Text: “Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the Word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all thing.”
2 Corinthians 6:3-10.
Good morning, Christian ‘Waiters’ of God! As previously stated in a preceding Bible Exposition, “…we are called by the Lord God to be waiters in the service of the Living Lord Jesus Christ; waiters on God, and sent from God, who must deliver a profound service to the immortal souls of both women and men.” However, by forty years of frontline experience as one who would seek to be such a ‘waiter’ for God, I can testify today that, such Christian ‘waiters’ must fully expect to receive the harshest oppositions to our service for Christ – and not all coming from Satanic, or worldly sources!
Sad to say, some of the cruellest oppositions I have experienced over forty years of Christian service as a Gospel ‘waiter’ have come from others professing to own Christ as their Lord!
See ‘The Church Shoots its Own Wounded’ by Dr C.K. McClinton featured on www.ulsterchristians.org , quoted below:
“Good morning, wounded Christian! You may have got yourself caught up in some foolishness and sin; and as a result you are lying battered and Spiritually bruised, with your Spiritual armour hung up so tight in a closet that you fear you may never fight in the great Spiritual Battle again. If this describes you today, beloved in Christ, read on, for the author has both good news for you, and a dire warning as to how you proceed.
The Lord God will ALWAYS hear your repentant cry, but be careful how you approach other believers with your problem - for many within the professing Christian church worldwide today have a tendency to ’shoot their own wounded’!
“I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.” (Lamentations 3:14)
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
When reproached, opposed, and hindered by anti-Christian enemies - the world, the flesh, the Devil - we can rejoice; we can rejoice to know that the power of God within us is being used by the Lord Who indwells us to be ‘salt and light’ among a world of Spiritual darkness and increased depravity.
However, when our professing ‘Christian’ neighbours especially set out to reproach us, oppose us, or downright hinder our labours for Christ Jesus - it is especially hard to bear! Self-righteousness is rampant within the professing Christian church worldwide, and self-righteousness will always seek to score points rather than encourage true restoration in love.
There are some that will seek to find faults. There are others who will see faults and seek to address them in Christ-like love and compassion. I wonder, dear friend, which type of Christian are YOU and I?
Verse 11. “I was a reproach among all mine enemies. They were pleased to have something to throw at me; my mournful estate was music to them, because they maliciously interpreted it to be a judgment from Heaven upon me. Reproach is little thought of by those who are not called to endure it, but he who passes under its lash knows how deep it wounds. The best of men may have the bitterest of foes and be subjected to the most cruel taunts.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 150)”
If we would aspire to be ‘Christian waiters’ in the special service of King Jesus Christ – then you and I must be prepared for all types of harsh treatment and deep and serious oppositions. However, praise God, our Eternal Salvation depends not upon what other mere mortals do, or say, or think about us – our soul’s Salvation is built upon an unmovable ROCK.
Verse 2. “He (Christ Jesus) is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. David had often lain concealed in rocky caverns, and here he compares his God to such a secure refuge.
“Verse 2. I shall not be greatly moved. ‘Moved,’ as one says, ‘but not removed.’ Moved like a ship at anchor, which swings with the tide but is not swept away by the tempest. When a man knows assuredly that the Lord is his Salvation, he cannot be very much cast down: it would need more than all the devils in Hell to greatly alarm a heart which knows God to be its Salvation.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 270)
Christian ‘waiters’ in service to the Living Lord Jesus, shall always have the deadliest of oppositions: oppositions from the world of the unsaved; oppositions from the very pit of Hell and the Devil himself; oppositions from his/her own treacherous, and fallen nature within - the flesh. Of this fact we must, not only be aware, but also ready and prepared to face. Paul, in today’s Bible text, lists just some of the grave oppositions he faced as an Apostolic ‘waiter’ in Christ’s service:
“…in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the Word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all thing.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
Thought: Verse 3. “How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? …If there were any shame in Satan, or in his children, they would be ashamed of the dastardly manner in which they have waged war against ‘the seed of the woman…” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 270-271) Praise God, for we have victory in Christ Jesus, our Living Rock!