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Better Prepared For The Battle
4/16/2018

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

Have you ever woke up in the morning knowing you were going to have a tough day ahead of you? It could have been an extremely challenging day at work, or perhaps it was a final exam for school — either way you knew you were in for a battle. I would have to think our soldiers overseas feel this way everyday and at a much higher level — knowing their life hangs in the balance.  

As Christian men and women, we must understand and remember, we are soldiers for Christ, and we are in a spiritual war every day (Eph. 6:12).  This spiritual war will have more casualties than every physical war in the earth’s history combined, and they will be just as costly in terms of life (John 10:10).  Jesus clearly taught His followers (Christians) that they would, in fact, face persecution.  

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19 (NKJV)

The word “hate,” or “hated” used in these verses comes from the Greek word, “miseo,”meaning to detest.  The world assumes this attitude because it rejects all who do not conform to its lifestyle. Conviction occurs in the heart of those who are in the presence of light, and they will usually choose between three choices — they will either repent from their evil ways, or they will flee the light, oattack the source of the light.   

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)

I believe knowing these truths should better prepare us to understand our role in this world as “Salt and Light.”  We must understand the persecution we face may come both camouflaged as vague cultural disapproval, or it may even be through open hostility.  And a lack of persecution could indicate we are not being as “salty,” or as "light” as we should (Matt. 5:13-16).  

Regardless of how we may face persecution, we must never let it get us discouraged or disheartened.  We should always remember we have been considered worthy of sharing in Christ’s sufferings, and that Jesus has told us we have a great reward awaiting us in heaven.

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today. Choose to get prepared for battle each morning by putting on the armor of God, and remember your only offensive weapon against the enemy is God’s Word. We have overcome Satan through the blood of Jesus — choose to let God love others through you today. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional, what can we learn about our facing persecution?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to share in Christ’s sufferings so others might know Him and of His love?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to be prepared for any persecution you may face for your faith in Jesus.  Read your Bible so you can respond in the proper way.  

PRAYER: Father, thank You for giving me Your Word to show me how I should respond to those who persecute me. Thank You for reminding me how You are my great defender.  Show me how to love those who hate You, and therefore hate me.  Give me Your agape love so I may share it with those I would otherwise respond in kind.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000