Sunday, January 25, 2015
Today I was reading 2 Corinthians chapter eleven.
And as I was meditating on each phrase and sentence, I could not help but compare the Apostle Paul with modern preachers, especially those who claim the title of "Apostle".
This is the list Paul made of his life. Compare his experience with the life of the average American pastor: a fancy parsonage, a plush salary, travel expenses, entitlements, etc., etc.
1. Served Him far more.
2. Worked harder.
3. In prison more often.
4. Whipped times without number.
5. Faced death again and again.
6. Five times Jewish leaders gave me 39 lashes--195 in all.
7. Three times I was beaten with rods.
8. I was stoned once.
9. I was shipwrecked three times.
10. A night and a day I was adrift at sea.
11. I was on many long journeys.
12. I was in danger from rivers.
13. I was in danger from robbers.
14. I was in danger from the Jews.
15. I was in danger from Gentiles.
16. I was in danger in the cities.
17. I was in danger in the deserts.
18. I was in danger on the seas.
19. I was in danger from false believers.
20. I worked hard and long.
21. I had many sleepless nights.
22. I was hungry.
23. I was thirsty.
24. I went without food.
25. I shivered in the cold.
26. I did not have enough clothing to keep me warm.
27. I had the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.
28. In Damascus I was lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape the guards of King Aretas.
29. I had visions and revelations.
30. I was caught up to the third heaven.
Is anyone still complaining?
And God predicted exactly what Paul's life would be like in Acts 9:15b, "And I will show him (Paul) how much he must suffer for my name's sake."
I wonder how many men would "enter the ministry" if they knew ahead of time that they would face sufferings similar to this!
Bible trivia: How old was Benjamin when he moved to Egypt and was reunited with Joseph?
Oh . . . by the way . . . Paul was a Jew!