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January 5, 2012
This entry is part [part not set] of 3099 in the series Daily Words for the Christian Life
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That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
— Philippians 3:10

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.
— Colossians 1:24

When we consider any saint in our care, we should realize that the Lord has a goal in view for that brother or sister. Whether we serve many churches or just a few saints, there is a suffering that accompanies the process of their growth. How about their usefulness? How about their growth unto maturity and function as the Lord desires? The Lord requires some to fellowship with Him through sufferings for the growth of the believers.Such sufferings result in the building up of His Body (Col. 1:24). The real oneness is not only according to a shared knowing of Christ, but also according to a fellowship in the experience of His death and resurrection for the sake of those with us.

Therefore our feeling of happiness when a new one comes into the church life should be tempered by an awareness that we will have to enter into further fellowship in Christ’s sufferings if they are to grow properly. As you invest yourself in this new one, however, and as your headaches over him increase, you and he begin to grow more, and this oneness increases. Eventually Paul’s anticipation was that there would be a particular reward for the person who paid this kind of price, and he expected that he would attain to this “extra” resurrection (3:11). This was Paul’s hope, to which God in Christ Jesus had called him upward (3:14).

Adapted from Oneness and the One Accord, pages 67-68.

Tomorrow: “Pursuing to Lay Hold of Christ”

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