TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL

A Wide and Effective Door

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018

1 Corinthians 16 : 5-24

“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1Cor.16:9

The recent readings helped us focus on i) the purpose of Christian life—Christ-likeness and ii)Jesus Christ—the open door. We understand that Jesus Christ is the door opened, to enter and find life in abundance and fulfillment of our God-given purpose. When we truly acknowledge the above two principles and appropriate them in our lives, then we begin a process of transformation in us, which will continue until the glorious coming of Jesus Christ to gather His Church. We draw energy for a Christ-like life from the Source of abundant life: “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” and “…if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies though His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom.8:10;11). When we allow Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we operate in divine power to achieve the divine purpose for our lives.

Apostle Paul is such an example who pursued his divine calling.  What was the heavenly vision (Acts 26:19) Paul was referring to? 1 Cor.9:16: “… for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.”  He continues in Vs.23, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” This divine vision of preaching the gospel to all people, must become the vision of each of us.

Paul states in the key verse that a great and effective door has opened for him, but there are many adversaries. It is always exciting to know about open doors for Gospel, but we should not be unaware of the resistance! Opportunities always meet with opposition! The door that Paul refers to, is the door of evangelism. But to effectively carry out evangelization, we need to know how to handle opposition:

1) Strength from the Lord- Without the Lord’s strength Paul would not have been able to do His mission.

  • “…the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” (2 Tim 4:17)

  • “… for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:10)

  • …the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. (Mark 16:20)

  • Jesus said, “I will be with you …” (Matt.28:20)

  2) Support Group - Paul received support in prayer, in provisions and being hosted in his missionary journeys.

  • Support in Prayer: “… to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me…” (Rom.15:30)

  • Support in Provision- several churches contributed to the ministry of Paul though he also worked for himself sometime. (2Cor.11:9)

  • Support in hosting- the Philippian church was best being a great support to Paul (Phil.4)

3) Supplication (Prayer) – Constant prayer is part of the effective work of the gospel.

  • Devout Prayer- Committed in prayer: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well…”(Col.4:2)

  • Fervent Prayer – having the zeal and faith to see people saved (Rom.10:1)

  • Pray with Tears – “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Ps.126:5)

As we look forward to wide and effective doors for the gospel in the coming year may we understand that the opposition to them can be overcome with the above measures and may we become effective in the Lord’s vineyard in the coming year!

Thought for the day - “…I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”(1 Cor.9:22)

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