Posts Tagged ‘Persecution

15
Feb
18

Resisting The Devil

Peter said that our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He’s looking for someone to devour. Christ-followers of Peter’s day were undergoing persecution and tests of their faith. This suffering was seen as a result of the devil’s prowling. Peter said to stand firm in the faith instead of abandoning it. He wrote:

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. – 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV)

Knowing that we are all in this together helps us to resist the devil and stand firm together. We have brothers and sisters around the world who are undergoing persecution for our faith and they’re not giving up. If anything, their faith is stronger. They don’t have the option of complacency. The enemy is on the prowl and things will only get worse for Christians before Christ returns. What will you do when the enemy comes prowling around trying to devour you? Will you walk away to avoid persecution or will you stand firm in the faith knowing that Jesus is coming soon?
Advertisements
06
Feb
18

Continue To Do Good

In 1 Peter 4, the Apostle Peter talks about those who suffer persecution for following Jesus. Persecution is inevitable. God, Peter says, will have the final say when He judges the world. God is able to use our suffering for good. He grows our faith in Christ through participation in His sufferings. Instead of retaliating, we should do something else. Peter wrote:

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. – 1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)

We should continue to do good. If you suffer for your faith, don’t throw in the towel. If you suffer persecution for Jesus, don’t give up. Keep your eyes on Him and continue to do good. Let God have the final say as you continue to do good. Continue to love your neighbor and your enemy. Continue to serve the poor and needy. Continue to pray for those who persecute you and forgive them. This is how we continue to do good and look more like our Leader, Jesus.
02
Feb
18

Bearing The Name Of Jesus

No one wants to suffer, right? No one wants to endure hardship and persecution. Sometimes we bring suffering on ourselves because of our sinful actions. Sometimes we suffer persecution because of our faith. Peter says that if we suffer because of our faith, we should praise God. He wrote:

If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. – 1 Peter 4:15-16 (NIV)

The reason we praise God because we bear the name of Jesus is because it is the only name by which we are saved. When we stand before Him in judgment, we who have been clothed with Christ in baptism will be judged “Not guilty.” Those who are not bearing the name of Jesus will be condemned. When we come to Christ, we are given a new name – His name. It is a beautiful, wonderful and powerful name. It is the name above every other name. By God’s grace through faith in Jesus, it is our name now.
01
Feb
18

Sticks And Stones

Peter tells us that we are blessed when we suffer for Christ. He wrote:

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. – 1 Peter 4:14 (NIV)

Jesus said the very same thing in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. He said:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

You know you’re living for Jesus when people insult you. The world mocks what it doesn’t understand. They call us Jesus freaks or they say that we need a religious crutch because we’re mentally, emotionally or spiritually weak. They say we’re all hypocrites. Maybe we are fanatical about loving our Savior. Maybe we are weak and we need Jesus to give us strength. Maybe we are hypocrites because we’re not perfect. At least we admit it. Don’t give up on your faith because you’re insulted for it. Great is your reward in Heaven.
31
Jan
18

Suffering For Jesus

Jesus said in John 15 that the world would hate His followers because it hated Him first. Peter’s audience was being persecuted and they were experiencing that hate firsthand. Peter said this should not have come as a surprise to them. He wrote:

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

If we suffer for our faith, our sufferings are a participation in the sufferings of Jesus. In Acts 5, Peter and his fellow apostles were flogged for preaching in the name of Jesus. It says that they left rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus. Instead of getting angry over persecution, let us rejoice knowing that God sees it and He will have the final say. May we be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
19
Jan
18

We Don’t Live That Way Anymore

Every follower of Jesus has a past. We all have a transformation story. We used to live one way, now we’re living differently. This was as true in the first century as it is now. Peter writes:

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. – 1 Peter 4:3-4 (NIV)

Notice what he says about persecution. When we live differently and we don’t go along with the crowd, we are abused and persecuted. People who live for Jesus stick out like a sore thumb. We should never look down on others or condemn them. That’s not our job. We need to make sure that we are living righteous lives that please our Heavenly Father instead of sinning with the crowd. We should rejoice when persecuted for great is our reward in Heaven.
18
Jan
18

Done With Sin

When you decide to live for Jesus, it is indeed a huge choice with potentially painful consequences. Jesus promised that the world would hate His followers because it hated Him first. Living for Jesus can result in painful persecution. Peter talks about this in chapter 4. He writes:

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. – 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)

When you start living for Jesus and are willing to suffer for Him, it means that you’re saying, “I’m done with sin.” In other words, it means that you’re going to go against the flow and live differently. You’re willing to suffer whatever consequences may come as a result of your choice. Instead of living for selfish, human desires, you’re going to live for God. The world will not persecute its own, but it will persecute followers of Jesus. Are you willing to say, “Yes” to Jesus and be done with sin?



%d bloggers like this: