Living Free - June 16, 2016

Endurance

Today's Scripture

"And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved." - (Words of Jesus in Matthew 10:22 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

We are called to honor God's name in all we are . . . in all we do . . . in all we stand for.

Not an easy task in today's upside-down world. In today's scripture, Jesus warned that we would be hated for following him. We should not be surprised at what is happening all around us—we are continually seeing prophecy being fulfilled.

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12 NLT)

Even in the United States, Christians are being criticized and in some cases suffering loss because they are standing up for what they believe and acting on it. Around the world, greater numbers of Christians than ever before are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed because they will not deny their faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

More and more we are having opportunity to honor God's name by not compromising our faith. Will we endure to the end?

Consider this . . .

Jesus suffered on this earth . . . suffered and overcame. He encourages us that we too can overcome. We can endure to the end as we trust and honor him.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (Words of Jesus in John 16:33 NLT)

It is important for us to have an eternal perspective. Any suffering we do on this earth because of honoring God cannot begin to compare with the eternal blessings that await us.

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. (Romans 8:17-18 NLT)

"God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way." (Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:10-12 NLT)

Prayer

Father, I thank you that you warned us about what would happen. That honoring your name brings criticism . . . hatred . . . and even persecution. Help me to stay focused on Jesus and honor your name in all I do. Help me to have an eternal perspective, remembering that the struggles here on earth are only temporary. Help me remember that I will have eternity in heaven with you. Give me boldness and wisdom in honoring your name and standing up for truth. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

The Ten Commandments: Applying the Foundations of Living to My Personal Life
 by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. Knowing that there are absolutes that define moral conduct and ethical decisions is essential for believers surrounded by relativistic values. This guide helps us understand God's boundaries. It shows how the Ten Commandments apply today. It also discusses the biblical laws on which the legal codes of every civilized society are based. This guide is written in a way that helps people see the Ten Commandments in light of today's problems. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

 

 

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