09 Oct 2022

Parades & Perfume – The Apostolic Ministry [2Corinthians 2:12-17]


Paul introduces the Apostolic ministry using 2 pictures- a triumphal procession and the spread of aroma. 1. The Apostle is likened to a captive in chains in the Roman triumphal procession. 2. A conquered enemy in captivity brings glory to the Roman General. 3. An apostle is like that conquered enemy that brings glory to God. 4. Paul says in effect the glory and power of God is displayed through the suffering and weakness of the Apostles. 5. This is the Paradox of Ministry. 6. So, far from pomp and pride, the apostles realise they are jars of clay.  7. God has chosen to amplify His power & glory through the weakness of His servants. 8. Ministry is not where we "live it up", but where one dies to self for God's glory. 9. As John said, "He must increase, and I must decrease. " 10. The Apostle is likened to the spread of aroma. 11. The Purpose of Ministry is to spread the knowledge of God. 12. And whilst not all will repent and receive the gospel, one must be loyal and faithful to the message. 13. The most important thing in ministry is faithfulness to God's word. But finally, let us also note the Privilege of Ministry. Far from being upset or discouraged by the sufferings, Paul gives thanks to God in v14 for the ministry.



Sermon Transcript

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Well, today we are looking into the book of 2nd Corinthians and chapter 2. And really, this is our 4th sermon in this series.

We have noticed that this letter was written by Paul the Apostle to the church at Corinth, so the book of Corinthians, the 2nd letter that is given to us in the Bible, so 2nd Corinthians.

We noted that the Corinthians were a rather fault finding people, they didn't like their pastor, the apostle Paul, and they tried to find many ways to discredit him.

They didn't like the fact that he was maybe weak in bodily presence. They thought that he was not very eloquent and his speech was contemptible. They think that he should have come to them with some official letters of commendation. They also thought that he did not do as many miracles as maybe some of the false teachers, the super apostles claimed they could do.

They also think that his life was too, if I may say in our modern Singapore vernacular, "Cham, chi cham, because he had so many sufferings, and as a servant of God, surely you should not be so cham, you should not be so suay." They also said that Paul lacked integrity, he was not reliable, because he said that he would visit them, but he did not do so.

Paul, as you remembered was defending his integrity earlier on in chapter 2. He said that, "Yes, whilst there was a change of plans; I did not get to you, there was never a change of heart. I was not deceitful nor disingenuous when I said I really wanted to visit you, but I changed the plans because it was for your best interests. It was for your good, I wanted to give you space and time to repent, because I did not want my visit to be an unpleasant one."

Today, we come back to that continuation of that defense of integrity, when Paul says, "When I came to Troas to preach the Gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia." [2 Cor 2:12-13]

He said, "I did not find my brother Titus there, that is the problem here." You say, "Why the issue?" Well, Paul had earlier written a letter, a severe a tearful letter to the Corinthians to urge them to repent. And he sent this letter by via the hands of Titus, so he was eager to await the outcome of how the Corinthians would treat this message from Paul.

And so when he couldn't find Titus, and couldn't hear about what's going on in the church at Corinth, he was troubled. He was so bothered, he was so restless, that even though there was a great open door for him to preach the Gospel at Troas, many people probably are responding to the Gospel message, he could not carry on there, but he would move on to Macedonia hoping to meet Titus there, and to find out what's happening.

Oh, if only in those days, they have WhatsApp and emails, then he wouldn't need to leave Troas, but he couldn't! So Paul gave us a snippet, an insight into his heart for the people at Corinth. He was not deceitful towards them, he was not dismissive towards them. He really cared for them, to the degree he would have to give up a wonderful open opportunity at Troas.

From this defense, we will next read about Titus only in chapter 7. So there's a long stretch, we're at chapter 2, alright. But only in chapter 7, verse 5 will we know the outcome of his meet up with Titus. So from now chapter 2, verse 14, onwards to chapter 7, verse 4, that's a long four chapters, five chapters or so, it will be about Paul explaining his ministry. It will be Paul telling the Corinthians about what it means to be an apostle, a messenger of God, a leader sent by God to establish churches in their day.

