Sunday, March 10, 2013

THORNS

Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 12-13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Smyrna was the second city to receive a letter from the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paul's third missionary journey. Scholars believe the city grew to about 100,000 by the time of the Apostles Paul and John. That's my eldest son in the picture.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

The smaller we are in our own eyes, the bigger we see Christ to be. There’s more room for Jesus who lives in the believer when the believer does not have a large opinion of himself. We start next week in 1st Samuel where we will find King Saul. Samuel said of him, “When you were little in your eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel?” (1 Samuel 15:17). Saul became so big that he thought he no longer had to obey God. This resulted in his loss of the throne. The Apostle Paul, before his conversion, was a “Mr. Big.” He went directly to the High Priest and received the authority to persecute the Christians. We don’t know what the “thorn in the flesh” was, but we do know God gave it to him to keep him from becoming “Mr. Big” again. When Paul was “Mr. Small,” God could be “Big” in his life and ministry. Paul, a most powerful man, was blinded and confused on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). For God to be strong in Paul, he had to become weak in himself, not depending on his own abilities, but in the strength of Christ, Himself.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, Your servant Paul prayed three times for deliverance from the “thorn.” Each time You answered, “No.” Please help me to learn this difficult lesson. You said that, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). I bow at Your feet and I exalt You above all in praise and worship. Use me, O Lord, in any way You desire. In Your exalted Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There is a big man (physically) who is one of my heroes in the Christian ministry. He’s also a humble man. He would never claim any exalted status for himself, but God exalted him. Many years ago, he was elected by those of us who are his peers as our District Superintendent for Western Ontario for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. He’s over 90 now and still strong. I’m sure that if he were to write here, he would speak of weakness, and most of all he would testify to God’s strength in him. I’m referring to Rev. Homer Cantelon. His son, Jim, who hosted the 100 Huntley Street telecast for years and founded “Visionledd,” a mission to the aids sufferers of Africa, said on one occasion, “When I grow up, I want to be like Homer.” I feel the same way. I remind Homer from time to time that years ago he agreed to preach my funeral service. We have a good laugh. Here is a video of Jim interviewing his dad, Homer, a few years back on 100 Huntley Street (part one click here…part two click here). Throughout the years I’ve found humble people who may be leaders or may be every-day people. I’ve sat at their feet and learned from them. I’m still learning!

Yours for growing bigger in Christ and smaller in self,

David

 

12 thoughts on “Sunday, March 10, 2013

  1. Thanks, David. The videos of Jim interviewing his dad, Homer, were excellent!

    The truth in 2 Cor 7-10 from Paul is so clear. We are given a thorn in our flesh to keep us from exalting ourselves, and which makes us humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord. My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

    There are preachers who believe they have the power to heal people from their pain and get wrapped up in the spectacle of it, but I see the strength Paul speaks of in that our pain strengthens us. For all those who suffer, find strength by drawing into a closer and more intimate relationship with God. He is our saving grace.

    Wishing all saints a blessed day, in worship with our Lord. God’s peace and comfort to you, David, and love and joy with your family, today! So happy we get an extra hour of sunlight!! 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed listening to the interviews.
    I read and heard heard about the thorn in the flesh but never knew what it meant
    thank you for explaining it.
    Have a wonderful day in the Lord everyone.
    Lianne Hogg

  3. When we humble ourselves and open up the treasures of our hearts, we are able to reach the hearts of others in a special way; this connection can make a lifelong impact. As Christians, we can be creative with our gift of witness to others. If you have the time to watch this video, I hope that you will feel as I did, the impact of sharing your heart to a stranger that can be a lifelong memory. There is one individual in this video that was not afraid to witness his love for Jesus. It was especially meaningful to me, because I felt that Jesus was showing his love through the man’s love for Him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ

  4. Great interview, thanks for sharing. Quite a life in the “early days” for Homer Cantelon and family. In todays reading it is Interesting how Paul keeps himself in check by not denying his weaknesses and knowing his strength is from Christ. He even mentions he could be “sharp” about certain elements in the Corinthian church, but does not hold that approach. He appears to realize this would lead only to hypocrisy and chooses to boast instead of his infirmities, reminding himself of the thorn in his side which God would not remove, probably conscience. Knowing these attributes about Paul, one can only take him seriously in all he says and does proclaiming life in Christ!

    • I agree with you, David, that the thorn in one’s side often is conscience, as would have been in Paul’s case, upon realizing the truth of the Lord and knowing he previously had followers of Jesus stoned to death. His realization led him to be totally devoted to serving the Lord and leading others to be saved through Christ. Do you believe conscience is always behind the thorn in one’s side?

      • If not, than I believe one is in denial. Sin acknowledged and confessed in Christ, is separated from us as far as the east from the west. We are forgiven. However, repentance requires acknowledgement. No need to beat ourselves up, but the “thorn” serves as a reminder.

  5. Thank you for todays blog…it is always a blessing to hear you expound on the word of God! I was especially touched to hear Jim’s father Homer Cantelon interviewed. I had been sorry I missed this episode on Father’s Day and was glad to have been able to see it now. My…what a dear man…the loving exchange between father and son was a perfect example of what it must be like when our own Abba Father loves and delights over us!
    God Bless!

  6. I grew up in Manitoba. I ejoyed the interviews very much. It was interesting hearing about the qrowth of the church in hungry times. A perfect example strength in weakness.

  7. Keep up the good work David. We really enjoyed the clips “looking back” at the Cantelons. Hope you include more interesting interviews that we in the states have never been able to see. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Much love and prayers. J.R.

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