Good Morning Little Flock,
I canít help but feel that you and I are chosen vessels unto the Lord. Hasnít God given us the great commission to go unto all the world and preach and teach the inscrutable riches of the gospel of Christ? But I canít help, as I read this text, feel that many of us, maybe some of you here, sometimes say to ourselves, thatís it, I quit....Iím not going to listen to any more sermons. Iím not going to go to church anymore and I just donít have time to read the Bible. And I donít care who likes it or not. Iím through, itís over, Itís finished, kaput. Itís just to much trouble to be bothered anymore. No more teaching Sunday School, no singing in the choir, no being faithful every week, no giving my tithes, no supporting the missionaries, or backing our pastor. There is just to many persecutions from within and from without of our fellowship to keep going...
I suppose all of us have felt like that at one time or another havenít we? Letís all be honest with ourselves.. But you know, when I feel like that I read about ole Paul... In; II Corinthians 11: 16, 33..... We here in America have never known the sufferings of our early Christian forefathers have we? Because of space and time Iíd like to highlight just a few of these verses but I hope that youíll take a moment to read this passage of scripture..
In verse;  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
One time I was fired from a construction job because I felt it more
important go and preach to a little church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania
and miss Thanksgiving weekend with my family than to report to work on
Friday.. I was also banned from the jobsite for 6 months and unable to
sign the out of work list for fifteen days. And by the way you canít draw
unemployment under these conditions. But you know what? 3 young ladies
were saved in the meeting. Want to know something else? Iíve never
received, not even one stripe. But Paul has received, according to this
verse, 195 stripes.
In Verse:  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
On a missionary trip to the Philippines I was caught in a hurricane while going from one island to another in a 30 foot pump boat and it was frightening. We were stopped and searched by their military and they were carrying machine guns. And that was scary... Also while I was there and crossing shark infested ocean for about 2 miles, in a canoe with 8 people and a little 5 horse motor, I was terrified watching the water splash into the sides of the canoe which was only an inch or two out of the water... And by the way, on that trip to the Philippines there were over 7000 accept Christ as their personal Saviour.. But I have never been Stoned and left for dead as Paul has. BUT GOD WASNíT THROUGH WITH PAUL YET!
In Verse;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
We have all had perils in life havenít we? Once I was almost knocked
from the 6 inch I beam I was walking on by a 10 foot sheet of steel being
swung with a crane. Oh, yea, at the time I was about 180 feet in the air
with only the ground below. Onetime while working in Maryland, I fell 18
feet, striking my chest across a scaffold board on the way down. Had it
not been for a fellow boilermaker grabbing me I would have fallen 80 more
feet to a steel boiler floor. As it was, I was laid up for over 4 months.
Once I hit a deer doing better than 50 miles an hour. That wouldnít have
been so bad but I was riding a motorcycle at the time.. I have had many
other perils but nothing to match the perils of Paul.
I would venture to say that there is not one of you who hasnít had some
perils trying to walk as Christ walked. But you know what?
Iím reminded of Hezekiah, in II Kings 20; 1, 6, where God granted him 15 years more to live because of the tears and prayer.. The Bible says; God had compassion. But God wasnít through with Hezekiah yet..
In conclusion: God wants for you and I to take up our cross daily and follow Him...
Luke 9: 23, 26
No, God isnít through with you yet. But there are some things for you
II Timothy 4: 5, 8
Yes, Paul was saying here that God was through with him. He had finished his coarse and kept the faith. Paul had completed the task which God had given him to do and God was finished with Paul.. But Godís not through with you yet. What we need are more Paulís today. Some men and women, boys and girls, young and old, healthy or disabled to take a stand for Christ. Some Paulís who, regardless of the cost, will remain faithful to the end.
Who, when standing before Our Heavenly Father, will hear Him say, "Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant"
NO, GODíS NOT THROUGH WITH YOU YET! Nor is He through with me! Well Glory!