The world scene is pretty crazy right now to say the least. And those who call themselves Christians are being affected, some killed, by what’s going on. One commentator said, “America has been given one big wake-up call.” What’s happening in Europe and the Middle East could be coming to the US.
How will you know how you’ll handle persecution? Take a look at the soil of your heart.
Jesus said in Mark 4 there are four soils or conditions of mankind’s heart. One of them is rocky soil. This person did great as long as there were good times and Jesus was bestowing blessings on them. Yet they wilted when hard times and persecution came.
The only way to stand strong during the heat of battle is to remember who Jesus is and what He has already done in your life. Romans 5:3-5 states that hope starts with suffering as it produces endurance that turns into character which ends in hope. If you let your roots go deeper into Jesus, which means exercising the truths Jesus gives you by faith Spirit empowered, your life will be changed.
First hand experience of a changed life is what will see you through persecution. You saw Him use hard times to make your life better before. He can do it again, even when the heat’s turned up. Use this wake-up call to your advantage. Believers are not immune to persecution, but they can be prepared for it.
Set Fre”E” Nowww
Being out on a limb is scary business, especially when your enemy has a saw in his hand! There. I said it. I’m a little nervous, maybe even a little afraid, at the moment.
I believe God has told me to wait upon Him to act. It’s deadline is fast approaching too. When He does I’m supposed to take a certain step. He even asked me to tell a few people the specifics, which means I’m out on that limb. What if I’m wrong? It feels a little lonely out here right now hanging in the wind.
It would have been no big deal if I had kept it to and simply prayed for it by myself. Who would have known if I was wrong or hadn’t heard? But Jesus had me crawl out onto this limb. Why? Faith is not faith without risk. Faith is not faith without action. Faith is not faith if it’s already reality. Faith is based in hope. At least that’s what Hebrews 11:1 says anyway.
I’m not afraid of being wrong. The Lord knows I’ve been wrong before! This time, however, my stupidity could be broadcasted before quite a few people, which I’m only expanding now. Ugg. But how could I not attempt to follow Jesus by taking His hand?
I’ve never done this before in this blog, but I’m doing it now. I guess I have to practice what I teach – walking with other believers. Fellow walkers, please pray for me to stay focused on Jesus’ hand and not the limb! You know, it’s a pretty tiny limb.
Set Free Noww“W”
Imagine an orange 5-gallon bucket. Now look inside that bucket to discover just one small drop of water on the very bottom hugging one of the sides. Nothing special about it, right? In fact, it’s pretty insignificant. This is you and me without Jesus.
Isaiah writes, “All men (sorry ladies, you’re included in that as well) are like grass, all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.” (40:6-8) Solomon wrote, “There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are youth to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” (Ecclesiastes 1:11)
The battle for the “I” is huge. Even Christ faced it in Gethsemane. Our opinions, our feelings, our thoughts, our dreams, our goals, our wants, our… goes on endlessly. We make ourselves to be the center of the world, and yet we are but one tiny drop in the vast universe that no one will remember tomorrow, let alone 100 or a 1,000 years from now.
What will be remembered for eternity, though, are Jesus’ thoughts, opinions and actions. True lasting significance comes as we surrender our will to Jesus and then choose to let His thoughts, words, actions, opinions, dreams become ours. As we then think and act upon them, what we do and say will last forever and be remembered into eternity because they are Jesus’.
Who cares about what you or I think or feel. We must filter ourselves through Word of God, Jesus Himself. And when we do, that seemingly insignificant drop of water can make a universe of difference in your and another person’s thirsty life.
S“E”t Free Nowww
We all need help at renewing our minds, which means getting better at filtering the information coming into and already in our heads. The following two questions will help in this process.
The first is, “So what?” One author said it like this, “It is the most powerful filter for separating the irrelevant from the important. It’s the first litmus test of whether to pass or dig deeper.” Not all information vying for your attention is worth of listening to. If it doesn’t help you get better at following Jesus, why spend time on it?
The second is, “How is it working for me?” Is the information your brain already possesses helping you draw closer to Jesus and the life He promised you? If not, why use it as a basis for making decisions?
Remember, you become what you focus on and what you focus on only gets bigger. The questions So what? and Is it working for Me? will go a long way in helping you stay focused on the information worthy of your attention and room in your head – the truths the Spirit gives you to walk ever closer and like Jesus.
S“E”t Free Nowww
I discovered something about Jesus’ parable of the 4 soils and the 1 seed in Mark 4 on my walk-talk with Jesus today. I live around farmland that has all four soils. The hard soil is called a path around the farm made by vehicles driving and people walking over it. When the rains come, the drops of water hit the hard soil it just as much as it does the good soil. Yet, the rain only makes the hard soil harder while enriching the good soil. It’s the same rain, same seed, but entirely different results.
Seeds and soil need rain to produce crops, everyone knows this. Yet Jesus is talking about the human condition – the heart – as it relates to Him. You determine what the soil of your heart will be when the rains come.
You determine whether fruit will come out in your life, not Jesus, by choosing to become good soil. Will you let those who have walked over you in the past determine your joy today? Will you drive your roots deep into Jesus so when persecution comes your joy remains? Will you focus on the cares of the world or pull those choking weeds out in the Spirit’s power to focus on Jesus?
It’s your choice. Same rain. Same seed. The results are yours to decide. Decide today to surrender to the Spirit and let Him do His job of making you more like Jesus, the seed that bears much tasty fruit.
Set Free Now“W”w