So this is going to be a long passage, but we are today only looking at this main verse. Now, of course, we're going to look on to verse 17, but the main focus of attention will be verse 14. Verse 14 is like that introduction to what it means to be an apostle. He's going to talk a lot from Chapter 2 to 7, as I've mentioned, but this gives you a wonderful summary, a crystallization of what it means to be an apostle. It's a rich verse!

"But thanks be to God who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere." [2 Cor 2:14]

Well, it's just here, one sentence, one verse, but we're going to take our entire time remaining to really understand what this is all about. And it's a really loaded, rich text.

On Friday, I read the news about this man, I saw his picture there. And it was a story that says, "My wife and I live in block 116 Marsiling Rise ..." Any one of you stay around there?
"... She was spring cleaning, and she threw my old clothes into a rubbish bin on the ground floor." You say, "What! This kind of story can come into the news! What's so special?"

Well, the next line will tell you what so special, "One of the long sleeved shirts had 14 $1,000 note in the pocket." By the way, he could not find the clothes anymore, and again in Singaporean language, this is really kek sim. This is really sim tiah, oh, how his heart must bleed — $14,000 thrown!

You say, "Why?" Because the wife didn't know, the wife didn't know that he had painstakingly saved his money in these shirts stacked there. And she threw it all away, because she thought there was nothing in it.

I say all that because today, people may look at this stack of words, and think there's nothing in it, let's throw it into the rubbish bin. Isn't it so, many times we read a story or passage like this, verses like this and we, can't quite figure out, don't think there's too much, let's move on? And so it's never really settled in our minds, in our hearts, and we really miss out treasures in God's Word.

So today, we're going to go to the rubbish dump, huh. Go through the stack of clothes and hopefully lift up that $14,000 for you, if I may say so.

So, the introduction to the ministry of an apostle is given in two pictures. Paul gives two images, that gives you two important concepts, big ideas, philosophies about the apostolic ministry.

The first is that of a triumphal procession. This is a parade, this is something that is familiar to the people in those days. Now, in Singapore today and in Malaysia, we also have our parades, isn't it? We have the Chingay Parade and the Chingay Parade was originally in Malaysia and Singapore, a celebration of Chinese New Year, the deities and the gods that are represented in the Chinese pantheon of deities.

Over the recent years, it has, I think, evolved to celebrate a lot more on multiculturalism. So that's the parade that people are familiar with here in Singapore and maybe your NDP, National Day Parade as well, a celebration of our nation's independence.

But the parade that Paul is talking about is not about deities or about independence, but the triumphal procession, as the name goes, is a celebration of triumph in battle, in war. If a general wins a significant battle, he comes back and there will be a parade to celebrate that victory. So the general will come, and there will be musicians, dancers, there'll be oxen sacrificed, there will be incense offered up by priests to their gods, like Jupiter, there'll be a lot of celebration.

But soon or very close to the Roman soldiers and officers, right at the end will be a trail of captives. These were the enemies who fought the Roman Empire, they will be chained and they will be led in this procession. So there will be lot of pomp and glory and these captives will be led ultimately to public execution. And so these captives, formerly enemies, now the conquered ones, also are part of this parade, so that people would see the power and might of the Roman Empire and the Roman General.

Paul says, "Thanks be to God who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession." So he says, "The apostles are part of this triumphal procession." That's the idea, that's the image, that's the picture! But you say, "What role do the apostles play in this triumphal procession?"

John Calvin, he says that, "The apostles are like part of the Roman soldiers, legion, they are the victorious ones." Because he cannot understand how, when he reads this verse, and understands it in the Greek original, could mean that the apostles were the captives. So he refused to accept that this is referring to apostles as conquered enemies, now captives.

Whilst John Calvin is a man respected by many, in this part, I think many other commentators and pastors will differ. Because the Greek text exactly says, "God leads us, Paul and his comrades, his fellow laborers as captives in triumphal procession." That's the Greek!

Now, this word just to back up what I've just mentioned, is only mentioned two times in the entire New Testament, once here and the other time in Colossians 2:15, "He disarmed, that is God disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in Him."

Now, the rulers and authorities in that context of Colossians 2 is the demonic forces. So, God triumphed over the demons just as God triumphs over us in 2nd Corinthians. So the idea here is very interesting, the triumphal procession is the picture Paul uses to describe apostles, now, captives in this display and parade that glorifies God.

