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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Are You Being Persecuted?

"Come on! Don't be a chicken!"  "What do you mean you can't do that?  Why not? Are you too scared?"  "Say it!  Just say it!  It won't hurt you!"  "You don't watch that?  What's wrong with you?" "Everybody is doing it.  Just try it once."

Persecution today looks a lot different than in did for the first century Christians, but it's instigators still want the same thing:  They want the Christian to deny Christ and His existence in their life.

“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 its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me."
John 15:18-21

It's amazing to me when my children come home (from oldest at 16 to the youngest at 8) and tell me how strange other kids think they are for not saying "bad" words, for not watching certain movies or television shows, or by not doing certain things.  Thankfully it doesn't bother them and they don't have a problem with saying no or not doing those things at all.  In fact, I think they've had an influence on many of those same kids. 

I pray that their faith will continue to give them courage and God will continue to strengthen them as they get older.  Prayerfully they will always be able to resist the temptations that will come their way.  Being a child, preteen, mid-teen and older teen is hard enough, but add into that the pressures of life from school and friends and negative peer pressure, it can be down-right overwhelming!

In American we may face persecution, but it is usually not to the degree that many face today all over different parts of the world; however, sometimes it is to that degree.  Remember the young lady who lost her life for stating her faith in Jesus at the Columbine school massacre?  That type of persecution is what others in the world face and what many in the early church faced constantly and even to the point of death.

A favorite preacher used to say that he believed that Christians today should be persecuted.  What he meant was - if we are not being persecuted, maybe were living too much like the world.  Maybe we're not being set apart and being a "peculiar" (KJV of Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9) people.  I think he's got a point, don't you?  If we're not living a life that is different, we're just blending in with the world.  As Christians, we live in the world, but we mustn't ever live like the world.  We must be proclaiming Jesus.  We must be following Jesus.  We must be showing that we are His disciple each and every day.

So, are you being persecuted?  I hope so!

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven...."
Matthew 5:10-12

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. My husband is not a Christian, so every day I go through this. Just something as simple as what to watch on TV, and I can see the sarcastic retort coming from him when I say I don't want to watch something because it has swearing or things I don't approve of in it. These verses helped alot today and I just wanted to let you know that. Thank you!

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