Joni and Friends

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”

Colossians 1:24

“What?” you say. “You mean, the Lord didn’t finish the job?” No, the word lacking doesn’t imply falling short of a mark. The work is finished. Jesus said so (John 19:30). He died on the cross, paid the penalty for sin, and released to us incredible power to live a life pleasing to God. Nothing’s lacking there.

But there’s something that is lacking. Something needs to be finished, and you and I are the ones to do it: we bear in our body the bruising and battering intended for Christ. What’s more, we bear it in a godly manner. I call it show-and-tell. Jesus is not around in the flesh right now to do this, but we are. We are the walking billboards of his finished work. We are showing people that his power is displayed, and we are telling them of his death on the cross. We take the punches on the chin from the world to show and tell that the cheek can be turned, the cross can be carried, the burden can be borne, the thorn can be accepted, the temptation can be opposed, and the wicked can be loved.

People don’t know the reality of what the Lord did two thousand years ago; they only know it when they see him show up through our lives. As I said, it’s called show-and-tell. When’s the last time you participated in show-and-tell? Today fill up in your flesh what is lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions. Do it for the world’s sake. Do it, as today’s verse commands, for the sake of the body of believers. Most of all do it for Christ.

Lord Jesus, you received so many afflictions when you walked on earth. People misunderstood you, turned their backs on you, and abused you. It probably will happen to me too as I participate in show-and-tell. Give me strength to walk in your shoes today. Give me courage. Be powerful through me. Fill up in my flesh what is lacking!

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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