It was not always what the Apostle said that was more precious than gold…but when he witnessed to others, it was what he didn’t say that you could take to the bank!
Many, many, many years ago, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart to strive to get an understanding about the divine information that He was about to impart to me. The Holy Spirit was acutely aware of the fact that in my adolescence years, I was labeled as an extremely gullible child. And this character trait often made me the butt of school yard bullies’ jokes. Yes, I was very naive and trusting of others, and could easily be persuaded to believe something that wasn’t true. Even my own siblings often teased me.
Another characteristic that I had was my ability to remember and recite my dreams which often got me into trouble. Probably because in my dreams I was someone who was accomplished…like a famous movie star, or a world traveler, or a gifted teacher, or a notable writer or poet, or a lady of means. And you guessed it…no body believed me or encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
But God knew my destiny and guided me all the way..
During my ensuing years, I did began to walk in my own destiny. As a young woman, I adopted my epitaph from Proverbs 4:7; “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Longevity of 22 years of gainful employment with a fortune 500 company, afforded me numerous promotions. Initially, I rose from a lowly job in the typing pool, to becoming an Executive Secretary, and after time, finally achieved the title of Building Office Manager of the company’s remote central office in another city. While in that position, I mimicked my superiors investment strategies and learned how to invest in real estate and bank securities. To memorialize my life’s journeys, which had taken so many turns, I began to write a weekly blog on a platform called WordPress. And as the Lord would have it, during my first 10 years of retirement, His spirit prompted me to become engaged in international missionary work. This calling allowed me to travel to many countries all over the world. So, needless to say, this gullible, naive and adventurous girl has lived out her destiny under the influence of her dreams and with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Now, let me share what the Apostle Paul deposited in my bank account…
Along my journey, the Holy Spirit continues to softly and tenderly speak to me. His message is for me to always present myself in a godly manner, for the Good Lord has much work for me to do in His vineyard. Examine your interactive virtues with others and do not allow your meek and mild personality to be overrun by boisterous and animated dialogue. Consider the Apostle Paul’s messages in at least four gospel letters in the New Testament:
- “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1)
- “Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)
- “Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” (Colossians 1:10)
- “Walk in a manner worthy of God.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12)
What are the two take-a-ways from these holy scriptures…
The first lesson to be learned is that the deposit slip says it all and the precious message written therein to us all is the equivalent to gold nuggets and is simply this: Always be mindful when we witness to others, to relate incidents that will come across as a duplicable task…if God did it for me, He can surely do it for you. Especially if you want to relate a supernatural experience, you must tell it the way Paul did in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. Paul presented that event as if it happened to someone else that he knew, instead of inundating the egotistical pronoun “I” repetitively.
Paul’s wise wisdom recorded in verses 6-7 helps us to understand why…”I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, but I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than he should from what he can actually see in my life and in my message. I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous, God was afraid I might be puffed up by them: so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me and prick my pride.”
The second lesson to be gleaned from Paul’s teachings is although he was a great orator, disciple, church planter and did much more to further the kingdom of God, he had a big problem. He had a defect in his body and mind. He had an impediment. And in all of Paul’s “getting”, he had not gotten an understanding about Who imposes afflictions. (Paul identified his handicap as coming from a messenger from Satan.) Paul thought he had nothing further to deposit in his bank account, so he prayed for God to withdraw it. To Paul’s deposit slip, God added His grace and told Paul that was sufficient for him to take to the bank.
God’s message to Paul and to us is to always speak modestly and not boastfully when attempting to convert nonbelievers. Allow the workings of Jesus Christ to break the bank! Why? Because if anyone should stumble on the way to the bank and misplace a nugget or two, Christ Jesus can relocate it or replace it with another gold nugget for His edification.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9b, 10
My prayer for you…My Lord, thank You for hearing our prayer. We ask You to please protect us from becoming so used to the message of salvation that we will neglect to accept it for ourselves. I beseech thee to instill in us a belief in You and not our enemies; to speak of our faith spontaneously and not in a puffed up way; to adhere to the fact that it was through Your crucifixion that You made it possible for us to be reconciled with God. Please help us to carry out these golden nuggets of truth as we proclaim Your message and take it to the bank and not keep it to ourselves. In the Precious Name of Jesus…Amen!
Scripture Lesson: “When the Gentiles heard this they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” Acts 13:48-49.
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