungry & thirsty
· Cold and exposed
· Daily pressure due to deep emotional concern for the churches

I am challenged by Paul's willingness to suffer - even unto death - for the gospel. The truth is, a real believer or follower of Christ suffers and will bear marks for the gospel.  So, I say I believe?  Show me the marks.

Pondering this truth in my heart.


What is passion?

Webster's online dictionary says this about Passion:  The sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death  It goes on to define passion in some other ways like:  intense, driving or overmastering feeling or conviction; a strong liking or desire or or devotion to some activity, object or concept.But the first definition positively, absolutely gets me.

It was Christ's passion to suffer and die for mankind.  
Wow.  Can I just repeat that?  It was Christ's passion to suffer and die for mankind - for me.  For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son...  Okay, I'm seeing these truths - thinking these truths but I have to be honest and say, this kind of passion is beyond what my human brain can wrap itself around.

Watching the movie the passion of Christ is so, so sobering because it shows in very graphic detail just how much Christ suffered. And, according to Scripture and historical details about Roman scourging, it was even worse than what we see in the movie. Tears well up in my eyes....He did nothing to deserve this kind of punishment and suffering.  But, it was Christ's passion to experience this - to suffer and die for me. Oh my goodness...on my goodness. Such truths are too marvelous for me.  I sit here in startled silence for a minute and then the words of the apostle Paul come to mind....

"...Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11

Now, that's passion.  Without this kind of passion - the passion of Christ - life is nothing.  Oh dear God - give me - give anyone reading this - passion like the passion of Christ. Put within us Christ's passion to proclaim His passion - the gospel.  Give to us Christ's passion so that we might passionately guard the gospel and passionately live lives for Christ even if it means suffering to the point of death.


Well, I do declare!

As I gather my thoughts, it's Palm Sunday, and I've been intentionally thinking on Jesus and what I believe.  So, what do I believe?

· The penalty of sin - which must be paid - is death
· I am a sinner worthy of death
· The penalty for sin was paid by Christ
· He died for my sins, was buried and raised on the third day
· Salvation is a free gift from God (saved by grace not works)
· I must believe in my heart and accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord
· Believing in my heart means my actions, my changed life lines up with my confession of faith or words
· I have eternal life, I am sealed in the Holy Spirit and all my sins forgiven

Just typing these truths causes my heart to start singing... "Jesus paid it all - all to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain, I'm washed as white as snow." My heart swells with gratitude and as I slow down long enough to savor these truths and remember...God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin on my behalf, so that I might become the righteousness of God in Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). Wow.

Well, I do declare!  Jesus is Savior and Lord.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What do you declare?

(John 1:123:16Romans 3:103:23-245:85:126:2310:8-131 Corinthians 15:1-8Ephesians 1:13-142:8-9Hebrews 9:22James 4:171 Peter 2:243:181 John 5:11-12


The Gospel!