Posted by: bshelley | April 23, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Entry for April 24, 2008

Today’s Verse: Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, also to suffer for His sake, NASB

Wait a minute; I did not see that on the recruiting poster, did you? I don’t think the kind of suffering meant is being late on ones boat payment either. Paul goes on in verse 30 being specific saying they would likely suffer the same consequences for living and witnessing to their faith that had befallen him. Hopefully we will not be faced with jail time for expressing our faith, but that may not be out of the question either. A year or so the Canadian Parliament came very close to voting that the Bible was hate literature. There are even rumblings of that sort of thinking out here on the left coast. The line of thinking is that since the Bible teaches intolerance against such laudable institutions as homosexuality and other immorality, that it should be banned. How dare we in a Post-Modern society accept that any truth is truth for all or that we don’t hold all truths as self-evident, but rather of equal value. Where do we get off saying our God is right and everyone else is wrong just because He says so? You have heard it. Well, there is a God who created all that we see and He loves everyone so much that He allows them to accept His love and love Him back and accept His peace terms or not. If we stand up and live the kind of lives Jesus and the New Testament writers put forth as the very word of God, commands by which His disciples are to live, we will stick out in this world. We will stick out in this world that worships things and self. We will stick out in a world that says “How dare you believe what you believe?” and “How dare you say what I am doing is sin.” Paul did that and they threw him in jail and ultimately killed him. Jesus said that and they killed Him. First century Christians said that and they were killed for it. Do not think that for a minute Satan has folded his hand just yet. Just like any other animal trapped, cornered and facing certain defeat, that is when they are the most dangerous. We do not dare to respond by mentally flipping the channel to something more peaceful like America’s Funniest Home Videos or such. We are in a spiritual battle for the very souls of this nation and the world. We don’t need camouflage; the world already does not see much difference between us and them. That’s why they respond, “Why church?” We must be ready to respond that without changed lives in Christ they are destined to face God’s judgment with naught but their souls as payment. Tell that truth on the court steps, in the schools, in the workplace or wherever you stand and see if what Paul says is not true. Maybe the reason we don’t see persecution of any scale in most of our comfortable Christian lives is because we are not doing that outside the protective four walls of our “sanctuaries”. Pray that God will give us all the boldness to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus and the need to turn from lives leading to destruction in sin. Yes, that could be dangerous, but is also love.

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