We are proactive to avoid many unpleasant things in life. But the desire to avoid persecution is one of the most natural and understandable desires we have. We can be thankful that we don’t live under the emperor Nero, who enjoyed tormenting the followers of Jesus. Yet, even in our culture, we do often feel pressure to keep our faith private and inoffensive. If we can dress it up as a time-honored tradition or a preference among many other options, we can live comfortably in a politically correct world. But here’s the thing, following Jesus Christ has never been about living comfortably.
No, the relationship with Jesus is about living for the glory of God, regardless of the consequences. That’s the only way the world can see the difference between having a personal relationship Jesus and religion. For some, the world’s understanding comes at too great a cost; for others, there is no cost too great.
Our enemy doesn’t mind our faith in Jesus when there is no cross in it. He inspires a world that places expectations on us to modify our faith to make it as palatable as possible. But Jesus said he would be a stumbling block; we have no right to compromise Him. We should remove all offensiveness from ourselves, but if we take the offensiveness out of the Gospel, we don’t have the Gospel.
“The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 6:12)
The enemy’s tactics are subtle. He tries to water down the truth. He tempts us to water down the Truth. He tempts us to love Christianity rather than Christ. He turns us against one another over details so we will divide over the basics. And when it comes to pressure, he hopes we will not cling to our love. Satan loves a conformist to anything other than the image of Christ.
Let’s not conform to anything or anyone but Jesus. Let’s not cross the line from being a follower of Christ in the world for being a follower of Christ of the world. Let’s ask ourselves daily: Who Do I Love Most? Let’s invest our love in Jesus, then follow Him zealously. Even when it cost.
Have a lovely weekend. Make it better by worshiping The Lord with those who view their persecution for Him as a badge of honor because they know that it makes Him proud.
All For Jesus – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)