We don’t choose to come into the world, but we have the power to choose where we’ll spend eternity.

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The least of the apostles

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15.9-10

The ministry of Paul was great, but also marked by struggles:

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one (almost 200 stripes, he could have died). Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11.24-28

Paul’s greatest suffering was not what people did to him, but the state of the church, of the souls. He considered himself the least of the apostles, but we know that he was the one who did most in his time…

Then he says:

If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 2 Corinthians 11.30

Bishop Macedo writes: For those who valued renown and prestige, suffering was a source of shame and ridicule, but for Paul, it was his trophy. The Most High allowed His servant to be surrounded by afflictions so His power might be manifested. Only amid anguish does man become entirely dependent on the Lord.

To end on a high note:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15.58

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Bishop Macedo
Bishop Macedo

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