Apostle Paul is another good example of the NEW TESTAMENT Christian who was valiant for the truth. He testified of untold hardship and suffering he encountered as a result of standing up for the truth.
“for ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face (this is talking of people that are not valiant for the truth but suffer in the hands of preaching contractors who exalt themselves, bring you to bondage and milk you to your face). I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit, where in over any is bold, (I speak foolishly) I am bold also. Are ye Hebrews? So am I. Are ye Israelites, so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham, so am i. are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in death oft, if the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 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; in journeying often, in perils of waters in perils of robbers, in perils of mine own countrymen, in perils but the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in weariness and painfulness, in watching’s often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not. If I must need glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities”2 Cor. 11: 19-30..
Let us make a list of the kind of minister of Christ Apostle Paul was and is recommending that we should be or follow such ones:
Are they ministers of Christ?… I am more: A minister in labours- what and where have we laboured? We labour for our belly.
Minister in stripes- when and where have we been flogged for preaching Christ?
Minister in prisons- when have we been imprisoned for the truth?
Minister in death- when have we met death because of preaching Christ?
Minister in beaten- when have religious people beaten us for contradicting their traditions?
Minister in stoning- who has stoned us for preaching unpopular and unconventional message?
Minister in shipwreck– When and where have we been shipwrecked because of the truth?
Minister in the deep- Have we been in dungeon of any sort for Him?
Minister in journeying- Ours is luxurious trips to Europe and Asian countries for honours, cheap ones.
Minister in perils of waters– going to riverine areas with leaking canoes cap siding?
Minister in perils of robbers– Ours is robbery of members with Bibles in our hands.
Minister in Perils of countrymen– when has our message challenged our country’s ungodly policies?
Minister in perils by the heathen– when last has our style of life provoked the heathen world?
Minister in perils in the city– from which city were we driven away for the gospel sake?
Minister in wilderness– Like John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul etc what is our wilderness experience?
Minister in Sea- can we talk of sea when air travel for us is like going from sitting room to the bedroom.
Minister in perils of false brethren-any false brethren since we have leveled up through false unity.
Minister in weariness and painfulness– how can we know the wariness and painfulness of agonizing prayer when organizing means agonizing to us?
Minister in watching and fastings– Is real fasting still in our religious dictionary with plenty to eat?
Minister in hunger and thirst- we carry bottle water to the pulpit with face painted ladies feeding us as we dramatize on stage.
Some artists and actors even weep and stir their audience to weep.
We stir ours all of the time to laugh and applaud us. May God forgive us and may he deliver us from the deceit of religion. You see? A true minister of God boasting of “Sufferings” and not “prosperity and miracles unlimited”. “O LORD, OPEN thou our eyes to see how we have believed lies. Cause us to re-direct our faith from deceitful man to you, the true and only wise God.
Return us to the narrow way Lord. Help us to re-discover the ancient land-mark that our fathers had set and give us the grace to “insist” on it, “stand” by it and “walk” in it. This is our cry in the name of Jesus. Amen” (our brother weeps openly here.
“and now, o ye priests (ministers), this commandment is for you.
If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts: and one shall take you away with it.
For the priest’s (minister’s) lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law (the truth) at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD OF HOSTS.
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words… we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea they that tempt God are even delivered (Mal. 2: 1-3, 7-8, 17; 3:15).
For those who fear the Lord, He has this to say to you: then they that feared the LORD Spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Mal. 3:16-18).
“Remove not the ancient land-mark, which thy fathers have set”- Prov. 22:28
“Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment” – Eccl. 9:9.
May the Lord help us to align ourselves to His word in Jesus name Amen.