Sunday, August 17, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Side-effect: Might experience persecution

Revelations 1:1-9


Rev. Alex Kolath
I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

The Word of God can bring us a lot of good.   It teaches us, reproves us, corrects us, and trains us.  It can bring us comfort in times of distress, and assurance in times of doubt.  But did anyone ever tell you that the Word of God can get you killed?

It’s kind of like that new drug that is advertised on television.  It’s a wonder-drug that can help people get through a difficult disorder or illness.   Then they list a bunch of side-effects that makes one wonder: is it worth it?   Depending on the illness, and how much a person has suffered because of it, they might say it’s worth it.

If someone told you that the Word of God did all these wonderful things for you, but there’s a catch:  you may be persecuted for it, is it worth it?

Apparently John thought it was worth it.  He was put in exile on the island of Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.   His colleagues also thought it was worth it as they were going through tribulations of their own. 

People that think that it is worth it are people that understand their illness and how much they suffer because of it.   The illness is sin. The cure?  That’s what the Word of God points us to:  Jesus Christ.  This wonderful cure, our awesome healer, redeemer and Lord, Jesus Christ died to save me from the most devastating of conditions: my sinfulness.   If I have to suffer because of this wonderful Word, it’s worth it.

This analogy with the wonder-drug doesn’t work completely.  You can experience the wonderful effects of the wonder-drug, and you can share that news with someone else with the same condition.  No problem.   But if you experience the wonderful effects of Jesus in your life through His Word, and you share that news with a friend and others, that is where the side-effects of persecution really come into play.   Is it worth it?   In such a case, you’re not only understanding your own sinfulness and need, but you’re understanding the world’s sinfulness and need for a savior.   If you understand that, it’s worth it.  

John and the apostles understood this.

Do you?


Thought for the day: To experience persecution because of God’s word and Jesus’ testimony is not easy, but it’s worth it.

Prayer: Lord, remind me of my sinfulness and need for a savior.   Thank you for being my Savior.  Teach me to love others so as to recognize their need for a Savior, and that I might share Jesus with them, even if I have to be persecuted for it.Amen!


MTC of Baltimore