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We are still learning about ministry by
looking at the ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ. What I want us to focus on
today is the fact that the pathway to glory is always ‘death’. Jesus knew this
and it reflected in how He conducted Himself.

Hebrews 12:2
“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of

Jesus refused it when the devil
suggested a short cut to the glory. He knew that the only way to the glory is
‘death’. This is a principle we must imbibe. Throughout the Bible glory is
always preceded by sufferings. Just consider these scriptures.

Romans 8:17
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

1 Peter 1:11
“Searching what, or what manner of
time the Spirit (o. pneuma) of Christ which was in them did signify, when it
testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should

Romans 8:18
“For I reckon that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall
be revealed in us.”

You see that from these scriptures
sufferings always precedes glory. This is because before we break into any new
level in our ministry something of the flesh must die in us. Usually the
challenges, persecutions and sufferings are tools God uses to chisel out
unwanted substances from our flesh. After that, a certain degree of glory
manifests. God works on us and enlarges our capacity by stretching our faith to
handle the greater responsibilities that come with the next level.

Those who don’t understand this
principle always succumb to the temptation to take short cuts. So basically
what we are saying is NO CROSS, NO CROWN.

Sometimes the greatest feats are
achieved just after the greatest failure. It is a mystery why Jesus gave the
leadership of the Church to Peter right after he had experienced the greatest
failure in his life and ministry. Maybe it was because his failure had humbled
him and made him better prepared to handle greater responsibilities.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“And lest I should be exalted
above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a
thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be
exalted above measure.” “For this thing I besought the Lord three
times, that it might depart from me.” “And he said unto me, My grace
is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may
rest upon me.” “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:
for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Suffering is a non-negotiable pathway
to glory as we have seen from the scriptures above. Therefore, the things we
lose or forfeit or go through because of the ministry have been designed to
chisel out unwanted substances from the flesh to enable the glory to manifest. So
our attitude toward the afflictions and inconveniences we go through should be
like Paul’s own.

Acts 20:24
“But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with
joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the
gospel of the grace of God.”


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