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Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

Verse 11: “To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.”

I was recalling the first time I went through the Corinthian books, and I saw a small notation on this passage. I did a series before on the 4-1-1; verses of the New Testament that were chapter 4, verse 11. But God struck me with some insight on all those references He led me too.

As much as we don’t like to repeat ourselves…well, I’ll put it the way a Christian brother put it to me through a devotional one time. He detoured off the main point to “chase a rabbit…but this is a good rabbit to chase”! This was the post from the 4-1-1 series, and is even more appropriate today.

Paul above is describing what he and his fellow apostles are going through in proclaiming the faith. Many Christians were persecuted in the days of the Roman Empire, not just by the Romans, but by the religious leaders who rejected Jesus.

Well, yeah, that’s way back then…that doesn’t happen in the 21st century now.

In the words of the stereotypical addicted gambler, “want to bet?”

Ask the Christians in northern Iraq today who are being hounded out of their homes by Islamic militants.

Ask the Christians in heavily Muslim countries who are targeted and martyred just because they are Christians.

Ask Christians in the United States: have someone make a statement that is somewhat derogatory toward any other religion and watch the outrage and backlash on the news…let the derogatory remark be about Christians and listen to the silence or the apathy.

Persecution still happens today to Christians. Take heart; Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12: “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.”

Something to think about today.

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Verse 26: “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.”

Imagine you were preaching to crowds; many were coming to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by the apostles. Then, in the midst of this successful ministry, reaching masses of people, the Lord calls you to go minister…to one person. What’s more, instead of being in a nearby locale to where you are now, He says go to the desert…and wait. You and I might be wondering “what did I do wrong? Am I being punished?” Not Philip; he followed the Lord’s angel’s instructions without question or doubt. There, he was about to have an encounter that would be most memorable.

You never know when God is going to give you an assignment you weren’t expecting. One December, while my family and I were stopped in Auburn, we ate at the local mall. While getting some Chinese food, the Oriental young man behind the counter asked me, in broken English, about what did Christmas mean. I politely explained that there were two differing reasons for the holiday…the secular one that includes Santa Claus, and the real reason: the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this earth, come to live as a man and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, dying for us and rising again. Then he asked something that was about as direct a question as I’ve ever gotten: “who is this Jesus?” I did my best to witness to him and to tell him; I even left my wife’s pocket New Testament with him and instructing him to start reading in John. We couldn’t stay long unfortunately, as we were travelling…but I did contact a local church in the area to seek him out. You never know when God is going to give you an assignment…are you ready for yours?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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