A Spectacle Unto the World

God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake….  —1 Corinthians 4:9-13

The apostle Paul paints a vivid picture of the trials and suffering of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. It is an encouragement and challenge to devoted ministers of the gospel.

Paul alludes to the Roman practice of bringing gladiators, armed with weapons, into the amphitheaters to fight wild beasts. If the gladiators survived, they were later disarmed and left defenseless before beast and man to be killed. If they escaped, they were eventually forced to contend with another assailant that would bring certain death. Ministers of the gospel may as Paul suffer many trials, persecutions, false accusations, poverty, and sufferings in this life; but it is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.Read more

Beseeching God

And Moses besought the LORD his God…. —Exodus 32:11

When Moses obtained the law from God on Mount Sinai and descended the mountain, he discovered that the people had turned away from God and were worshipping a golden calf. God’s anger was stirred, and He told Moses He was going to destroy the people. Moses besought the Lord and entreated Him to have mercy and turn away from His wrath.Read more

In the Name of Jesus

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. —Acts 3:6

When the lame man at the gate of the temple looked to Peter and John expecting to receive alms, they lifted him up in the name of Jesus, and the man was divinely healed. The people marveled and Peter informed them that it was not their own power or holiness which made the man to walk. “Faith in his name hath made this man strong.” Healing came through faith in the name of Jesus.Read more

Receive Ye One Another

Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. —Romans 15:7

Christ extends friendship and warmth to people of all nationalities, tongues, and races. He has accepted people of diverse personalities and backgrounds. Christ received us in our brokenness and poverty. In His love, He reached down to us in our lost condition and raised us up by His grace. While salvation brings a radical change in our lives, we are all still left with our unique personalities and quirks. We are left with our human perspectives and weaknesses. With all of that, Christ still receives us and accepts us in His great love. We are longer outcasts and foreigners but citizens of the Kingdom of God.

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Let Me See Jesus Only

And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. —Matthew 17:8

Jesus, on the mount of transfiguration, communed with Moses and Elijah—Moses represented the law, Elijah the prophets, and Jesus the new dispensation of grace. In His awe and enthusiasm, Peter offered to make three tabernacles, one for each of them. A bright cloud overshadowed them and the Father spoke: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (v5). In fear, the disciples fell on their faces. When they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save Jesus only.Read more