“You’re more than happy when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus
Jesus knows that following Him may not be a “bed of roses”. He tells us about it in advance. We may get persecuted. We may even be martyred. It happens every day. Will you “sign up” to follow Jesus if you know that tomorrow someone may kill you for believing Him?
Of course, living in America makes if feel like this isn’t an issue; that it can’t happen to us. Because of that we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t happen to anyone any longer.
Now here is the rub. Jesus also knows the benefit of being persecuted. Persecution drives (the deeply committed) deeper into His Father’s world.
“You’re blessed (more than happy) when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:10 The Message)
“Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can proclaim the good news there also. This is why I’ve come.” ~~Jesus
Jesus knows why He is here. He is on a mission. He has good news to tell everyone. He is urgent about His focus. Knowing the “why” is huge. God gives us that confidence. We know “why”.
Jesus wants us to be the same way. He wants us to get moving. No need to linger.
“Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can proclaim the good news there also. This is why I’ve come.” ~~Jesus (Mark 1:38-39 The Message)
Jesus expects us to have a sense of urgency. His passion for doing God’s will right now is overwhelming. He knows what God’s “mission for this moment” is.
He demands that we follow God’s new plan. It is an urgency to do the right thing now which is God’s thing.
But it is not do just anything. God has something in mind. He will reveal it to us. Our job is to do it and not ignore it.
“It’s urgent that you get this right.” ~~Jesus (John 5:25-27 The Message)
When Jesus sent the 72 on a mission he was very direct in how they should act. One item was when they went into a home to great the family in peace.
Jesus brings us peace. He wants us to extend it to those we come in contact with, even strangers. Our mission, from Him, is to bring peace to all we meet.
“When you enter a home, greet the family, ‘Peace.'” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:5-6 The Message)
Jesus knows that if we are radically committed to Him, we are going to get in trouble. We will get put down, people will lie about us, we may get kicked out of places or we may even get killed. We should count the cost of following Jesus. Yes, there is a cost but Jesus is also clear on the benefit.
We will be pleasing Him. Everyone in Heaven will cheer and we will be in good company!! What is better than know we have pleased Jesus?
“You can be glad when people put you down for me—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like what you are doing, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:11-12 The Message)
God has a kingdom where he rules. It doesn’t work like any government we know in this world. He is in complete control. He is the eternal King. He is light. He is love.
He cares about us so much that He has given us insight into how His government works. Our mission is to bring to bring to earth His kingdom.
May I have insight into how God’s kingdom works.
“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:10)
Jesus challenges us to change our minds about how to pray. We are steeped in the religious way to do it. That is not the God way.
Here’s what He wants you to do:
- Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.
- Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.
- The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
May I accept the Jesus prayer challenge.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6 The Message)
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