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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Suffering to Witness"

Date published: 11/13/2010

Luke 21:12 "Before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.  They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of My name.” (NIV)

The possibility of being arrested for Christ is a remote likelihood for most Christians.  Most Christians do not wake up in the morning counting their costs concerning the possibility of arrest, persecution, and torture for Christ.   The possibility of persecution in this verse comes from your association and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately most people you come into contact with do not know about your allegiance to Jesus.  This reminds me of a story about a gentleman who prayed for many years for his co-worker to come to Christ.  One day his co-worker excitedly announced his salvation in Christ.  His co-worker excitedly affirmed his acceptance of Christ and shared how he had been praying years for his salvation.  The new Christian replied how he never saw the need for Christianity because of how much he admired his co-worker’s ability to live life so well independently of God!  Do you proclaim and associate your life with Jesus enough for others to recognize Christ in you – much less suffer persecution for Him?  The natural reaction to the thought of persecution is to avoid it.  Verse 13 says, This will result in your being witnesses to them.”  Jesus wants you to see persecution as an opportunity to share the gospel through your character, your proclamation of Christ, as well as your confidence in God’s sovereignty as your provider.  Persecution is not something you run from, but something for which you actually prepare yourself.  Verses 14 and 15 say, Make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”  What is the best way to make Christ known and to be prepared for what might come? – Your daily quiet time!  Begin each morning praying into your day.  Ask God to show you where you can proclaim Christ, to give you opportunities to salt Christ into your activities, and most of all to prepare you for any situations so that you can stand the test.  Prepare yourself knowing that Christ is there empowering you with what to say. 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.