May 22, 2019
The Bible has hundreds of examples, for it is our most common enemy.
Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. (John 12:42-43)
Jesus consistently reminded His followers that men in the world would hate them, just as they hated him. A true believer's life affects everyone they meet. Not brashly or unlovingly. Christianity always graciously but clearly challenges the status quo. It is counter-cultural. Otherworldly. And many do not understand. Their response is to try to avoid the light, extinguish the Light or come to the Light.
A PRE-DETERMINED CHOICE
We must be ready for this and have already made our choice that we would rather hear the applause of heaven than earth.
If you have not made this life-decision, you will find you are rarely used by God. At every point where you think it might affect your reputation with men, you will choose the path of least resistance. This could be as simple as speaking up for Christ with your neighbors or a waiter at your table today for lunch.
It could be voicing the biblical truth about a decision at work or being unwilling to compromise and join in a slightly dishonest decision. It could be choosing unselfishly or forgiving an enemy. In a thousand ways, every day, we are deciding whether to let Christ rule and seek His kingdom first.
The one who lives for the approval of men discovers at the end of their life that they have had little affect for the kingdom and have lived much like the world. Their decision to not rock the boat has kept them from their most important purpose and most satisfying life. It is, for most, the most life-directing decision possible.
The key to Jesus' success is that He lived only for GOD'S glory. He consistently prayed, "Father, glorify YOUR name" (John 12:27). He lived for the greater reward.
Anyone who prays this prayer and lives this unashamed life will be honored by the Father. And, they will be eternally glad for their choice.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?