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· Most scholars agree, however, that these marks were scars that Paul received through his suffering at the hands of those who opposed him and his preaching of Jesus.
· In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul makes a major list of many of the sufferings he endured in service for the Lord.
· Paul said he had received the 39 lashes 5 times, 3 times he had been been with rods, and once he had been stoned. We learn of his stoning in the first missionary journey when he was in Lystra.
· There is no question that Paul would have had many scars on his body for the suffering he had done for Christ.
· Paul says, “My brands and marks on my body PROVE my devotion, and my acceptance of the Lord Jesus. I am HIS PROPERTY! I am under HIS AUTHORITY! Don’t mess with me!”
· How we need men and women to stand up for the Lord today, and earn MARKS for the Lord Jesus Christ, to carry His authority, and demand respect for Him!
Conclusion – OK Preacher, I realize Paul received marks during his sufferings for Christ. But what marks can I earn for Christ?
· You should be “marked” for your victory over sin. – If you really love the Lord, and aim to please Him, your life should show some mark of overcoming sin. None of us are without sin, or sinful habits… but when we mean business to overcome sin, it will leave a mark on us, that we can bear proudly, to show our love for the Lord.
· You should be “marked” for your dedication to the Word. – We live in a world where everything competes for our personal attention and entertainment. When we study the Bible, we may have to put aside some books, throw down some magazines or newspapers, and turn off the TV. Some may not think we are as “balanced” as we should be, but that’s a mark we can bear for the Lord.
· You should be “marked” for your dedication to the Church – If you are really going to be involved in service for the Lord and His Kingdom, you are going to be very regular and active in church. That means, you won’t have the time to do a lot of other things you like to do, or even think that you need to do. The Lord may show you a new set of priorities in life. But that absence of other worldly pursuits is a mark you can wear proudly for the Lord’s sake.
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