Persecuted for Christ

JESUS SPEAKING

                “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as it’s own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember that the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept my word, they will keep yours also” (John 15: 18-20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                This is a warning and an encouragement for true believers.  He is telling the disciples what the future will be like for them, if they choose to follow him.  The Lord explains that there are two distinct and opposing sides; the world and the believer; there is no in between; no grey area; no peaceful place where a person can safely practice the faith without being persecuted.  God’s people are despised by those who seek worldly ends.  Worldly motivation and Godly motivation are at war, and the believer is on one side or the other.  This scripture is meant to encourage us as we walk through life being taken advantage of, stepped on, beaten down, excluded, gossiped about, and persecuted; knowing that these things are proofs that we are traveling down the right path, and that we are following Jesus Christ.  Jesus wants us to be encouraged and overjoyed when we are persecuted for being his followers, knowing that this prophecy has come to pass in our lives.  [Warning:  Persecution that arises because you are rude is not rewarded by the Lord.  Do all things in love; others can tell if you care about them when you are reaching out.]

                Previously I worked in sales, and I did receive a great deal of persecution in many different forms.  One incident occurred with a truck-driver who did the majority of the deliveries for us.  He was going around handing things out.  They were calendars; but, these calendars had naked women on them.  He came in to my office and threw one on my desk, and I told him, “I don’t want this.”  He was offended, and angry, but he took the calendar back.  He had been convicted of the darkness in him, and his anger turned toward me.  [Persecution is not just physical or social.  The persecution is also spiritual.  A person who begins to stand up for Christ is often bombarded with images, thoughts, and emotions that come from being attacked by evil spirits that seek to destroy the chosen of God.  This is often the toughest persecution there is.]  These persecutions become too much for many to handle and they walk away from God.  You and I as believers will certainly undergo persecution of one form or another, but need to take heart.

                Jesus wants us to be encouraged, to not give up, and to know that when we are being persecuted, he is with us, and his words are coming to pass in our lives.  We can know that we are on his side, and that we are heading in the right direction on the path that leads to an eternity with him.  We endure because we are filled with that hope.  As we grow closer to God, and as we become more like him, we will often be persecuted with more regularity and severity.  The world today and the world in the days of the Lord are exactly the same; nothing has changed (Sex, money, power, lust, covetousness, self-fulfillment, entertainment, recreation, career, house, violence, status, strength, freedom; all prideful things; they still make the world go round.)  When you make a stand for God, you are going in the opposite direction, and those who are seeking selfish things see in you, their own evil and ugliness.  Be lowly in a world where everyone is trying to be exalted, and be a messenger of the Lord in this place.  If you are not being persecuted, might I suggest you apply the teachings of Christ to your life?  Your faith is an action.  [For the unsaved:  If you have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, please contact me and we can pray that he would come in to your heart, and in to your life.]

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You Lord, and we ask and pray that You would make us more like Your Son.  Help us Father to endure persecution with love and patience and joy.  If we haven’t truly been applying Your words in our lives, we ask now they would manifest in us, and that by Your power, we would be bold for You.  Give us Your word to speak, and give us more of Your spirit.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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