2022 THEME: For Such a Time. . .
Series: 8 Cures
TITLE: No Pain, No Gain
Scripture: Matthew 5:10-12
- 10 – persecuted BECAUSE of (righteousness)
- 11 – persecuted BECAUSE of (me – Jesus)
Persecution is (malicious treatment) for following Jesus, for ascribing to Jesus’s teachings and leading other to do the same.
Three ways Christians are supposed to respond to persecution…
(Rejoice) – Ref. Hebrews 10:34 and Acts 5:41
(Love your enemies) and (pray for them) – Ref. Matthew 5:44-45
(Grow) in faith – Ref. 2 Corinthians 12:10
If persecution produces joy-filled, continuously-praying, radically-loving, completely-dependent-on-the Holy Spirit, growing, obedient believers in Jesus who are becoming like deep wells of faith, then we’d best not fear it, but rather welcome it as a tool of our refinement – even thanking God for it when it comes because He will cause us to endure and will use it for our maturity and the completion of the Great Commission – to make His Name great among all peoples in all nations.
An Honest Appraisal of our Blind Spots
(Distraction) – Is our focus even close to what God wants us to focus on? Are we using our energies in line with God’s priorities?
(Division) – Are we playing as a team, everyone with their role working together toward the same goal? Or are we too busy squabbling over mole-hills while the mission sits incomplete?
(Consumer-mindedness) – Are we chasing after stuff that doesn’t matter? Are we more concerned about bigger buildings/better programs than greater obedience to Jesus in things like sending missionaries, making disciples, or emptying our wallets to care for the poor?
(Comfortable) – Content with the status quo. An unhealthy comfort produces contentment with unhealthy things and apathy toward them.
(Off-Mission) – Does the way you live match the mission statement of Jesus? Are you personally concerned with making disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey Jesus? Do you devote yourself to this relentlessly? Does OVCF do everything with this mission in the cross-hairs?
Praying for the Persecuted
My prayer assignment for the persecuted church is: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This week I can pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ by… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________