Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. Matthew 16:24 Holy Bible Amplified Version
When I was in Asia, met Asian Christians and informed them I was a Christian the first question they asked was how much have I suffered for Christ. They call most Christians in the west marshmallows because they have the feel good Christ not the real one. When it comes time to suffer for Christ they either walk, or run away saying: “That is not what I signed up for!” Upon coming home to Canada it was shocking to see just how true this was.
Ask any so called Christian how much they have suffered for Christ and see how many answer in the affirmative and how many of them look at you like you are insane.
Oh we all suffer from time to time, welcome to life, but how many are willing to suffer intentionally for Christ?
We may not receive physical lashes but we will receive brutal verbal ones which slash much deeper ( especially when it comes from family and former friends).
Oh we may not be in a physical prison but we may be in a one in social groups where no one will talk with you at work or school ( believe me it makes for a long day and many times you feel as if you are the only person in the world).
We may not receive physical blows but we will receive verbal ones as we are viciously laughed at, mocked, tormented and made the butt of jokes at work, at school, in church or any other social setting. These hurt much more than physical ones.
Can you think of any other manner in which we will suffer for Christ or that you have suffered for Christ?
To see a true Christian is to see one who has borne the scars for Christ. Joseph a son of Jehovah
Prayer: Thank you Jesus ‘Immeku (The Lord Is With You) for the privilege of suffering for You like You suffered for me. I know that this suffering brings us closer together and blesses me with appreciating You more and more because You walk through the suffering with me. I praise You in Your strong name. Amen.
May the gentle assurance of Jesus’ sweet love encompass you today and every day.