Friday, September 30, 2016

Persecution ... It's Inevitable (1 Peter 3:13-17)

Today’s scripture: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Doesn’t it seem that everything is protected these days? Sexual orientation. Race. Gender. Religion … oh, unless you’re a Christian. Then all bets are off.

Stand up comics regularly denounce Christians. Politicians lambast us. Celebrities complain about our narrow-mindedness. And don’t get me started about the media.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. The apostle Peter warned us two millennia ago. We will likely “suffer for the sake of righteousness.” We can expect “intimidation.” We may even be “slandered” and people may “revile [our] good behavior in Christ.

So what are we to do when we face persecution because of our faith?

First, we’re to “sanctify Christ as Lord in [our] heart[s].” Sanctify means “to set apart.” We need to keep Christ fully in our hearts.

Second, we need to boldly—and gently—proclaim what we believe and why. And this means we need to know what we believe and why. We need to study God’s word, meditate on it, live by it (see Joshua 1:8).

If we stand up for our faith, we will be blessed. When we face the revilers, the jokesters, and the slanderers with intelligence and kindness, we will be blessed.

So “be ready to make a defense” of your faith. Because, sooner or later, you’ll need to stand firm.

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