If it is not clear, I have written it down in this way — we, that is Paul and his comrades, who were formerly the enemies of God, are now captives in a display that glorifies Him.

[1] The Paradox of Ministry
And this is really the paradox of ministry. A paradox is something that on the surface doesn't make sense. Huh, it's so weird, I thought, we are serving the King of kings, the Lord of lords, yes, we are. But the paradox is that those who serve God, suffer.

Those who serve God and display His glory are those who will be humbled, and those who will be put through weakness and afflictions. That's the paradox, the glory and the power of God is seen through the suffering and the weakness of His servants.

That's ... that's so bizarre to us, because we think that if we serve a powerful nation, let's say you are an ambassador of the United States of America, you wouldn't sit in a lau pok chia [old car in Hokkien dialect]. You won't wear old T-shirts, you will wear nice suits, nice shoes, go in nice cars, and have an entourage, but in the Kingdom of God, it's different.

The servants of the Kingdom of God are marked by suffering and weakness, and that is the paradox of ministry that Paul introduces us to. The apostles are not called to pomp and glory, the apostles are called to witness and suffering.

By the way, this is not new, Paul had already hinted of that, earlier on in his letter to the Corinthians, the first letter to the Corinthians. And in 1st Corinthians chapter 4, he said, "I think that God has exhibited us apostles, as last of all, like men sentenced to death, like those captives that will be led to public execution, that we become a spectacle, that we become a display."

"Whoa, that's not my idea of Christianity!" Well, that's Paul's theology, that's Paul's understanding of what it means to serve Him! And now that we come to 2nd Corinthians, chapter 2, given this triumphant process ... procession image, Paul let this theology develop, and blossom for the rest of the book. Because in chapter 4:7 he says, "We are ... we have this treasure in jars of clay."

Jars of clay display the fragility, the weakness of the human body, of the human self, the human instrument. So that, we know that the glory does not reside in man, the glory and the power does not reside in Paul himself, but God in Paul. That's the secret! And the power and the glory of God is therefore displayed through the weakness and the sufferings of the servant.

He says, "We are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, always carrying in the body the death of Christ." The suffering, and the weakness is likened to the death that he experiences, so that the life of Christ may be manifested. [2 Cor 4:8-10]

This is not just in 2nd Corinthians 4: 7-10, but verse 11, he says, "We are always being given over to death."

"I'm not on a holiday! Serving God is like ... it's not in a cruise, it's not like in a villa or a chalet, it's ... it's a painful journey of life." "I'm always being given over to death." Why? So that, "The life of Jesus also may be manifested."

Chapter 4 says so, chapter 6:4 says so, "But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way." [2 Cor 6:4]

"How do you prove, Paul, that you are servant of God?" "Let me tell you how I prove it — afflictions, hardships, calamities."
Today, how do you know you're a pastor? "Oh, I graduate from seminary." "Oh, my church is so, so big, so big, so big." "Oh, how many people watch my sermons." "Oh, how many people buy my books." That's how people today commend themselves in ministry.

Paul is very different, my resume is filled with pain and suffering. That's the paradox! In chapter 12:9-10, probably the most famous chapter in this book, he makes it so clear, "My grace ..." God says to Paul. Paul says, "Lord, take this thorn of flesh away from me." But God says, "No, not because I don't love you, but I want you to know My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness, Paul."

Paul understood that, he did not rebel against that, he did not complain. He says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses." [2 Cor 12:10] "I understand that's what apostolic ministry is. It is so that the power of Christ may be manifested and in order to do that God has chosen fit to give me the thorn in the flesh — sufferings."

"For the sake of Christ, then he says, I am contented with weaknesses and insults and hardships and persecutions and calamities. For when I'm weak, then I am strong, God is seen to be strong." [2 Cor 9:10]

This is so counter cultural! In 2013, there is a docu series, I'm told, I read in US, on Oxygen Channel, don't ask me why they call it Oxygen Channel, about this show, called "LA or Preachers of LA." How cool, all your pastors look like that one, the stylo Milo brand of Christianity! It featured the various pastors, preachers, leaders in Los Angeles, and it is quite shocking what they say, these preachers.

