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“Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.”
2 Corinthians 11:23-30 NLT
Reading the Scripture above, we are quickened in our spirits that we may not be where we need to be in our relationship with Christ. We complain, focus on the wrong things too much, and are consumed with lust for material things and many others. Paul was stoned, shipwrecked, in danger, and most of the time, we complain about not getting our way. What was the difference between us and Paul? How can we become more like Him in his pursuit of Christ? The difference is that Paul was dead to his flesh. A dead person doesn’t get offended, isn’t shaken by pain, danger, or death. A dead person is fully alive to Christ, and their flesh is laid upon the altar as a sacrifice to God. Every day we must make a choice to die to ourselves and live unto God. This year, how will you pick up your cross and follow Him? How will you become a dead man walking?
Share about how Christ made you a new creation in Him.
Are you daily connected to the vine, Jesus? Have you been disconnected from Him at all lately, and if so, why do you think this is?
Share about a way you have had to die to your flesh in the past and how it affected your relationship with God.
Paul and the disciples were dead men walking. In what ways do you need to die to your flesh this year in order to glorify Christ?