Friday, February 18, 2005

Oddly Encouraging

Matthew 10:28 – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” - Jesus has just assured His disciples that persecution will come. In the rest of chapter 10 He tells them they will be flogged, thrown in jail, and family will kill family, they will have to flee from town to town. It is astonishing to realize that this is the charge He gave them before He sent the 12 out for the first time. I don’t hear many motivational speeches like this. Can you imgagine... "Alright team, this project ahead of you is going to be awful. You will be beaten, hated by family, won't be able to settle down, and there is a good chance of a violent death. Okay, go out there and get em." And then here in verse 28 He “encourages” them by saying not to be afraid of those who can kill the body. Jesus doesn’t say, I will be with you and make sure the persecution doesn't get out of hand. He acknowledges that they may be killed. But they shouldn’t be afraid of that he says. Their primary concern should not be preserving their own life, instead it should be staying faithful to Christ and proclaiming His truth boldly. In verses 32-33 Jesus tells them that whoever acknowledge Him before men, Jesus will stand with them before the Father. But if we deny Him, He will deny us before the Father. That should be what we are truly afraid of. So when the gun is pointed at my head, or the prison sentence stares me in the face, or when people I respect may find me weird or uncomfortable, I should not be afraid of that. Instead, I should fear denying my Lord, and having to stand before the judgment seat of Almighty God without Christ as my advocate. This section is summed up by Matthew 10:22, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” May we become a people who desire to be with Christ, more than the approval of man. Lord, please help us to endure.


PT Barnum said...

Excellent thoughts Mark, quite true indeed. I was just thinking of something along those lines today, but directed more towards the aspect of worldly mindset and incentive than a Godly one. Like for an example how sometimes a new music group can excite me so much yet how quickly they fade and how often I do not entreat the God who is eternal and whose joy and utter ability to fixate man will never fade or be gone. I different spin I suppose, but coming from the same strain of where our stock lies and who (or Who) we really trust. - tw

Mark said...

Good word friend. Its good to know someone still reads this thing:)

Jason said...

I read it cous'. I just don't post much. You makes my gears grind. ;-)