McClendon, whose weekly international broadcasts reaches some 250 million homes believes, "There is no other kind of gospel except the prosperity gospel." He believes that the Christian message is a message to get healthy and to get wealthy. He believes that the Christian message is a message that says God does not want you to suffer at all. He believes that!

Another pastor Bishop Ron Gibson, P Diddy, Jay-Z, they are not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses. By implication, he says, "Me too! You too! If you believe in Jesus, that's the blessing God wants you to enter into." Alright. Another pastor says, "The Bible says that those of us who sow among us should reap from us." That's implying that preachers should be taken care of, preachers, pastors should have every right to live it right up there.

These are some of the remarks by the preachers of LA. Ask them to sit down and have a chat with Mr. Paul. And that will be a most interesting conversation, don't you think?

"I should have a Ferrari."

"God has exhibited us apostles, as last of all like men sentenced to deaths. Ferrari? We are jars of clay, we are carrying in the body the death of Jesus. We're always given over to death. We commend ourselves not with sneakers and watches and suits and cars, but afflictions, hardships, calamities, so that God's power may be made manifests in our weakness. And therefore I boast not about my cars, or my jet planes or my properties, but of my afflictions, my weaknesses, insults, hardships."

You don't hear such messages today, isn't it? Very, very rare! And I think after preaching this message, I may be even scorned and thrown stones by some of you. "Siow ah, this pastor, tell Christians to suffer!" But Paul says, "That's really what ministry is about."

I want to tell you, "It's paradoxical, it's counter cultural to our minds, but this is true, that the glory and the power of God is seen through the suffering and the weaknesses of His servants." And it's going to be developed as we journey through the book of 2nd Corinthians. And that's what it means to be in a triumphal procession.

If you want to be rich and famous, if you want to be glamorous, and adored, please don't serve God, because you've signed up for the wrong thing. Go be a banker, go be a YouTuber, go live stream, sell fish, whatever. You'll be famous, people will know you, people may applaud you, you'll be rich. But if you want to serve God, then you've got to be willing to put all that aside. Because like John the Baptist, we got to understand - He must increase, but I must decrease. There's no other way!

So we content ourselves with unpopularity, with criticisms, with slanders, with opposition, with reviles, with mocking. That's what it means to serve God according to the Apostle Paul.

So the very thing that Corinthians find fault with Paul - sufferings, is the very thing Paul turns around and say, "That's not something to be mocked at, that's not something to be saying, I'm not an apostle. But that is the very thing that marks me as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ."

What a loaded picture this is - God leads us in triumphal procession! Picture number one.

Fragrance of the Knowledge of Him
Picture number two is simpler. Picture number two is that the apostles are seen to be the ones who spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. Now, this, I think, is an image that is again closely related to the triumphal procession.

As I mentioned, there'll be musicians, dancers, priests and they offer incense. So in that procession, there will be that aroma, that smell of the incense that permeates the entire place.

[2] The Purpose of Ministry
And Paul cleverly uses that picture and say, "The apostles, we are like that fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere." And this, I think tells us about the purpose of ministry. What's the apostle, apostolic ministry about? What is it all for?

Well, it is simply to faithfully teach the knowledge of Christ everywhere. That's what the apostles are focused on - Christ and Him crucified, and in knowing Christ, you can come to know the True and Living God.

So he goes on to say, "For we are the aroma of Christ to God." First of all, an apostle preaches and teaches, to God, for the glory of God. We are here to please God, not men, first and foremost.

So he says, "We are an aroma of Christ to God, but at the same time, we understand that we minister amongst people, those who are saved, or being saved and those who are perishing, and to those who are perishing, we are like a fragrance from death to death, and to those who are being saved a fragrance from life to life."

When I look at this verse, I immediately think about this fragrance to some, but an odor to others. The durian is so provocative, to some this is heaven, to others this is smelly socks.

But jokes aside, the smell that they smell, the fragrance that they smell in the triumphal procession, is a very dividing smell. Because to the Roman soldiers and the citizens of Rome, this is a smell of victory and celebration, but to the captives, it is a smell of death, because they know this is a journey, a path to their execution.

