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Monday's Ministry Morsel

We began a series on not delaying in our obedience to God concerning our life purpose yesterday.

Lord willing, we will look at our response to personal persecution this coming Sunday morning.

You may not think that all that important a subject but if you and I are actively involved in sharing the gospel and faithfully witnessing the work of Christ to those we work with and live among, you will discover that some will not respond to that positively. In fact they may choose to make your life somewhat uncomfortable, if not down right miserable.

That is the way it was for the faithful follower of Christ in the 1st century and that is the way it is for the faithful follower of Christ in the 21st century.

Some might say, well I am not facing any real persecution. To which a devoted follower of Christ might respond--'are you doing anything that would cause you to 'pop up' on the radar of the adversary, the devil?'

There are many church members who prefer to fly 'under the radar' and not stir up any unnecessary push back from those they live among. Best to let sleeping dogs lie--right?

However that question leads to another more pressing issue. Are we able to do that and still obey the command of God to tell the good news as we go? Matthew 28:19-20

Remember those words are not the suggestion of some preacher but rather a command from God to all His redeemed servants.

Yet,it is becoming more apparent that a good majority of church members who attend worship weekly seem to prefer to dismiss the word of God rather than potentially disrupt the status quo.

And the tragedy of that is this--not only does that person live in disobedience to God but those who are allowed to 'lie sleeping' ultimately slip away into something much worse.

Junior Hill comments--"being faithful to the commands of Jesus Christ has never been easy.

It wasn't for those believers who were slaves when the apostle Peter penned the words of 1 Peter 2:18-19 that says, 'Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.' While Peter did not defend the practice of slavery, he did define the patience of those saints who were slaves."

As one much wiser than me stated, "the true test of genuine believers is not how they react to suffering, which they deserve, but rather how they respond to suffering that they don't deserve."

Not knowing what we will encounter for being a faithful witness this week requires us to be confident in the word of God as we 'pop up' on the radar of the adversary in our service.

Remember the word of the Lord in the face of persecution--"for this is worthy of thanks, if a person for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what glory is it, if, when we are buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? But if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable to God." 1 Peter 2:19-20

Peter is simply saying--responding patiently to suffering for wrong doing is one thing BUT responding patiently to suffering for doing good is another thing entirely!

Peter and the apostles were arrested, interrogated, threatened and beaten before they were ultimately released in Acts 5. Their response is noteworthy--"so they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."

Verses 41-42

What are you thankful for today that's good? Does your definition of good differ from their's?

What will you be thankful for and rejoicing in at the end of the week that may not be so good?

Even as you suffer for His name sake--do not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Take it patiently for this is acceptable to God!!

May the Lord bless His sanctifying work in each of you this week!

Pastor Keith

1 Corinthians 15:58