Monday, November 26, 2012

Struck down, but not destroyed.





The Word of God is energized by the Spirit of God. Whenever Scripture goes forth, it never returns without accomplishing the work it was intended to do. This is because the written Word of God is "living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword" (v. 12). As we minister to others, the Bible must be central to all that we say and do. We must always remember that it is the Word which is alive, not our own insights, clever arguments, or interesting stories.

There was a period in church history that extended from A.D. 100 to A.D. 314, during which thousands and thousands of courageous Christian men and women sealed their fate with their blood. Secular historians are in agreement that there were 10 great persecutions—10 major attempts to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth.

It started with the wicked Caesar Nero, who presided over the death of Paul. Christians were fed to wild animals. They were killed in the Roman arenas for sport. They were torn apart. They were tortured. They were burned at the stake. The Roman emperor Diocletian thought he was so successful at eradicating Christianity that he actually had a commemorative coin struck with the words, "The Christian religion is destroyed, and the worship of the [Roman] gods is restored." Well, things didn't turn out as well as Diocletian thought, because the church marches on. And what is left of Rome? What is left of Caesar? A salad, perhaps, but not much else. As Jesus said of His church, the gates of hell will not prevail against it (see Matthew 16:18).

When someone mocks us or criticizes us or wants to do physical harm to us because we are followers of Jesus Christ, we tend to think of this as the worst thing that can happen. But it is also a badge of honor. Because if you are being persecuted, then it means you are doing something right.

God will allow persecution in our lives. The Bible says, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).


We're quick to remember God's promises of provision and protection. But we're not so eager to hold on to God's promise of persecution. Yet it can have a positive impact on our lives. (1)

God has been kind enough to trust us with this work. That's why we never give up. We don't do shameful things that must be kept secret. And we don't try to fool anyone or twist God's message around. God is our witness that we speak only the truth, so others will be sure that we can be trusted. If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost.

God has been kind enough to trust us with this work. That's why we never give up. We don't do shameful things that must be kept secret. And we don't try to fool anyone or twist God's message around. God is our witness that we speak only the truth, so others will be sure that we can be trusted. If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost.

The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like. We are not preaching about ourselves. Our message is that Jesus Christ is Lord. He also sent us to be your servants.

The Scriptures say, "God commanded light to shine in the dark." Now God is shining in our hearts to let you know that his glory is seen in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 CEV

It Is Not Ours to Ask "Why?"

  

 “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31


When bewilderment enshrouds you and despair looms at your door, when trials storm the beaches of your life, you may want to ask God, “Why? Why? Why?” Friend, you may never understand why things are happening the way they are in your life, but that’s not your job. You see, it is not necessary for you to know why. That is God’s question. Your response is all that matters. When we can’t feel His hand, we must trust His heart. Our job is to simply trust and obey.

Is there something happening in your life for which you have no explanation, but long for answers? Ask God to give you peace and grace to trust Him.

Our Lord goes with us into the dark times of our lives. He holds us by the hand and lets us know that we have nothing to fear. Darkness and light are the same to the Lord. He will lead us through our times of fear and bring us back into the light every time.
 

 Reference:


(1)  Pastor Greg Laurie,"The Church Triumphant" -- Harvest Devotion for 11/22/2012



Blessings,


Raj Kosaraju

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