| Avoid Persecution — John MacArthur
A Christian is expendable. You may not get physical flak but may suffer intellectual persecution instead. You may be quietly ostracized from society. You may be politely shunned at the water cooler. People may take a “there-goes-the-weirdo” attitude. And that causes a deflated ego problem. Every person wants so much to be accepted. But you cannot be accepted by the world and be effective for the Lord.
I am not a masochist. I take no pleasure in being abused, spiritually or otherwise, and I am not talking about going around saying, “Oh poor me. I am persecuted. Aren’t I spiritual?” God help us, no. But I am talking about a willingness to be bold, a willingness to face the world and let the chips fly. Don’t ever water down the Gospel. If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.
Consider Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians: “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all” (2:17). What did Paul mean? If I have to die as a sacrifice for you to be saved, that is good. If I have to offer my life as a sacrifice for your joy, I love it.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul rejoiced about his suffering. You may think Paul was out of his mind. No. He said “[I] rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh” (1:24). What does he mean? The world would like to get at Jesus. They do not persecute Christians because they dislike them; they persecute Christians because they dislike Jesus. They can’t get at Him because He is in heaven, so they get at you and me.
Paul said that he was enduring the suffering that was meant for Jesus; he was filling up in his body the afflictions of Jesus. The whole world is not done killing Jesus. Paul stood in the world’s way so that he would get to die for the One who had died for him. In the same way, we should count it a joy to stand and take the arrows meant for Jesus.
Paul said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17). These scars over here–these were not for me. They were for Jesus, but I took them for Him! Are you willing to suffer for Him who suffered for you? Are you willing to confront the world? That is the will of God.
MacArthur, John. Found: God’s Will. Rev. ed. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor, 1977.
It surely was a dark hour for the disciples when that Friday’s sun sank in the west. Satan seemed to have conquered and utterly to have destroyed the good seed of life which God had sent down from heaven. A Persian fable says that the earth was created a great barren plain, without tree or plant. An angel was sent to scatter broadcast the choicest seeds on every spot. Satan, seeing the seeds on the ground, supposed that the sowing of the seeds was God’s work, and determined to destroy it. So he buried all the seeds in the soil, and summoned sun and rain to make them rot away. But while with malignant feeling of triumph he smiled on the ruin he had wrought, the seeds which had been buried away to rot germinated and sprang up, clothing all the earth with plants and flowers, and in beauty undreamed of before. And a voice said from heaven, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die.”
The application is obvious. The burial of Christ was thought by his enemies to be the end; but in truth this was the very way to the glory of Christ. He himself had said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Christ’s burial in the grave was but the necessary way to his final and glorious victory. So now when we lay our beloved Christian dead in the tomb it is in the assured hope of blessed resurrection. The grave is but the shaded way to glory.
Originally posted on sacrificebeyondprice:
“I may not know what you are going through today
The sorrow, the hardship, the pain
But though the mountains crumble, and the oceans rage, and war against my soul the devil may wage
Though the tempest has turned my smiles upside down, and my life like a river of sorrow in which I drown
Yet will I stand
Unshaken for as long as it lasts
Faithful is He that promised and it shall come to pass
If God be for us who can stand against
The God who spoke all the earth into form
He said let there be light, let it be bright, let there be day, let there be night
Out of the sound of His voice, birds, fish and trees did come
The mountains they melt like wax, the hills skip like young cows
At the sound of the voice of the God that we serve
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Praise the ‘globalness’ of God
December 12, 2014
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation…”
Not long ago, I met a man from a different part of the world who was a believer in Jesus Christ. As I sat and talked with him, I began thinking about how amazing it is that despite the cultural and geographic barriers that separate him and me, we are partakers of the same grace.
Think about it… as you read these words, millions of men and women across the globe are praying, worshipping, and serving the very same God you do. You’re part of a worldwide body of believers who’ve met Jesus Christ and serve Him as Lord and Savior!
Sadly, however, many Christians I’ve met serve a cultural God – one whom they make in the image of their own culture and apply character traits that are simply unbiblical. God is no more (and no less) a God of the United States than He is of South Korea or Paraguay. He’s a global God!
All those years ago when Jesus was born in Jerusalem, God’s plan was never to keep that glory within geographic boundaries. Thank God for leaving heaven to come to Earth to redeem people from every tribe, tongue, and nation!
PRAISE GOD THAT HE’S A GLOBAL GOD – ONE WHO HAS PURCHASED PEOPLE FROM EVERY NATION!
For more from PowerPoint Ministries and Dr. Jack Graham, please visit www.jackgraham.org
Friday, December 12th, 2014
The Rent Veil
The rending of this veil at the time of Christ’s death was not an accident caused by the earthquake. It was part of the symbolism — the end, the completion of it. Men were no longer to be excluded from God’s presence, since the great sacrifice had now been made. The separating wall had been broken down by Christ’s death. Hence the symbol of this separation was also removed. This rending of the veil was therefore a supernatural act, teaching that the way of access to God was now and for ever open to all.
