I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."
What is in this for me?
In this message, we would like to delve into the Scriptures and examine the attitude of a man who was extremely sold-out for God. That man happened to be the Apostle Paul.
In light of today's Christianity, he will seem very radical in his whole approach to life. But the truth of the matter is that his life reflected normal Christianity.
Thank God for the many missionaries, Preachers, and saints who have and are displaying such dedicated love in reaching the masses for Christ. However, God never intended that these verses of Scripture - that we are about to study - would only pertain to a select few. They are in the Bible for all who claim to be His followers.
As far as suffering or enduring difficult circumstances so that others might be saved - where do you stand today on this issue?
Let this message speak to your heart and answer that question for you.
In 2 Corinthians 12:15, the Apostle Paul boldly declared - "And I will very glady spend and be spent for you..."
Just as a loving Father expends his own life and strength to provide and care for his children, even so did Paul give his time, energy, and strength to promote the salvation of others. He willingly submitted to any expense...engaged in endless efforts... arduously labored...gave himself and all that he had...and took pains and suffered losses - for one thing and one thing alone - for the total, spiritual well-being of others.
As a "nursing Mother" (1 Thessalonians 2:7), he had a warm affection and yearning love for the new converts - so much so that he was willing to impart his very own life to them. This is exemplified in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 where he said - "So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us."
He had such an affection for the believers in Christ. He felt so strongly attached to them insomuch that he was ready and willing to lay down his life for them. It didn't matter what type of hazards he had to run - in order to see that they were spiritually nourished.
In 2 Timothy 2:10, he described his feelings in this way - "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." He was willing to undergo the severest of sufferings - "...endure all things..." - so that others might be saved.
O Saint of God! Are these your sentiments? Can you say that you are willing to "spend and be spent" for others? Do you feel so strongly attached to them that you are willing to do or suffer anything in order to promote their salvation?
What about your life? Are you basically living for yourself, or are you living for the good of others?