Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.
I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
1 Corinthians 4:8-20 this is a difficult thing to write, but I write it in love. Why is it difficult? Because I am not an "itching ears" preacher, but instead must speak the truth. Many who claim Christ only want to be comforted, only want to sail in smooth waters, and only wish to hear what builds up. Yet that is not true love. We have moved from a Kingdom imperishable to enjoying the luxuries of this life! We have sought after worldly goods and riches, forsaking the eternal riches that Christ has for us when we see Him again! Fear of losing all we have has paralyzed us from doing the Kingdom work. Church, if you wish a comfortable life, it is not found on or in the cross. This week, as a friend has pointed out, Satan has been using people to attack me, personally, and in many other ways. When I called him for prayer, he reminded me (through the Spirit...God is AWESOME) that when we are doing what God wants, Satan will do all he can to discourage us, and to pull us away from God's Kingdom Call. So I urge you all, please know that this world, all in it, WILL pass away. Our toys, our houses, even our relationships will be ended when our physical bodies finally give way and our Spirit moves on to what is next. What will you hear on that day? Will it be "well done" or "I never knew you"? How can we hear the first and not the second greeting when we meet Jesus face to face? It is by building His Kingdom, here and now, storing for ourselves treasures in Heaven, that we will hear the blessed words. It is by focusing on what lies ahead, loving our neighbors eternity enough to face persecution, and yes, even die for them (should it come to it), like Jesus did, that will gain us those eternal treasures. It is by loving Jesus enough to be like Him, as imperfect as we are, by letting His Holy Spirit transform us as we surrender to our Lord and Master that builds the Kingdom. Otherwise, we're building our foundations on sand, and great will be the fall of our own houses.