I promised myself I would read the entire New Testament this year. Not just the parts that make me feel good but the hard parts too. You know the parts that I mean!
I typically only read the prophetic books when someone else is running the Bible Study or Sunday School class because when I read them on my own, I end up more confused than when I started, Nevertheless, I am much better now that I was a few years ago because my husband and my BFF both love discussing prophecy and looking for deeper meanings in the near-far passages.
Like many of you, I read James when I know I need an attitude adjustment,
But the last few days I have been going through the book of Acts and things just keep jumping off the page at me, In my “sanctified imagination” I can see the story of the first-century church unfolding as if I was there in person. When I got to Acts 4 & 5, I began to wonder how I would react in the situation described below:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.’
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
— Acts 4:25b-26, 29, 31 & 5:41 -NIV
Am I worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ? I live in a Country where I am free to worship God, whenever, wherever & however I want. I believe that sometimes these freedoms make us soft and lazy about maintaining our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Americans do not truly understand the price that believers in other parts of the world pay for their faith. I don’t have to think about losing my job, my home & my family just for being a Christ follower. Not to mention those that are being martyred every single day in the middle east and elsewhere.
So, I ask the question again, is this spoiled American worthy of suffering humiliation, physical pain or even death for my Lord?