In another month the summer heat will be upon us here in Arizona. I will admit my blood is thinning out so really anything above 110 starts to feel hot to me. Someone asked me once what 120 feels like…….stick your head into an oven and that is it!
My question right now is this……are you feeling the heat? How about the heat of persecution?
John MacArthur says this about the subject: “if you don’t experience persecution, people probably don’t know you are a Christian.”
We must examine our daily walks to see if we are sacrificing the TRUTH for our popularity. Taking a stand for JESUS and the TRUTH puts us in a direct opposition to the world……did you know?
Someone once told me straight to my face that I was going to hell because I wasn’t in their faith……the interesting thing is that I found the words somehow were deflected off my heart. I honestly knew that GOD was protecting me at that moment to stay the course and not feel like I had to back down for what I believed. At the time I realized that the reason I was being subjected to those words was for that person’s benefit and that they knew what I believed and that I was standing firm in my faith.
Painful words said to us are actually a blessing. They move us towards the ONE whose words always heal, always restore!
Do you hide your faith so as to not rock the boat with anyone? Or do you stand firm on the Biblical principals GOD has so graciously given us? If you truly are wearing your faith on your sleeve, people will notice something different about you.
PSALM 107:43 “WHOEVER IS WISE, LET HIM ATTEND TO THESE THINGS; LET THEM CONSIDER THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD.”
The LORD is steadfast…….are you? Or do you present the world with one face, while your Christian friends and Church see another?
There is and always will be a price in following JESUS, but the price of popularity and people not understanding your obedience to GOD, or HIS truth, is worth it!
2 TIMOTHY 3:12 “INDEED ALL WHO DESIRE TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS WILL BE PERSECUTED.”
Our choice of following JESUS and not the world is so hard because we battle between two worlds: one of the HOLY LORD and the other of the world. Our battle is with satan who wants to alienate us from each other and from GOD. Being persecuted makes you feel alone, but remember GOD is right beside you and will never leave you.
There is a lesson to be learned with persecution……it strengthens our faith.
Are you making daily concessions? The more we allow satan to gain a foothold in our lives, the more we look just like the rest of the world. Keeping a close walk with the LORD let’s us reflect HIM. And HIS reflection is bright! We should stand out and be different! Has anyone ever asked you why you seem different?
The Holy Spirit dwelling in us, helps us with those hard choices we need to make, HE convicts us, guides us and gives us all the perseverance we need to stay the course……no matter what anyone says to us!
A question to ask ourselves is this: do we walk according to the Spirit or according to the flesh?
ROMANS 8:5 “FOR THOSE WHO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH SET THEIR MINDS ON THE THINGS OF THE FLESH, BUT THOSE WHO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT SET THEIR MINDS ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT.”
Our sufferings now do not even compare to all the glory that is before us…….
ROMANS 8:18 “FOR I CONSIDER THAT THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT TIME ARE NOT WORTH COMPARING WITH THE GLORY THAT IS TO BE REVEALED TO US.”
Nothing anyone says or does to you will ever separate you from the love of CHRIST!
ROMANS 8:35 “WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST? SHALL TRIBULATION, OR DISTRESS, OR PERSECUTION, OR FAMINE, OR NAKEDNESS, OR DANGER OR SWORD.”
Suffering and persecution inflicted on us by men, because of our relationship with GOD can and will happen in this life, but we are conquerors through HIM who loved us first and sacrificed HIS life on the Cross for us!
CHRIST believed we were worth dying for…….so our persecution should be a witness of our faith. Let us rejoice in all sufferings for HIM because the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven is ours!
MATTHEW 5: 11 “BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN OTHERS REVILE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU AND UTTER ALL KINDS OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY ON MY ACCOUNT.”