Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. – Colossians 1:24
Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 11:21b-29
What does it cost you to live a life worthy of being in Christ, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and increasing in the knowledge of God?
If we were to ask Paul, we know what he would say. Living a life worthy of being in Christ costs him a lot of suffering. The Lord Jesus Christ had warned the people of His day that this would be the case when He said: “Whoever does not bear His own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). The Lord Jesus appeared to Ananias in a vision and told him to tell Saul (Paul) that He would show him just how much he was going to have to suffer for the sake of His name (Acts 9:16). In our Scripture reading Paul shares with the Corinthians how much he has indeed suffered for Christ.
Paul had just urged the Colossians to persevere in the Christian faith, being steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which had been proclaimed in all creation and of which he had become a minister. While he had written this, he was in prison in Caesarea, waiting to be transferred to Rome. Who knows what further suffering awaited him for living a life worthy of being in Christ, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and increasing in the knowledge of God? What does it cost you to live a life worthy of being in Christ?
Suggestions for prayer
Ask your heavenly Father to be willing to count the cost for following the Lord Jesus and then to grant you the strength for doing so.