Identify with the suffering of your Saviour
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.Luke 9:23-26
Music is coming from your misery
Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Temptation and trials will come but God will make a way of escape. Look for it and take advantage of it.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.1Cor10:13
We are in contention with wicked spirits but we are not defenceless. God has amply equipped us.
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —Eph6:10-18
Our weapons are mighty through God.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2Cor10:4-6
We have the Name of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb and the Word of God.
God wants you to know and use your weapons.
God wants you to overcome in your suffering.
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
We are soldiers of the cross, called to fight, focused and fearless.
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
Stay focused, committed and disciplined see the crown ahead.
Striving for a Crown
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.1Cor9:24-27
Look to Jesus, as your example.
Hebrews 12: The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus will finish the good work He began in you and in me.
Your branding will bring beauty in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning. God will give you a garment of praise; a reason to celebrate despite your beatings, suffering and pain
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isa61:3
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
“Human branding is the process in which a mark, usually a symbol or ornamental pattern, is burned into the skin of a living person, with the intention that the resulting scar makes it permanent. This scarification is performed using a hot or cold iron. It is done in our present time with consent as a form of body modification, and historically, as a punishment or imposition of masterly rights over an enslaved, or condemned person. “
Whereas human branding is dark, barbaric, pristine and dangerous, divine branding (figuratively speaking) is essential if you belong to Christ.
We have a divine branding, a mark that we belong to the Lord. That mark makes us stand out as light as a city on a hill; it makes us identify with Him in his suffering, so that we can reign with Him in glory. That mark sets us free to serve Him and the Church and not our self.
3 The plowers plowed on my back; They made their furrows long.”
10 For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
11 You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.
12 You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
Paul had branding
23 Are they ministers of Christ? — I speak as a fool — I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 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;
Paul in Prison
26 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;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness —
28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2Cor11:23-30, -12:7-10
Paul saw himself as a prisoner of Christ
How do you see yourself?
Ephesians 3: The Mystery Revealed
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles —
Ephesians 4: Walk in Unity
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Paul had fellow prisoners whom he acknowledged. Acknowledge your fellow prisoners, your dream mates, suffering with you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),
Don’t be ashamed of your branding
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
Philemon 1: Greeting
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer,
9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you — being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ –
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,
Paul in Prison for preaching
22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
The Philippian Jailer Saved
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts16:22-25
Joseph Was Branded to Bring out his Beauty
17 He sent a man before them — Joseph — who was sold as a slave.
18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons.
19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.
20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free.Ps105:17-20
Peter and John had their Branding which Brought Boldness
Acts 4: Peter and John Arrested
1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them,
2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Branding for boldness
The Name of Jesus Forbidden
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.Acts4:13
The Disciples were branded and this brought propagation (spread) of the gospel.
Acts 8: Saul Persecutes the Church
1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was atJerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea andSamaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Christ Is Preached inSamaria
4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
God will allow scars;
Bruising from your pain,
To make you a star,
Open door for your gain.
Jesus went ahead
As our example
Dying in our stead
To make us able.
We too will suffer
And go through the mill,
To take us higher;
Our vision fulfilled.
Thank God for your scars
And for your branding
Come to make, not mar
Come for your shining.
Branding for beauty
Cometh from above
From the King of Glory
Because of His love.
So what is the branding you have for following the Lord?
Are their furrows on your back for being a Christian? Or are you a secrete follower avoiding persecution, ‘joining with Jones’, compromising your standards to be accepted?
If you have been branded for Jesus, rejoice evermore, count it all joy. God is proud of you. Beauty is coming from your branding. The anointing will tower from your trials. Oil of joy will ooze from your crushing like it comes from olives that are crushed. Your prison will take you to your palace like Joseph. Souls will be saved and there will be joy in heaven.
Unless you are bruised, you cannot used. If you don’t want to be bruised, then you don’t want to be used.
Therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ. If God is for you who can be against you? Let them press you hard but you will not be crushed. They will only lend vent for your oils to flow to the glory of God. Though He slays you, trust Him and you will come forth like gold.
Only Jesus gives the branding of beauty;
Beating that brings out the very best in me.