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Monday, November 13, 2017

Stand Strong When Persecuted For Loving Jesus!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As Christians, we are agents of God's love. We are given the assignment to shine for Him. 2 Corinthians 5:18 NLT says, “All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the ministry of reconciliation - the task of reconciling people to Himself.”

When a person becomes a new believer in Christ, something supernatural happens. Their eyes are spiritually open and because of the Holy Spirit who comes to live within them upon receiving Jesus, they begin to see the world and life through God's eyes for their very first time.  Jesus called this being born again. In John 3:3 (NIV)  Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 

When you begin to share Jesus with others who are not yet believers, their eyes have not yet been opened by the Holy Spirit. This means that what you share with them may be accepted or it may be rejected to some degree by their mental understanding. If they accept and ask Jesus into their heart, then the Holy Spirit will open their spiritual eyes. If they keep up a wall and reject what they hear, their mind will reject what you have shared and the eyes of their spiritual understanding will remain blinded. This is why Jesus would continually say, “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” And to those who would accept Him, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Mark 4:23 & Matthew 13:16)

We are given the joy of sharing  the love of Jesus but it won’t always feel like a joy. Sometimes we will share and people will listen and receive every word we say. Sometimes people will write you off as a kook. The Apostle Paul said it like this, 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT) "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?" 

It is the most wonderful feeling in the world when you lead someone to Christ. It can also hurt terribly when someone rejects you—especially when it's someone you care about. But as Jesus said, they aren't rejecting you. They are rejecting Him. So, don’t take it as a personal rejection, and always remember that it’s not over till it’s over.

The Apostle Paul was delivering Christians to prison when the Lord got a hold of Him. When Paul received Jesus he did a complete 180 degree turn and became one of the greatest soul winners in the history of mankind. The very person who rejects you today, may mull over what you said and have a change of heart another day. This is our prayer for all whom attempt to reach with the love of Jesus!

The reason I am writing this today is to say that the persecution you may experience for living a passionate Christian walk and sharing your faith, is a sign that you are having an impact for the Lord. Know one wants to purposely draw persecution, yet when you do share Jesus’ love in the multitude of ways that you can and are led to, persecution will come. The devil will find ways to try to stop or discourage you. Your family may reject you. Your boss may threaten you. Your friends may look at you as someone who has become a religious nut! That hurts, but, if they do accept Jesus, you have been used of God to help save their soul and it will have been so worth it!

Persecution will come when you live your life passionately for the Lord. Sometimes people may hate you just because of what you represent. Your love and godly lifestyle may make them feel guilty. Some people may attack you because they have a hard heart and are evil. They may lie and find ways to come against you. When this happens, Pray 2 Thessalonians. 3:2 (NLT)  which says, (NLT) “Pray first that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord. But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from the evil one.”

Persecution is a part of this life when you live strong for the Lord, but, do so with a right heart and it carries an eternal reward that will bless you forever! 


Matthew 5:10 & 12 (NLT) "God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs...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." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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