Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Can’t Take the Heat
There was a seed, Jesus said, that sprang up quickly. The person was happy to hear the gospel—after all, it is good news. However, the plant (person) didn’t have much of a root or way to get nutrients—no maturity that comes from understanding, to sustain the person (plant) when the heat of persecution came. Persecution for Jesus’ name sake is a very real issue throughout the world today. It often starts (and thankfully, sometimes goes no further) with insults such as I’ve painted here, “You don’t really believe that stuff do you?”, “Jesus didn’t mean that.” “What an idiot!” When insults don’t sway a person, jealousy often goes beyond taunts to threats such as we’ll “disown you” and in fact many new followers of Jesus are disowned by their families but Jesus told us it would be this way. (Matthew 10:21) Christians all over the world are being threatened, arrested, beaten—even killed because they dare to follow Jesus. Yet, when others talk about praying for them that the persecution will stop, they often surprisingly counter, “Oh no don’t pray that, pray that we will have strength to stand up under it.”
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:2-4
The words I’ve painted here in hot yellow are from top to bottom are: disown you; deny or your family (…bad things will happen to them); Jesus didn’t really mean that; arrest; out of house and home; you’ve gotta live in the real world; what an idiot; you don’t really believe this stuff?