July 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
We measure the worth of a hidden treasure by what we will gladly sell to buy it (71).
Loss and suffering, joyfully accepted for the kingdom of God, show the supremacy of God’s worth more clearly in the world than all worship and prayer (71).
…portray the life of the missionary as a life of constant warfare in the soul, not a life of uninterrupted calm (72).
Some suffering is the calling of every believer but especially of those God calls to bear the gospel to the unreached (74).
“The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ (74).” Bonhoeffer
…fundamental differences between Christian martyrs and those who have gained notoriety through terrorism (74, 75)…
- the life of a Christian martyr is taken by those whom he wants to save
- Christian martyrs do not pursue death; they pursue love
- It (the kingdom of God) advances by suffering to bring life, not suffering to cause death (Mark 10:45, Col. 1:24)
To choose Christ is to choose death, or the very high risk of death (75)
There was a divine necessity on Christ to suffer (76).
Christ died for us so that we would not have to die for sin, not so that we would not have to die for others (77).
I do not need to cling any longer to the comforts of earth in order to be content. I am free to let things go for the sake of making the supremacy of God’s worth known (77).
Peter shows us the connection between the death of Christ as a substitution to be received and a pattern to be followed (1 Peter 2:20-21). (77)
The pattern we follow is not the atonement but the love and the pain (77).
The way Christ lived and suffered and died places a calling on us to show with our lives the supremacy of his love by living in the same way (78).
The suffering of Christ is a call for a certain mind-set toward suffering, namely, that it is normal and that the path of love and missions will often require it (78).
…preparation for suffering which must start now (79).
…the road to the kingdom is the Calvary road (79).
It does not say, since he suffered for us, therefore we can have an easy life free from suffering and abuse and danger (80).
…I believe God is calling us to arm ourselves with this very thought: Christ suffered outside the gate brutally and without justice, leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps (81).
Not everyone will hear the same call. Yours will be unique (82).
God knocked the props of life out from under Paul’s heart so that he would have no choice but to fall on God and receive his hope from the promise of the resurrection (86).
…suffering is a primary means of building compassion into the lives of God’s servants (86).
…one of the aims of God in the suffering of the saints is to enlarge their capacity to enjoy his glory both here and in the age to come (89).
Christ’s afflictions are not lacking in their atoning sufficiency. They are lacking in that they are not known and felt by people who were not at the cross. Paul dedicates himself not only to carry the message of those sufferings to the nations but also to suffer with Christ and for Christ in such a say so that what people see are “Christ’s sufferings.” (92)
What obedience will not achieve, persecution will (94).
The lesson is also that comfort and ease and affluence and prosperity and safety and freedom often cause a tremendous inertia in the church. The very things that we think would produce personnel, energy, and creative investment of time and money for the missionary cause instead produce the exact opposite: weakness, apathy, lethargy, self-centeredness, preoccupation with security (95).
The point is that we should be wary of prosperity, excessive ease, comfort, and affluence (95).
…imprisonment was for the advancement of the gospel (98).
In many places in the world, the words of Jesus are as radically relevant as if they had been spoken yesterday (98).
The reason God wants such reliance is because this kind of trust shows his supreme power and love to sustain us when we can’t do anything to sustain ourselves (99).
God ordains suffering because through all the other reasons it displays to the world the supremacy of his worth above all treasures (99).
The supremacy of God’s worth shines through the pain that his people will gladly bear for his name (99).
…there is a relentless call in the Bible not to accumulate more and more things but to give more and more and to be deprived of things if love demands it (100).
…suffering with joy, not gratitude in wealth, is the way the worth of Jesus shines most brightly (101).
…gratitude for gifts does not prove that the giver is precious. What proves that the giver is precious is the glad-hearted readiness to leave all his gifts to be with him (101).
…worship means cherishing the preciousness of God above all else, including life itself (101).
…suffering severs our bondage to the world (101).
…the world should see a different hope in the lives of Christians – not the hope in the security of money or the security of power or the security of houses or lands or portfolios but in the security of “the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). (101)
…refined gold of “genuine faith” (1 Peter 1:7). (101)
Do military officers retire in the middle of a war? (104)
…resting, playing, traveling, and so on – the world’s substitute for heaven, because they do not believe that there will be one beyond the grave (105).
Millions of “retired” people should be engagede at all levels of intensity in hundreds of assignments around the world (106).
Christ is calling his church to a radical, wartime engagement in world missions (107).
…the way of love is both the way of self-denial and the way of ultimate joy (107).
God is most glorified in use when we are most satisfied in him. And the supremacy of that glory shines most brightly when the satisfaction that we have in him endures in spite of suffering and pain in the mission of love (107).