Tag Archives: persecution

The Aristocracy of Believers

psalm 16 aristocracy2This year Queen Elizabeth will turn 90. She has boldly claimed that she is a believer in God and His Son Jesus Christ. One of these days her earthly crown will be changed to an eternal crown for she is not just of earthly aristocracy but is of the heavenly aristocracy. Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was and is imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people

Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was and is imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people

Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for they too have theirs in heaven. Their inheritance was imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people

Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” They chose to take refuge in the Lord under His everlasting arms where they find solace, peace and quietness—even in times of persecution.

It is because of those facts we too can boldly come before the Father and say: “Preserve me…for I take refuge in you.”  It is the chosen who are the ones in whom God takes great delight. As the psalmist looked about he saw the choice of those who had rejected God. Their life was full of sorrow and it was because they were choosing to serve other gods as Daniel reminded Belshazzar: “You have chosen to praise the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, hear or understand.” [Dan 5]

We who are of the aristocracy, the majestic ones, the chosen can claim that the Lord will counsel us, instruct us, and make known to us the path of life. God will do that because His ways are higher than ours, His plan is infinitely wiser and more detailed than ours for he can see from the beginning to the end. In his presence there is fullness of joy!

Which crown do you wear now and which crown will you wear in eternity?


The Power of Prayer

acts 19 crossOne of the subscriptions I get monthly is “Voice of the Martyrs.” It encourages and challenges me to be more Christ-like in a world that seems to have gone astray from the biblical teachings of our Lord. We are being bombarded by the voices of the deceiver seeking to draw us away from the truth of the gospel message. But, in times like this our character is revealed when we are not deceived but remain fixed upon Christ even when persecuted. It is then that we prove more than ever that we are as those who  the deceived mockingly call  us “the people of the cross.” What they mean as derogatory is really a badge of honor. For that we should be most grateful. They have coined a phrase that we can honor by our lifestyle, our character, our words and actions. However,  we who reside in the west are being told we are being persecuted which is far from the truth. It is those that are living in the “east” or “middle east”, or even “far east” who are the ones revealing to us what true persecution is and how we are to respond to it if it should reach our shores. We who are free ought to be praying diligently for those who are experiencing true persecution. When they are asked what can we do for you their immediate reply is this: “pray for us”. Paul shares with us in his letter to the Thessalonians how to actually do this. The following post is what I wrote on this for today’s reading in 2Thessalonians chapter 1. You can read it here along with the other posts I have done: https://www.facebook.com/bible.org  My goal is to walk with you day by day encouraging you to be strong no matter what comes your way and to encourage you to pray and pray some more and then pray again for those undergoing persecution.

Here is the Facebook post for today. Come and join us as we walk the pages of the NT, Psalms and Proverbs each day.

2Thess 1 pray 4 persecuteda“talent is formed in solitude, but character in the storms of life” [Goethe] How true those words are and evidenced as we watch from the sidelines those who are persevering in the midst of affliction. What was true in the time of Paul, in the time of Nazism, and in our present age is this; the arrows of evil seek to divide and conquer but what is meant for evil is used by God to bring about a harvest of new souls. In doing so the character of our brethren’s flourishing transformation not only humbles us but challenges us to join in partnership with them.

We accomplish this through the avenue and the privilege of prayer because it is our spiritual weapon against the powers of darkness. Paul never prayed what one author called “Father Christmas prayers for health, wealth and happiness.” Instead he prayed for these who were facing persecution to faithfully endure under fire so that they may be made worthy of God’s calling. He prayed that they reflect the truth that God who began a good work in them will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. He prayed that the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit would assist them in enduring under pressure. Lastly he prayed that they seek to glorify the name of Jesus. This is how we too can voice our prayers before God for our persecuted brethren.

Satan’s Defeat and Christ’s Promise

ImageIn 1903 a Sikh named Sundar Singh struggled to know the truth. After he grew he became bitter and angered at God but on this day, 19 December 1903, he began to pray that God would reveal himself—if he really existed. If not, Sundar planned to throw himself in front of the morning train. For seven hours he prayed. “O God, if there is a God, reveal yourself to me tonight.”  As he prayed a man appeared before him with nail-pierced hands, saying, “How long will you deny me? I died for you; I have given my life for you.” He knew it was Christ. From that point on until his death he proclaimed the truth of the gospel message even in the midst of hardship and persecution in the Tibetan region.

