Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Face it; Christians in America have it easy. We have choices. We can openly attend church, or not. We can pray, or not. We can walk into almost any bookstore and buy a Bible, or not. We can even check one out at the local library, or not. We can publically read the Bible, or not. I’m not saying there isn’t a measure of persecution where we feel offended, especially from the entertainment industry, portions of the media, and celebrities who call our beliefs ‘outdated myths for the weak-minded.’ But by in large, we still have protected freedom even though we live in a post-Christian culture where our beliefs are no longer widely held or accepted.
Does this promote an atmosphere and attitude of casualness toward God? Have we grown ‘ho, hum’ about the whole Christian thing in America?
Not so in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Their persecution is real and deadly. Consequences for claiming Christ are imprisonment, torture, and loss of family, friends, and life itself. Their choice to worship, pray, even own a Bible, comes with grave consequences. And yet Christianity continues to flourish in oppressed societies.
How solid is your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ? Could you proclaim Him and be willing to lose your life? What about that of your family’s?
Philippians 3:8, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”
We’re not big on suffering, but I imagine neither are those facing severe persecution. Yet, we see again and again choices that stand strong and stay sure for eternity. I draw strength from the incredible godly example of those truly suffering for Christ, and say, “Thank you.”
How do your choices compare?
2 Timothy 1:8, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,”
“Dear Lord, grant me strength to stand firm on Your Authority and Truths whether I face mild offense, terminal consequence or whatever lies between. Thank you, Amen.”
Putting all Effort into What Counts Eternally, PJ
COPYRIGHT ©2014 PJ Gover