For Real this Time

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Ok, this post is for real. I actually have something to say and I feel like writing. This was an amazing weekend as my family (aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother) came into town. Besides all the free meals, it is always fun to have family in town to hang out with. We had a good time. And my grandma gave me money for my birthday. Bonus.

A line of the song "In Christ Alone" struck me when we were singing it the other day, especially in relation to Johnnie's message. Johnnie spoke of suffering for Christ. The line was "Here in the death of Christ, I live". It hit my right in the chest, and it knocked me down. Because Jesus died, I have life, and he suffered for me. Why should I not suffer for him? Why do I have any right to my life?

Please read this: I think it is my favorite passage of Paul's.

II Cor. 11:16-31
"I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying."

Unfortunately, you cannot just pretend those verses are not in there. It prompts many interesting questions. Do you have to be beaten like Paul was to be a good Christian? Do you have to live a poor life and give up everything? If I wholly gave myself over to God, what would He do with my life?

I am only a man. As was Paul. Jesus can use me like He used Paul. It is honestly scary to think about. I feel like I am becoming a radical.

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