As we read the words of Revelation we are reminded of this one man and countless others who gave their lives to serve and to reach the lost with the gospel message. Today as we read Revelation chapter 12 we find solace in one thing and that is once again God’s mercy is overflowing to the ones who recognize the Son of God as the Messiah. He will protect them and prepare a special place just as he did for Sundar in his travels about India and Tibet. He remained uncompromising in his faith and his walk for Jesus. And we must do that as well.

In the future miracles will prove that there are true believers through three acts/attitudes (1) the blood of the Lamb which they now know is their cleansing of sin, (2) the word of their testimony, (3) they did not love their lives so much that they would want to preserve it but rather will be willing to suffer and die for His Name’s Sake.

If we are faithful the words of Jesus will be a living reality: permission to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God, not be harmed by the second death, the hidden manna and a new name written in glory, authority over nations, a new white garment and his name forever etched in the book of life, and to join Christ upon his throne. [Rev 2&3]

We must be about the business of sharing and praying for the many who are even today being martyred for all of these three things. Are you/am I  prepared to be an overcomer this day? Cling to His promise: I will protect  you and I will never leave you nor forsake you.


Me n’ Jesus makes a Majority…Matthew 10

ImageDid you ever see the Apostle Matthew as humble and unassuming? Yep, he was and in chapter 9 we see a short snippet of his calling. Here he was minding his own business…the tax business that is and along comes this radical preacher dude and says “Follow Me.”. Hmmmm Choices! Choices! Yet, this humble man who was wealthy beyond all the others around him not only followed him but had a banquet to celebrate his new “calling.” No longer would he catch tax evaders but he would catch men to do the same thing as he did. No longer would he gather $$ to fill his coffers but he would gather souls for the kingdom.

So what has he been doing in these past few months or even short years? He has been listening and watching, observing and memorizing passages of scripture, been eating with the other dudes who were also called. Let’s see, there were fishermen, and zealots. There was the sweet Andrew who loved kids and his brother Peter the big and burly guy who thought he knew better but often had “foot in mouth disease.” Yet all had heard the call “Follow Me ” and they had made the choice. And now? Now the mentor who has lived shoulder to shoulder, life on life, in close proximity with them moment by moment has chosen to challenge them in the only way He knew they would know the way of the Master. He chose to send them out two by two. And look at who his partner is going to be…Thomas. Yep the one and only: Doubting Thomas. Wonder what their diary read after being together for a week or more? But, then the greatest diary read had to be Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Wonder what their time as a team was like.

So into this motley mix of “dudes” Jesus summons them and says I am sending you on a mission. And this is what he said and how he prepared them:

I am giving you My authority…heavenly authority. As such you will now bear the emblem of the heavenly to do heavenly work. You now will have power over the unclean spirits, power to heal and to touch the lepers and make them clean. You will have the anointing power of the Spirit to preach the word to Israel that were like sheep without a shepherd. You have the good news and My authority to share it with all of Israel.

Then Jesus  instructed them prior to their being sent out. He said: stay in Israel, preach the message that the kingdom is at hand, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Trust God for all of your daily provisions just as you have seen me do with you. Even though I have had no place to lay my head, my Father has provided for my every meal, my place of rest when I am weary, my every need and He shall do the same for you.

And lastly, Jesus also warned them of what lay ahead for discipleship is costly. You will  meet unsavory characters, the enemy’s servants, and those who will persecute you for your message and lifestyle. So you must be as wise as a serpent…that is prudent and shrewd, and yet innocent or inoffensive as a dove. Your character must have both sides of the coin to meet all and any situation you will meet. Three times he told them “do not fear” thus reminding them that although they were men the enemy is the fallen archangel, Satan, and he will set traps to cause even grown men to become fearful.

But the chapter does not end there. Tucked at the end is this verse: Matt 10:42 “whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.” I wonder if they remembered that as they walked the dusty roads of Israel? I wonder if they talked about the authority, the instructions, the warnings or concentrated on this verse? It is at times like this I want to be a fly on the wall and see and hear and experience what they did…but *sigh* that was then and this is now. It is really up to “Me n’ Jesus” to get this job done. Will you join us? Where two or three are gathered in His name we are truly a majority. Come join me on this journey!