November 26, 2019
You may not feel it directly, but persecution against the followers of Christ is rapidly increasing around the world. There were more believers killed for their faith last year than any year in human history.
Even in America we see the bias against believers inclining. The Apostle Peter, who would later die for his faith, (crucified upside down because he didn’t feel himself worthy to be crucified like Christ), reminds us of the inevitability and the glory of such suffering.
How should we deal with any suffering we or others may encounter?
This is not some unusual thing you are experiencing, but is to be expected. If we are not experiencing some measure of persecution it may be that we are not living fruitfully enough to warrant the world’s attention.
We are to give thanks in everything, so suffering should be one of these places of gratitude. The earliest believers rejoiced that they had so lived that they could suffer like their Lord. A lack of suffering for the faith is often a sign that we are doing nothing that is stirring up the devil or running counter to the world.
God promises an increased measure of blessing with those who experience an increased measure of suffering. His manifold grace will be more than sufficient for what we’re experiencing.
Any serious believer has one great desire: that God would be seen and glorified through their lives. Suffering for the faith is one of the greatest opportunities to be mightily used for God. God promises that His Spirit will rest upon you in such times as you respond with joy and faithfulness for His glory!
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020