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G iven
R iches
A t
C hrist's
E xpense.

Submitted by Patty M. Haubner and Rebecca Orr

He clenched defiantly. "Go ahead, give it to me."  The principal looked down at the young rebel. "How many times have you been here?"

The child sneered rebelliously, "Apparently not enough."  The principal gave the boy a strange look. "And you have been punished each time have you not?"

"Yeah, I been punished, if that's what you want to call it." He threw out his small chest, "Go ahead I can take whatever you dish out. I always have."   "And no thought of your punishment enters your head the next time you decide to break the rules does it?"  "Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain't nothin you people gonna do to stop me either."

The principal looked over at the teacher who stood nearby. "What did he do this time?"
"Fighting. He took little Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox."  The principal turned to look at the boy, "Why? What did little Tommy do to  you?"  "Nothin, I didn't like the way he was lookin at me, just like I don't like the way your lookin at me! And if I thought I could do it, I'd shove your face into something."

The teacher stiffened and started to rise but a quick look from the principal stopped him. He contemplated the child for a moment and then quietly said, "Today my young student, is the day you learn about grace."

"Grace? Isn't that what you old people do before you sit down to eat? I don't need none of your stinkin grace."  "Oh but you do." The principal studied the young mans face and whispered.  "Oh yes, you truly do..."

The boy continued to glare as the principal continued, "Grace, in its short definition is unmerited favor.  You can not learn it, it is a gift and is always freely given. It means that you will not be getting what you so richly deserve."

The boy looked puzzled. "Your not gonna whup me? You just gonna let me walk?"
The principal looked down at the unyielding child. "Yes, I am going to let you walk."
The boy studied the face of the principal, "No punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox?"

"Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was wrong and there are always consequences to our actions. There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong."   "I knew it," Sneered the boy as he held out his hands. "Lets get on with it." The principal nodded toward the teacher.

"Bring me the belt." The teacher presented the belt to the principal.  He carefully folded it in two and then handed it back to the teacher.
He looked at the child and said. "I want you to count the blows."  He slid out from behind his desk and walked over to stand directly in front
of the young man.

He gently reached out and folded the child's outstretched, expectant hands together and then turned to face the teacher with his own hands outstretched. One quiet word came forth from his mouth. "Begin."

The belt whipped down on the outstretched hands of the principal.  Crack! The young man jumped.  Shock registered across his face, "One" he whispered.  
Crack! "Two." His voice raised an octave.
Crack! "Three..." He couldn't believe this.
Crack! "Four." Big tears welled up in the eyes of the rebel.

"OK stop! That's enough. Stop!"

Crack! Came the belt down on the callused hands of the principal.  Crack! The child flinched with each blow, tears beginning to stream down his face.

Crack! Crack! "No please", the former rebel begged, "Stop, I did it, I'm the one who deserves it.  Stop! Please. Stop..."
Still the blows came, Crack! Crack! One after another.

Finally it was over. The principal stood with sweat glistening across his forehead and beads trickling down his face. Slowly he knelt down. He studied the young man for a second and then his swollen hands reached out to cradle the face of the weeping child.




The Cost of End-Times Ministry

By Robert Holmes

As any good builder knows, the key to a building which will last is in the foundations. It has been said that, "The higher the calling, the deeper the scourging" or put another way, the greater the manifestation of God in your life, the deeper He must dig the foundations of Christ-likeness in you.

We must be prepared to pay the price for such an end time calling.  Wigglesworth was despised, abused, spat upon, arrested for practicing medicine without a license, beaten up and finally thrown out of several churches.

Lake lost 12 men and their families on the mission fields in Africa in just one year.

Do you really want a ministry like the apostle Paul's? Do you want a Christ-like 
demonstration of the kingdom in your church? Let's look at the foundation laying in his life, his qualification for such an extraordinary ministry.

In comparing himself to the so called "super apostles" of his day Paul says:

Are they ministers of Christ? I am a better one with:

1. Far greater labours, more imprisonments, countless floggings, and often near death.

2. Five times the forty lashes minus one. Three times beaten with rods.  Once stoned near death.

3. Three times shipwrecked; for a night and a day adrift at sea; on frequent journeys.

4. In danger from rivers, the wilderness, bandits, his own people, the gentiles, from false brothers.

5. In toil, hardship, many sleepless nights, hungry and thirsty, cold and naked (2 Cor 11: 23-27).

It sounds harsh doesn't it? The writer to the Hebrews spells out almost exactly the same list of outcomes for them—the prophets, who through faith:

1. Were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.

2. Suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.

3. Were stoned to death, sawn in two, killed by the sword.

4. Went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented.

5. Wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground (Hebrews 11:32-38).


This is exactly the training and the future any true minister of Christ can expect. If you are being a real representative, an ambassador of Christ, you cannot expect anything less than the same treatment He was meted out.

Remember, the higher the calling, the deeper the scourging. It is for this reason that church government in the kingdom is upside down. First come the apostles, then the prophets (1 Cor 12:28) but these offices are the foundation of the church (Eph 2:20).

Where do you find foundations? In the mud underneath a building! The glory you will receive from men is persecution, not  promotion. If men are paying you homage, you are in the wrong game. If you are in the limelight, you are in the wrong light!

True power comes from true service. The cost of that service is tremendous. Jesus
warned His disciples that they were unworthy, no in fact that they were fools if they chose Him without counting the cost.

You remember His words: "Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and
come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a
tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Luke 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that
behold it begin to mock him, Luke 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Luke 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14: 27-33).

We need to count the cost of this end-times ministry. The word Christ used in this passage for "cost" is the word "dapane" from the root "dapto" which means to devour. It was used in the context of expense, the consuming of
materials in building.

This is the road to discipleship; this is the path to true apostolic end-time ministry!
We may consider our lives and see devastation, crushing, loss. Many of
us have been devoured, been consumed by circumstance, but maybe God is preparing
your life for something far greater? Remember that we must be earthen vessels, simple
clay chalices so that the glory does not become attributed to us.

Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man
desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

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2 Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
2 Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work

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