before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Let Us Be NOT Ashamed


Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

There is a hymn, which says,
"Am I a soldier of the Cross?
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause 
Or blush to speak His name?"

A few questions to ponder...
-Are you a Christian?
-Washed in the blood of the Lamb Who died to redeem your soul?
-Are you ashamed of His name and the Gospel?
-Are you ready to stand for His name?
-Even in a generation that despises His name?
-Even when others are silent?
-Even when it means you will be mocked, snubbed, or hated?
-Even when a man with a gun is aiming for your head?

I know the weakness of my flesh, but IN CHRIST (the position of the true Christian) there is strength.  The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.  He gave all for us.  
-Should we shrink from giving all for Him?  
-Doesn't He have us anyway?  
-Are we not strangers and pilgrims, here only as ambassadors for our King (Hebrews 11:13; I Peter 2:9-11; II Corinthians 5:18-20; Galatians 1:10)?  
-Our affections on this above (Colossians 3:1-2)?
-Our focus on pleasing He Who hath chosen us to be His soldiers (II Timothy 2:4)? 

The second verse of that hymn goes on to say,
"Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?"

Let us have the mindset of Yosef Tson (the Pastor in Romania who stood up boldly for the kingdom of God in face of KGB threatenings), that dying for Christ, would not be terrifying to us (Acts 4:29). 

-Should we not see it as our reasonable service to live as unto Him, completely yielded (Romans 12:1)?
-Are we not already crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)?
-Is not our life hid with Christ (Colossians 3:3)?
-Are we not live for Jesus, Who died for us (II Corinthians 5:15)?

Let us glory in the Lord and rejoice that we may be counted worthy to suffer for His sake, whether it be slight or severe.

Philippians 1:27-29 "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."
29 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;"

In this generation, we find it wholly appropriate to mourn and be in anguish over sin, and the hardness of the enemies of Christ, and at the same time, to rejoice and be exceeding glad to have the honour to make Christ known and share in the stigma of the cross.  In this day, I, as a believer in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, am to live the seeming contradiction, that is only possible IN CHRIST-- that of weeping and leaping for joy: 

II Corinthians 6:10 "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."

Weepers and Leapers.  Who will be that?  Christians.

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters, both those near, and those round the world, who are suffering for the testimony of Christ Jesus, pray for comfort of the Spirit, grace, protection, patience, power, joy, and the preas of the word of God to a watching world, working even in the hearts of the persecuters, redounding to the glory of God!

Let us also prepare ourselves, "praypare", yield all to our Lord, and ask Him to help us for what may lie ahead for us, to make us READY to preach, pray, live, and die at a moment's notice.  Remember, 

"THOSE WHO ARE YIELDED TO GOD ARE THOSE WHO WILL BE WIELDED BY GOD" to the praise of His glory!

The hymn concludes with,
"Sure I must fight if I would reign
Increase my courage, Lord
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain
Supported by Thy word."

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

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