I don't know what it's like to suffer for the gospel, to be persecuted for my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord. As I think back over my life, honestly, no persecution or any that I would call persecution has come to me because of my faith. I've had a few doors shut in my face as I tried to witness and maybe I've gotten the evil eye or they appeared uninterested as I shared, but no real persecution. As a matter of fact the only persecution I've really experienced living my life for Jesus has been from other Christians that criticize my faith or my motives for what I do. There are many Christians that would rather tell their brothers and sisters in Christ where they're failing and messing up, than tell a complete stranger about the love of Christ and the pending doom that awaits them if they don't repent of their sins and be saved. Yes, we can discourage others in Christ and think we're helping in some way, but who have we told about Jesus this week? I mean really, where are our priorities? I really can't ever recall being persecuted for my faith in Christ, and that's sad.
Why do I not have persecution in my life? I'll tell you why. I'm not out there in the trenches trying to reach the lost and engaging myself in the fight, that's why. Oh sure, I write great little words of encouragement so that we can feel good about ourselves in our daily walk with the Lord, but the reality is this... I should be suffering for the gospel. A country, like ours, that has been blessed with so much, can fall asleep and become lazy. We become content or complacent in our work and zeal for the Lord. Persecution is opposition. It's about a fight! You walk away from being persecuted sore, weak, and exhausted. Yet deep inside you are revived and alive, because you have delivered the gospel message in spite of the cost, in spite of the opposition, and you know that it's not about you anyway, it's about the gospel and your ability to spread it to those that need to hear it whether they like it or not, whether they think they need to hear it or not. We need persecution to drive us and motivate us to action. It's seems strange to want persecution, and I'm sure there are some reading saying, Steve be careful what you ask for, you may just get it. And that right there is the problem isn't it? Be careful! The Lord might just use you. He might make you suffer for the Kingdom... be careful what you pray for. Your life of material things could be lost, and everything you've worked hard for could be gone. You better watch out. Yes that's the advice we get now days from our Christian brothers and sisters... play it safe, don't be too hard on yourself, God loves you man, it's ok.
No it's not. People are dying and going to hell everyday because we're playing it safe.
..............I'm sorry to vent like this. I'm just wondering if my time that I write could or should be better spent doing the Lord's work in other ways. When I think about this blog, I realize that I average around 350 hits a week. Now I know that's not a lot compared to other blogs of interest, but it used to be around 25-30 hits a week this time last year. So I'm surprised at how many folks are reading what I've published here. How many people have I lead to Christ this year so far? None, that I know of. I know they could read my blog and give their life to Christ after being convicted of the Holy Spirit to do so, but I venture to say that most people that read this are already saved and belong to Christ. If that's the case... then how effective is what I writing? I've said it before in a previous post. It would better for you to stop reading what I'm writing and read your bible instead. How much more effective would that be? The time you take to read what I've written may have prevented you from digging into God's word, it may have taken the place of reading His word, kind of like it does with me and the time I spend writing. How much more could I have read in God's word, could I have prayed, could I have witnessed, if I wasn't writing? I suppose a lot more could be done. But the real question is this... Would I have read my bible more? Would I have studied more? Would I have prayed more? Would I have witnessed more? I don't know? I just don't know.
The only reason that I can think of to keep writing is this... I think it's important that we as Christians share between us, the struggles and the weaknesses we have in our faith. I'm not saying it's right to be weak, we should be strong and victorious in our faith and our walk, after all look at the power we have within us to overcome. But often we're not strong. I have to be careful not to say, it's ok (I do that a lot), maybe it's better to say that I know how you feel because I struggle too. You are not alone, there are many like us out there if we would just admit it. Stay the course, read your bible, and let's get back in the fight! The battle awaits us! There are people waiting for you and I to tell them about the good news of Christ. As we sit comfortably in our churches this Sunday, may we be reminded that the church is not a building of comfort with air conditioning and great music etc. The church is God's people. As God's people are we reaching out to the lost and inviting people into the family of God? Or, are we simply a social club of Christians? Are you being persecuted for your faith? If not, then we have to ask why? Don't we?