The Gospel message that the apostles delivered unto us, is not a message everybody will believe in, and the apostles are clear. The apostles know that when they preach the Gospel, not everyone will believe. We hope more, but the fact remains, to some, the Gospel message is precious, it's a message of life unto life, but to others, it is rejected because they are hardened in your hearts.

So Peter, for example would say, "The Stone ..." this refers to Jesus, that the builders rejected, this refers to the Jewish nation. This stone that Israel, Jewish nation rejected, "... has now become the Cornerstone of the church." Jesus is now the Foundation, the Savior, the Head of the church. [1 Peter 2:7-8]

Oh, what a blessing this is! Yes, it's a blessing, but at the same time, Jesus is also a Stone of stumbling and the Rock of offense, people refuse Him and they trip up over Him. When we preach the Gospel, we must be clear that there will be different responses toward it. But the Apostle and the preacher, the pastor, and the Christian, their job is not to manipulate people to believe. Yes, we persuade, yes, we explain, but the main thing is that we must faithfully teach.

So Paul goes on to say, "Who is sufficient for these things?" This is such a heavy responsibility, who can bear the weight of salvation, and damnation of eternal souls? Who is sufficient for these things? We better take care that we take this job faithfully, discharge of it responsibly. And that's why he says, "For we are not ..." We are not like others, like many.

By the way, if you think that false teachers are a rarity, Paul says, "No, false teachers are swirling all around. There are many of them." Paul says, "And what they do is that they are peddlers of God's Word."

Peddlers here is someone who sells things in a perhaps dishonest way. An image is that of someone who sells wine, and instead of selling pure wine, he mixes some water within, dilutes it, corrupts it and sells it to you as if it is it. And Paul says, "They are teachers, preachers today, who are peddlers of God's Word. They corrupt God's Word, they pollute God's Word. They add things into the, into God's Word to sell you for their own profit."

Paul says, "Knowing the eternal weight of this message we carry, we then not be like these men." I think he's hinting, "Look at the super apostles amongst you, be careful!" "But that we would serve as men of sincerity, sent and commissioned by God in the sight of God, we speak in Christ."

So, these are some of the understandings we must have when we come to this purpose of ministry. That it is really to faithfully teach and spread the knowledge of Christ.

What's the most important thing about the church? Air-con? Carpet? Chairs? Lunch downstairs at 12:30pm? Or maybe size and attendance and influence and social media following? A lot of people choose a church based on its size and organization and so on and so forth. I say, "If I were to choose a church myself, I go to a foreign land, the number one thing I will look for is how the church handles the Bible, how the Church teaches us the Bible. Faithfulness, not eloquence, not charisma, not outward impressive structures; buildings, but their approach to the Word of God."

If you today, want to serve Christ, you want to serve God. Guys, I say to you, "By all means develop in every area of your life, but one area please, you must always prioritize is — how do you handle the Bible?"

Whether you're a CG leader, Discipleship Group Leader, Bible Study Group Leader, this is the indispensable approach and attitude we must have, how do you handle the Bible?" Do you subtly add in your own ideas? Or do you, when you don't quite understand the text, still dig into the text to ... to really get to what God has to say about the text? I think that's work, that's commitment, but let me guarantee you, that's an aroma that pleases God first and foremost.

When we share the Gospel with people, it is so tempting to just give a simple gospel or let me change that, not a simple ... the Gospel is simple, but they give a simplistic gospel. "Ah, just believe Jesus and you will be saved."

And we don't bother to explain what repentance means, sin means. We don't explain what it means to follow Jesus, we just want to be like a cunning salesman, if I may say. I hope you get it in the right spirit, we are not really cunning, but we kind of er, just want to avoid the tough things. And we maybe add in some of the extra things that are not in the Bible, "Come believe Jesus and God will definitely heal you have your sickness. Come lah!" I wonder if that will be something God is pleased with at all.

When you choose a church, many of you, many of us are creatures of comfort. We ... we like to choose something convenient. "Oh I, I go to that church because it's just beside my house." Well, if the church beside your house is also very close to God's Word, then very good, that's fine, that's wonderful! But please don't say, "Oh, I want to go to the church because it's near my house, and the other church, I know is good lah, but it's too far!" I hope you will not choose based on distance from your house, but based on distance from the Bible. So what if it is far as long as it's close to God's Word, that's where it should be.

