WEEK 5: REVERE JESUS: AS YOUR LORD: Are you willing to share Christ’s suffering?
Day 28: Tue 13 Mar, 18
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Are you willing to share Christ’s suffering?
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
1 Peter 4:12-13
Worship: Whom Shall I Fear?
“If you’re wondering whether you’ll be safe, just look at what they did to Jesus and those who followed him. There are safer ways to live than being a Christian…So live real good, and get beat up real bad. Dance until they kill you, and then we’ll dance some more. That’s how this thing seems to work.” (Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution, 2016, p. 232)
Jesus prayed for us, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” John 17:14-15
Jesus’ victory gives His followers His faith and power to overcome illness, bondage, fear and hatred and His joy, peace and patience to endure persecution. “…he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
Jesus asks us to give up everything, including our lives. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...” Philippians 3:8 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26
The Moravians, expected to face suffering, persecution and death. The famous story that inspired many in the mission movement for over the last 250 years occurred in December 1732, when Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann (both in their early twenties) were sent out as the first two Moravian missionaries from Herrnhut, in Germany. They sold themselves into slavery to reach the 3,000 slaves on a sugarcane plantation was owned by an atheist landowner who vowed to never allow Christianity to reach his property on St. Thomas Island in the West Indies. As they departed from Hamburg to sail through the North Sea, their families, knowing they would never see them again, wept and asked them why they must go. One of them cried out, "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!" This became the banner call for the 2,000 Moravian missionaries sent over the next 150 years from their tiny community to the neglected areas of the earth. (https://mikebickle.org/resources/resource/2944)
Enjoy this inspirational video: The Reward of His Suffering
Our culture celebrates victory but not suffering. Do you fear persecution and martyrdom? Hear Paul’s victorious peace, “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:17-19 “For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:5
Let Peter reassure you, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled…” 1 Peter 3:14 Read also 1 Peter 4:13-14 and 1 Peter 5:10. Most of us don’t know the kind of death we face but there are many in our generation who are losing their lives because they follow Jesus. How are they are received in heaven? Read Revelation 7:14 and Revelation 12:11.
Join the God Revolution: Video: How to Prepare for a Spiritual Battle
Follow Jesus as His Disciple
Be blessed as you look to Jesus as your Lord –
- Trusting Him to help you overcome anything that would silence you from sharing the Gospel.
- Trusting Him to sanctify your troubles. Through them He will produce patience, joy, sympathy, hope and strength in you.
- To be found worthy to be despised, to suffer and die for following Him. Trust Jesus so you can rejoice in suffering, knowing this life is only a moment compared to the eternal life.
(Based on Sylvia Gunter, 2008, p.187)
Pray All People Hear the Gospel
Lord, we pray today for all those who are suffering persecution for the sake of Christ – and those who are paying the price to bring the gospel to the people in our local area and the Australian city of Cairns, Queensland where the Queen’s Baton is today; to the nations represented at the Commonwealth Games; and the unreached 458,000 Bairagi (Hindi) people in India.