January 15, 2018
Anytime you draw the line there are going to be people on the other side. Jesus was serious about doing this, with no apologies, and it cost him his life.
Because He was so inherently honest, He did not sugarcoat this with His disciples. ""If they maligned Me, they will malign you,"" He said. He painted a picture in Matthew, Chapter 10 of the persecution that they would face if they truly, unapologetically followed Him.
If we are not facing some of the same, it might be because we speak a politically correct gospel or, worse yet, may not be speaking the gospel at all for the sake of our comfort.
But for those happy, effective ones who proclaim Him on the housetops and are persecuted for it, there are great promises from the Savior.
THE PROMISE OF VALUE AND CARE
27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
THE PROMISE OF CONFESSION WHERE IT MATTERS
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.
33 “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
THE PROMISE OF FINDING REAL LIFE
38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
It's worth it. As you head into your day, resolve that you will live for Christ and proclaim Him, graciously and kindly, but boldly and loudly. Regardless of others response, you will have gained the attention of heaven.
Dear Lord, forgive me for my silence. My lack of confessing You to others for fear of the loss it might bring me. Open my mouth today to proclaim you boldly. Let me be willing to lose my life so that I may exalt Yours to people who desperately need to see You. And, let me rest in Your promised applause and not listen for the applause of men.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023