Last year I read a book titled Think It Not Strange by Piper and Mathis. It reminds me of the perspective we have as American Christians. We can hardly fathom persecution the way the Bible talks about persecution. Yet, when you truly think of the cost of Christianity, it’s strange that we are not persecuted - yet.
I know there have been Christians that have been persecuted for their faith here in the great USA. But we don’t often hear of that. For most of us, our persecution may include:
being made fun of
losing a promotion
losing a job
maybe even a divorce or
being somewhat cut off from family
But what do we gain with our relationship with Jesus Christ?
peace with God
the peace of God
freedom from sin
a calling and purpose for life
abundant life (now)
family all over the world (other Christians)
and so much more
So what are we afraid of when it comes to sharing our faith or standing up for what Jesus says is right? I’m Southern Baptist by denomination. Unfortunately, we are more known for what we are against than for what we are for. Here are a few things I am for:
loving people because Jesus loves people
serving people because Jesus showed me how
offering grace before judgement because Jesus gives grace to all who come to Him
extending mercy because Jesus has pardoned me from what I deserve
sharing the gospel of salvation because Jesus died and rose again so we can be saved
We are not all called to be martyrs - to die for our faith in Jesus, but we are ALL called to LIVE for Him.
We are not all called to be martyrs, but we are all called to live for Him.
Jesus made the cost of discipleship very plain.
But the rewards… oh the greatness of following Jesus…
To think Jesus stepped down from heaven out of glory to live among us. He knew that to redeem us He would have to be separated from His Father for the first time in eternity. He did that willingly because He loves you and me.
As mere human beings we cannot understand how He could take the beatings and the cross for us. But as the Holy God, He became sin - S.I.N - so we might have salvation in Him. How can that be? That, my friend, is love. Amazing love.
When I remind myself of Jesus’ amazing love for me and for you, I have to ask myself - “What am I afraid of?” Because -Jesus is worth EVERYTHING you are afraid of losing!