Posted by: SandreS | July 31, 2009

God’s Vessels of Mercy to a Groaning Creation

For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now (Romans 8:22).

Looking at the issue of common sufferings we have seen that we have been called, and left here “in Christ’s stead” to join in identity with “the whole creation” that “groans and travails in pain together until now.”

Jesus Christ is the revelation of the Father. The Lord Jesus Christ came and penetrated our darkness and brokenness so that we might know the light and life of the Father. He touches our frailty and emptiness with the love of His Father.

We have been made sons of the Father, too; but we are not taken to our inheritance yet, to our celestial home. Instead, we – members of Christ’s Body – have been left here as vessels of mercy to carry on the Sonship ministry of comfort and consolation.

So, when the tire is flat; when the children are sick; when the neighbor is hurtful; when the monthly bank statement has arrived; when the chores are too many and too harsh; when the physician’s office has called with the test results; remember why we are even here in the first place: We – members of His Body – find ourselves deep in the apparent vanity of life as the expression of our Head, illuminating to a groaning and travailing creation our most wonderful Father.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Ephesians 5:30).

What a union: He our Head, we His Body!

And He is the Head of the Body, the church: Who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18).

Head and Body united; we continue the great revelation of Father’s unceasing love and unbounded grace. We, along with our Apostle, enter into the “afflictions of Christ.”

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body’s sake, which is the church (Colossians 1:24).

As with Paul, we are led to long for “the fellowship of His sufferings.”

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:10).

The “afflictions of Christ” continue. The Lord Jesus Christ still penetrates the darkness and brokenness, and He does so through us that others may know the light and life of the Father. Through our frailty and emptiness He touches others with the love of the Father. Live out – in the moments of apparent vanity – the divine revelation of the Father in the Person of His Son!

Hear again these most glorious words, afresh and anew!

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. And whether we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation …

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh

As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (II Corinthians 1:5-7; 4:8-11; Romans 8:36-39).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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