Courage in Your Calling
II Cor. 4:7-11
INTRODUCTION: The way you look at your ministry helps to determine how you will fulfill it. If you look at serving Christ as a burden instead of a privilege, you will be hindered and do only what is required of you. When Paul looked at ministry and the fact that he was called by God to serve, he was overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God.
In II Cor. 4:1, ''therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose hope.''
What ministry? A glorious ministry that according to II Cor. 3 brings men life, righteousness, and a ministry that is able to transform men's lives into being epistles of Christ.
''as we have received mercy'' - Paul viewed his ministry to be the result of God's mercy.
1 Timothy 1:12-13, ''And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.''
''we do not lose heart - none of Paul's experiences caused him to lose hope to the point that he gave in to evil or lost courage.
Paul understood verses 1 and 3 of ''Amazing Grace''
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost But now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.
I. THE CONTENT OF THE MAN OF GOD. 7
Have you ever been disappointed to receive a cheesy gift in expensive wrapping? Paul's description is the exact opposite. He received treasure in an earthen vessel (clay pot).
A. THE TREASURE.
That which is valuable and expensive; refers to Christ; to the light of the knowledge of God in Christ; to the gospel
Reminds me of the parable of Jesus and the hidden treasure.
Matthew 13:44, ''Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden ...
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