Col 1: 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body, which is the church;
The afflictions of Christ are of two categories: those for accomplishing redemption, which have been completed by Christ Himself; and those for producing and building the church, which need to be filled up by the apostles and the believers. If we desire to share in the stewardship of God, we must be prepared to suffer. We have pointed out that when we give or receive hospitality, we need to carry out our stewardship by dispensing the riches of Christ into others. However, to provide hospitality may involve a kind of suffering. In like manner, to be the guest in someone's home also may be a cause of suffering. I have been a guest in the homes of many saints. The hosts have invariably taken care of me in a marvelous way, doing everything necessary to meet my needs. Nevertheless, I suffered simply because I was not in my own home. No matter how adequate the hospitality may be, I am always glad to be back home. However, I am happy to testify that many have spoken of the nourishment, edification, and strengthening they have received through sharing in hospitality, as either a host or a guest. This indicates that to carry out the stewardship of God by dispensing the riches of Christ into the members of God's royal family is worth any kind of suffering, great or small. As we shall point out in the following message, the sufferings in which we share are for the building up of the Body of Christ. They are in no way related to the accomplishment of redemption. (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Colossians, pp. 92-93. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: email@example.com.
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