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July 8 – Rejoicing in suffering for preaching

“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,” – Colossians 1:24–25

Scripture reading: Colossians 1:24-29

It was a fantastic time in world history, let alone church history. Jesus sent men into communities that had never heard the good news. Walls were falling, hearts were changing, and the Kingdom of God was growing. Although Paul is likely in prison while writing to the Colossians, he can rejoice. The Lord fills Paul with joy as the gospel goes forward and the mystery is revealed.

What is that mystery? Paul writes that it is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The Greeks loved their glory, power politics, the arts and culture. The Jews dreamed of a past glory of a Davidic Kingdom. How many dream of glory and fame today? But what is genuine glory? It is faith! It is Christ in us. The love of God gives us hope both for this life and for eternity. Yes, Paul can rejoice in a prison cell!

You are part of Jesus’s mission to the world. We give and pray for missions. We call and pray for preachers who bring the Word. If this preaching has changed you, your life will show it. Your life must show it. We have been perfected and are being perfected by the cross of Christ, which Paul preached then and the church preaches now. We could hear it yesterday by God’s grace. We rejoice.

Let us pray for men to be called to continue the joyful work of preaching the good news of the death and resurrection of the Son of God that the mystery may be made known to all the world.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord will give many opportunities for the gospel to be preached this week. Ask that He will provide you with an opportunity to share the Gospel. Finally, pray that the Lord will create and call men to be preachers.

Pastor Al Bezuyen is married to Sanya and has been blessed with six children and two grandchildren. He is a Mid-America Reformed Seminary graduate serving at the Zion United Reformed Church of Sheffield, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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