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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Persecuted for Christ

In tonight's teen service at church, our youth pastor, who also happens to be my brother-in-law:), delivered a powerful message on being persecuted for Christ's sake...I just wanted to give my own little take on that topic...

Matthew 5: 10-12
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 

John 15: 18-19
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us that if we are living for Him and truly striving to follow Him, we will be persecuted. He also says that we are to rejoice in that persecution. We are to count it a privilege to be persecuted for His sake. The Lord Himself, the Master of the universe, was persecuted as a man on earth. Jesus tells us not to be weary in the journey.

Hebrews 12: 2-3
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 God.
For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds.

When we are criticized for our faith in God, we must remember that millions of Christians are arrested, tortured, and even killed for their faith all around the world every day. We must remember that Jesus Christ was persecuted, rejected, and crucified for standing up for the truth. He loves us, and He will take care of us. He is with us every moment of every day. And if we will ask Him, He will strengthen us. We must remember that we have a Defender and Protector, and that He is more powerful than any evil the world throws our way.
Today, let us thank the Lord for His protection and guidance, and ask Him to make us strong and courageous, that we may defend Him, our precious Savior, to the very death.

Two excellent books which have inspired me to be more bold for Christ are Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris and The Prayer of Jabez for Teens by Bruce Wilkinson.

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