2 Corinthians 11:24-25 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
Philippians 1:20– I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Reflection: What motivates YOU? Have you ever considered the hardships & persecutions that Paul faced in order to preach the gospel? What made Paul so bold & courageous in his faith?
Stand up! Get up! And GO!
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 – 4 And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], 5 So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God
Proverbs 18:21 – 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]
Reflection: Paul, an ordinary man, touched by God's power to become a mighty man of God, knew that what he spoke & what he preached must be by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit & power! He knew that his words alone would not affect nor draw those that were looking for a Savior,because they had no power to do so. He knew that the message he was preaching was not to impress others, with fancy words of wisdom! He also knew that to send forth a message without the demonstration of the Holy Spirit & power,people’s hearts would not be touched & changed nor would they repent & turn from their sins. He didn’t want those that would hear him speak or preach to put their faith in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God! That is why Paul never preached a weak, watered down, apathetic, compromising, greasy grace, everything goes, message! He preached by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit & power!