Monday, August 22, 2011

Suffering Shame and Hatred from the World for Christ

Yesterday we taught through Matthew 10:16-25 where Jesus speaks about the persecution that will come to his followers. The premise that we ultimately set forward was this: Followers of Jesus will be persecuted for their allegiance to him; therefore, if you do not experience persecution, you either 1. do not belong to him or 2. are living a sinfully quite life about your faith in Christ. There is really no in between. Jesus promises that suffering will come. 

We need to begin living much louder lives about our faith. The world will grow increasingly intolerant of followers of Jesus, but true believers will endure to the end (Matt. 10:22). Instead of dreading this persecution, why don't we consider it a privilege? It is a great privilege to suffer for the sake of Jesus' name and fame. Let these words from Peter resonate in your mind and heart today and throughout the week:

1 Peter 4:12-14 (ESV) - 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and God rests upon you.

Why do you believe we are so quick to run from persecution when Scripture calls us "blessed?"

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