The fact that the veil was rent from top to bottom (that is, torn in two pieces) signifies that the way is entirely opened — the veil is clean gone; the Holiest of all stands wide open with its mercy-seat accessible to every sinner, without the intervention of any earthly priest. The time at which this rending took place is important. It was just after Christ had died — after he had cried, “It is finished.” It was because the great atonement was now made that the way was opened; as soon as the sacrifice had been made, the way to God was thrown open to all.
You can now listen to the Bible online!
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” It was not the nails in his flesh, nor the insults of scoffing enemies, nor the ignominy of the cross, but the fact that Jesus for the time had lost the sense of the Father’s presence, that made the grief of the hour.
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” What had he, the beloved Son, done that the Father should forsake him? It would not have seemed so strange if he had forsaken the angels or the saints living in glory; but why should he forsake his own Son?
“My God!” Why does he not say “My Father”? He said “Father” in the first word on the cross, and in the very last; why is it “My God” here? Has he in the darkness lost the consciousness of sonship? Does he seem pushed far away from home, from the Father’s heart, from the bosom where from all eternity he had reposed? So it seems. Yet mark how his faith clings in the darkness: it is still “My God!” He has not lost faith even in the darkness. His faith holds, though he cannot see God’s face. No matter how dark the night about us, how heavy the cross that weighs us down, how lonely and deserted we may feel, we should never lose faith in God. Behind the blackest clouds his face ever beams with love. He is still our God, though for the time he may have left us alone.
“Why hast thou forsaken me?” Can we answer this “why”? We know only that Jesus was bearing our sins; and that it was for our sake he had to endure this hiding. He was forsaken then for a small moment that for all eternity we might enjoy the favor of God and dwell in communion with him.
There was also a still deeper darkness around the soul of him who hung on that central cross. It was so dark that he even seemed forsaken of God. We can never understand it, although we know that it was the sin of the world that made the darkness. Jesus wrapped the glooms of death about himself that we might be clothed in garments of light. He died thus in darkness that we might walk into the valley amid the splendors of heavenly light. He had agony in his last hour that we might have joy. His head wore the crown of thorns, and had no place to rest in dying, that under our heads might be the pillow of peace.
It is profitable for us to contrast the death of Christ with that of his disciples in all ages since. He shrank from the “cup,” they are eager to drink it. He seemed forsaken of God; they look with ecstasy and unclouded vision into the Father’s face. Why did death mean so much to him; and why is it such a peaceful experience to them? It is easy to answer this question. Death has no bitterness for the Christian, because it was so bitter to the Redeemer. He drew the curse from it, and now it has in it only the sweetness of blessing. Indeed, there is no death any more for the Christian. Jesus abolished death. What we now call death is death no longer, since he passed through it. It is now only the shadow of death, and even the shadow is lighted up with the beams of Divine glory bursting from heaven. Let us never forget that we have light in our dying because Jesus had darkness.
rescues you from death
December 2, 2014
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Imagine looking at a swimming pool filled with people. All of a sudden, you see a small child caught out in the deep end, completely unable to swim and sinking to the bottom. So you start waving your arms and shouting at him, trying to give him some tips on how to make it back to the shallow end of the pool.
Does that make sense? Would anyone in their right mind just stand there and shout while a child is drowning? Absolutely not! Every single rational-thinking person would jump in the water and pull that child to safety.
Left in our sin, we’re exactly like that drowning child. We have no hope of escaping death on our own. And while the world’s religions wave their arms and shout instructions at us for pulling ourselves from death, Jesus is the only one who gets in the water to save us.
As we move into the season of Advent, let’s focus our hearts and minds on the work of Jesus Christ – the one who came into the world to die for our sins and rescue us from a hopeless eternity. Praise God today that He loved you that much!
PRAISE GOD THAT HE DIDN’T JUST GIVE US INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIVING, BUT CAME HIMSELF TO SAVE US FROM A HOPELESS ETERNITY!
For more from PowerPoint Ministries and Dr. Jack Graham, please visit http://www.jackgraham.org
So very real! Enjoy!
Originally posted on Revolutionary Faith:
About four months ago, I decided I wanted to grow much deeper in my faith. I had just come out of a years-long spiritual desert and was ready to learn how to walk in the fresh outpouring of the Spirit that I sensed was finally falling upon my heart. So I bought some study books and kicked off my new spiritual journey with a week of prayer and fasting.
Since then, I’ve seen God do some incredible things in my life. He’s expanded my faith exponentially. He’s deepened my understanding of the gospel and strengthened my spiritual gifts. He’s given me favor on the job. He’s brought greater health to my body and peace to my heart. He’s answered several of my prayers in miraculous ways. I should be on top of the world, right??
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