Today we continue to teach on our overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.” In this series, we studied 2 Corinthians 3 and for the last few days, we have been looking at chapter 4. In our last message, we looked at verse 10. Let’s go back to that same verse today.
(2 Corinthians 4:10 Easy to Read Version)
10 So we constantly experience the death of Jesus in our own bodies, but this is so that the life of Jesus can also be seen in our bodies.
Let’s read this statement from two other translations. The New International Version reads, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” The Passion Bible reads, “We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.”
Reading and meditating on this verse reminds me of something Paul said in his letter to the believers in Philippi. He said, “All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him from death. I want to share in his sufferings and be like him even in his death. Then there is hope that I myself will somehow be raised from death.” (Phil 3:10,11 ERV).
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Resurrection power and earthly suffering come as a package deal.
a) The Apostle Paul and many of his contemporaries (first-century believers) were persecuted for the cause of Christ. The same misaligned energy that led to Jesus’ death was carried over to the followers of Jesus throughout the establishment of the early church. People were persecuted for believing in a man who died and rose again. Paul, and the believers of his time, wanted dearly to experience the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. Paul told us that without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. Without the resurrection, everything we do is in vain (1 Cor 15:14). So experiencing God’s resurrection power was one of the major goals of early believers. Paul explained that in order to experience the power of the resurrection, we must also be willing to experience the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings.
b) The resurrection power of Jesus and the fellowship in the sufferings He experienced are inextricably linked. Believers today want power, but many don’t want sufferings. You can’t have one without the other.
c) If you want to walk in the power Jesus walked in, you must be prepared to experience the opposition He experienced while He was on the earth.
d) Both power and prosperity come with persecution. If you are going to operate in the supernatural, allowing God to use you to do things that are clearly beyond the limits of humanity, people are going to talk about you. Further, if you are going to experience divine success, and allow God to use you to accomplish all He birthed you to accomplish, you are going to face opposition. Satan is not going to idly sit by and watch as God uses you to change the world. So in order to be divinely impactful on this planet, you must come to the realization that worldly persecution on this planet will be part of the process.
2. Divine perseverance puts the life of Jesus on display in your life.
a) People criticize what they do not understand. This is why they fought against Jesus. This is also why, when you truly start operating in supernatural power and/or experiencing supernatural success, people will talk about you. You have to be okay with it. Their poison cannot stop your purpose. You cannot be moved by what they say. You have to know that persecution is part of the package. If you want the power of Jesus, you must be willing to experience suffering with Him. But if you press through the opposition, by the grace of God, the GLORY of God will be on display in, with, and through your life!
b) When we experience both the power of Jesus and the suffering of Jesus in our own bodies, the Bible tells us that Jesus’ life will be on display through our own bodies. This is the goal. We want to display Jesus to this world every day. In order to do it, we just have to know that success comes with suffering and prosperity comes with persecution.
c) You cannot be moved by what you face. You cannot be moved by the opposition. The goal is to ONLY be moved by God! Be led by the Holy Spirit in all things, and when He tells you something, you have to meditate and meditate on it day and night. You have to consider it, ponder it, and give it significant thought, so that it will become MORE REAL to you than what you see, down here, in this world. When what God said is more real to you than what you see, it does not matter how much persecution or opposition the enemy brings your way, YOU WILL NOT BE MOVED!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I want to know You. I want to experience You in the most intimate way. I am open to experience the power of the resurrection. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is flowing in me. I shall experience this power every day, in every way. I know that in order to experience Jesus’ power, I have to be willing to experience Jesus’ sufferings. I am. The world may talk about me. They may rise up against me. They may actively persecute me. But I shall NOT be moved! I am prepared to face and overcome any persecution or opposition I face. I will do this by Your grace and I will do this for Your glory! Nothing and no one can stop me. Because You are IN me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!