Thursday, February 01, 2007

Phillipians 1:27 the Message

there's far more to this life than trusting Christ, there's also suffering for Him, and the suffering is as much of a gift as the trusting.
What is suffering for Christ? I've always assumed that it is a physical suffering, as in, being nailed, stoned, exiled, pulled apart by horses and son on, but I wonder, could it be something more?

Sharing in the sufferings of Christ. What were His sufferings? Sure, He suffered on the cross - no argument there, but what if we're meant to share in the sufferings of His heart?

He suffered every time His people (Israel) didn't understand Him or His teachings. He suffered every time they overlooked their God, their Maker, for some flashy idol or hot new pagan sacrificial act.
He suffered every time their faith fell short, even in those who had seen Him do miracles first hand.
He suffered when there was a lack of love for mankind, even among His disciples - those who were partaking of 24-7 mentoring from the Big Guy, Himself.

What if it's additionally about a suffering of the heart? Bearing His burden of intercession for the people?

So when others are hurting, we'd hurt just like He hurts.
When others are dying, forgotten, abandoned, we'd hurt just like He hurts.
When others are accused or accusing, injust and oppressed, we'd hurt just like He hurts.

Maybe that's the whole point of all of this. This love. This Christlike love. Sacrificial love. Put your needs before mine love. Bear your burden even when it's really heavy and it brings me down love.

"38But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism [of affliction] with which I am baptized?
39And they replied to Him, We are able. And Jesus told them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized..." Mark 10:38-39 Amplified Bible

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