End of our journey
Yesterday as I sat to write the Lord had led me to the end of Paul's second letter to Timothy and since I did not receiving any scripture I assumed yesterday was my day of rest so I did not send any message. But today again the Lord took me to the same location so I asked the Lord what He was trying to convey to us and then I realized at the Lord was pointing to the end of the journey of Paul for the second letter of Paul is the last letter of Paul recorded in the Bible.
In a nut shell if we look at the life of Saul who became Paul, he being a (half) Jew and very learned in scriptures (Law of Moses), was yet void of the knowledge of God and became a self-righteous man. Thinking the Christians were blaspheming the holy things of God he became a religious police man and started persecuting the Christians. He was indirectly involved in the murder of Stephen. It was after that the Lord appeared to him and that became a turning point of his life. The Lord put him on a special mission to reach out to the gentiles, the rulers and the spiritual growing up in the Lord which he did very successfully.
But on his personal front Paul struggled spiritually with one area in his life and that area became the thorn to him. The grace of God was abundant on him and the Lord helped him is all areas of his life amazingly but yet the area which was a thorn to Paul, God wanted him to overcome and backed him with only His grace.
The thorn of Paul was his pride. He calmed to never have it yet it was very visible and this fight nearly took him to his death for he became physically very sick at his spiritual weakest moment. The battle was at its peak in his letters to Corinthians and the first letter exposes the low of Paul and shows him getting angry and envious even on his own spiritual son Timothy. Paul being an Apostle was trying to compare his power to preaching to the masses with Timothy who was an evangelist. Paul did a great job in building the foundations of faith of the Church of Corinthians and his letters and his personal one to one counseling to the people of Corinthians did help in that area. But his physical preaching was no match to Timothy the evangelist and this open comparison by the people got Paul angry even though a person fell from a height and died during one of Paul's long boring preaching.
Latter in the second latter Paul is shown overcoming his thorn and the proof of it is in his last letter to Timothy where he acknowledges Timothy as a spiritually grown Evangelist, giving him directions of how to go about with his calling and from being his spiritual son started refers to him as an associate.
So we see Paul had 2 journeys in his life one his calling as an Apostle and second his personal spiritual walk in the Lord. In his calling Paul was on total fire and did not face any problems but in his spiritual walk he struggled in the start and was not even confident of entering Heaven even though he was instrument in bringing many to the Lord, but at the end when he overcame the area which the Lord wanted him to overcome he was totally confident to be in Heaven when Jesus Christ comes again to receive us. Not only confident of entering Heaven, Paul also had an idea of what was going to be his reward in Heaven.
We too are one day doing to come to an end of our journey on earth; we may not have the time like Paul had in jail to reflect on his walk with the Lord. We may have done great work in the Lord, witnessing Him, bringing His Word unto His people, healing people, performing great miracles etc. Yet unless we have not overcome our flesh with the teachings of Jesus Christ Who is a living Word then our entering Heaven is not assured.
The Lord desires today we take the time to reflect on these urgent matters for some brethrens among us may not have the gift of time for long to do it again, for we never know when the breathe of life can leave us any time.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You made us in this flesh to overcome it and by the light of the Truth to let darkness be removed forever. Even when the world was not in forma and darkness covered the lower heavens You saw light. You planned this light to work in man and made him to be part of your glory. Lord, your wisdom is beyond any human understanding yet You make way simple for those who trust in You. Lord, help us be your vessels for your glorious plan and to be forever with You in your glory...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
10 and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
11 "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
2 Corinthians 10:8-11
8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
2 Corinthians 12:4-10
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Timothy 4:5-8
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
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