It is an inescapable fact. If you get serious about being shaped into Christ's image, you'll have to learn to cope with the consequences of being a servant of God. Those who serve will suffer.
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
I urge you to listen up! Every once in a while we are going to get kicked. Now, this doesn't mean God has abandoned us or that we are out of His will. It just means people are people, sheep are sheep.
Originally, the term persecution meant "to run after, pursue." It's the idea of being chased, having others "on our case," we would say. It is an active, aggressive word conveying everything from being intimidated to being assaulted, actually attacked.
We Christians have received a priceless treasure (the glorious Gospel) in a very frail and perishable container (our weak bodies). There is a reason. So nobody will have any question about the source of power, it must be of God and not of any human origin.
Great-hearted, loving, caring, sacrificial servants of the living God have known ill treatment down through the centuries. The consequence of serving is no new phenomenon. It goes a long way back in time.
One thing is certain: if people treated a perfect individual that way, then imperfect people cannot expect to escape mistreatment. If mistreatment hasn't happened to you yet, it will.
We North Americans like things to be logical and fair. We not only like that, we operate our lives on that basis. Logic and fairness are big guns in our society.
Reading the words of our Saviour, we need to realize the tremendous emphasis He put on obedience. As I think about appropriating Christ's model and commands, three specifics seem important enough to mention.
Jesus, the Lord, goes to the bottom line when He said, in effect, "I left you an example of what you should do—carry out my directions, fulfil my commands, follow my instructions." That's obedience. That's doing what we are told to do.
Jesus said it plainly. "I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you." He was looking for action, not theory.