Monday, June 17, 2013

The Morning After: Jesus' Authority over Persecution (Matthew 10:16-33)

Every Christian is on a mission for Jesus. There are some who are doing great things for the Kingdom and some who are doing horrific things on the mission. But the reality is that if you are a Christian, you are a witness of Jesus. The question is not whether you are a witness; the question is, "Are you a good one?" 

The more I contemplate this reality, there is one thing that keeps me (probably you as well) from being a good witness for Jesus. If our desire is to live the safest Christian life possible with the least amount of conflict and persecution, then we will probably fall on the wrong side of being a good witness for Jesus. We cannot manage our safety. We cannot make decisions on our Christianity on whether it will cost us significantly. It will. We need to just realize it. But the great blessing that Jesus shares often in the NT is that while it costs us significantly, those sacrifices pale in comparison to the great blessings He offers. 

In this section of Scripture, we looked at Three Potential Dangers and Four Guaranteed Blessings of Following Jesus. I am not going to detail each of them in this short blog post. You will have to check out my notes or listen to the message to see how I articulate each one. But let me share them.
  • Danger #1: We Will Experience Persecution (vs. 16-18)
  • Blessing #1: We Will Never Be Alone (vs. 19-20)
  • Danger #2: We Will Become the Object of Hate (vs. 21-23)
  • Blessing #2: We Receive Assurance that We Are Following the Footsteps of Jesus (vs. 24-25)
  • Danger #3: We Might Even Be Killed (vs. 26-28)
  • Blessing #3: We Will Experience God's Sovereign Care in Our Life (vs. 29-31)
  • Blessing #4: Jesus Will Confess Us Before the Father (vs. 32-33)

As I went through each of these, I had to ask myself the question: "Is it worth it?" Is living a Christian life worth the persecution that will come from it? Are the blessings worth the risk? And as I ask these questions of my own heart, I find myself once again breaking out the scales trying to rationalize my life in following Jesus. These things might not seem rational, but then again, who ever said it would. Following Jesus is often not about the rational. It is about the eternal, which can't often be explained in human terms.

And so today, I choose to be His missionary anywhere I find myself. I choose to be His witness to a dying world. And whatever He might have for me, I gladly will take it. For His glory and my good, knowing that He cares deeply for me.

If you want to listen to the message or read my notes, you can find them HERE (audio usually posted Tuesday night).

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