So, we see in this one verse, an introduction to the concepts, philosophies, and big ideas of the apostolic ministry. Now, we are not all apostles, we definitely are not today like Paul was, but the principles of ministry, I think are applicable to us. It's ... it's lessons we can learn for ourselves. And so Paul gives us picture number one — triumphal procession, and picture number two — the fragrance, the aroma that is being spread.

He teaches us about the paradox of ministry, that the glory and the power of God is seen through the suffering and the weakness of His servants. And he tells us that the purpose of the apostolic ministry is that we faithfully teach the knowledge of Christ everywhere.

[3] The Privilege of Ministry
But as you know, I often in my sermons like to end with three things, not two things. So, let me squeeze in one more P for you, and end off by reminding you about the privilege of ministry.

Because when Paul talks about the triumphal procession and how he is captive to it, he never say, "Wah, so suay!" He never say, "Oh, unlucky me!" He didn't say, "Oh, this is so miserable! "Oh, I wish I could quit!" He didn't say that! but he said, "Thanks be to God."

"I know what I'm in for, and I'm thankful. I'm thankful I can serve God. I'm thankful I can spread the knowledge of God everywhere in the preaching. I'm thankful I can follow in my masters footsteps, because my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ lived out the paradox of ministry. He was not cheered, He was jeered. He was not celebrated, He was prosecuted. He says, "Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man have nowhere to lay His head." And when He calls, the disciples to follow Him."'

He says, "If any man wants to follow Me, let him deny himself and take up the cross. Following Jesus is not the path to comfort and success in this life, it is not a path to self-fulfillment, it's a path to self denial."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "When Christ bids a man to come, He bids him come to die." That's what it is all about! But Paul says, "It's a privilege, it's a privilege for me." And if you really know the Lord Jesus Christ, I trust you can understand why Paul says, "Thanks be to God." And you will joyfully and gratefully lay down your life, as well.

Last week, we had a song that kind of summarized the sermon, this week, also another song. But I guarantee you, I'm not going to sing it. It's a song when I sang it first time, years ago at Gospel Light, I found ridiculous, crazy, siow [Hokkien dialect], out of your mind! "Why would I do that as I sang and read those lyrics?" And it made sense to me, only right at the end. I hope as we close with the song later on, you would understand why, and you'll see Jesus through it all.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

Jesus came to lay down His life, because He said, "Except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone and cannot bear forth fruit, but the mystery of the Kingdom of God is that there must be death in order for there to be life." In order for any one of us to be a blessing, we follow the path of Jesus in dying to self, that we may be a blessing to others. Paul deeply understood this.

So when Jesus revealed to him that he will be a bearer of the Good News to the Gentiles, and that for Jesus' sake, Paul will suffer many things, he did not back down or shrink back, but he served faithfully. And when the Corinthians questioned him about his sufferings, he turned it around and showed them, "This is exactly what it means to serve God, that His glory and power will be manifested through my weakness and suffering."

As a church, we have absolutely no interest to do salesmanship, absolutely no interest to hoodwink anyone, and to lower what the Bible says. Following Jesus is a call to deny yourself, but I guarantee you according to the Bible, it is absolutely worth it. They, who lose their life for My sake would find it, and they receive 100 fold. Wisdom is knowing God's Word and living in it.

I pray Gospeliters, we will have such an apostolic mindset - My calling in this world is to spread the knowledge of God everywhere. And my calling in this world is perhaps even to suffer, so that through my weakness and suffering, God's glory might be displayed in my weakness.

If you're here today, and you do not know Jesus Christ, the Christian message is a message about God's triumph over sin. And we are here to show you and to tell you the only way. I pray today you will see your sin, you'll turn from it, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a captive, but I'm conquered by love, conquered at the cross. And may you today surrender to the cross, surrender to our Savior.

Father, thank You so much for Your Word. It's intense, it's profound, it's counter cultural! It's so hard for the human mind, to really accept all that has been said. But we know that if Your Spirit lives within us, there will be a resonance within, there will be an acceptance within. There will be an indeed embrace within. So I pray that we'll be wise not just to be hearers, but be doers of Your Word too. Bless Your Church, bless Your people. Thank You in Jesus' Name. Amen.

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