"Dead" People Expect Persecution

This 1-minute devotion explains one aspect of dying to ourselves and carrying our cross: Persecution. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

"You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know." - Guy de Maupassant

This soldier's quote makes me think of Christ's quote in Matthew 10:39:

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Christ doesn't ask us to "almost die." He asks us to die completely to ourselves. But what does this mean?

One clue is found in the previous verse:

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38

The cross of Christ symbolizes persecution and mistreatment. We should expect such things if we faithfully stand up for biblical principles (2 Timothy 3:12).(1)

Despite our modern view of unconditional love and cheap grace, Jesus says only those who are willing to be persecuted are worthy of Him.(2)

For the persecuted, "life has a flavor," a meaning, purpose, and blessedness, that the protected shall never know (Matthew 5:10).

Note: Criminals carried their crosses to their crucifixion, a form of dishonor that Christ Himself had to bear. The cross is a symbol of Christ's death and our redemption - the worst act of persecution in history.

(1) Scriptures about persecution:

This 1-minute devotion explains one aspect of dying to ourselves and carrying our cross: Persecution. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible
Matthew 5:10: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

John 15:18: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."

2 Corinthians 12:10: "For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Philippians 1:29: "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him...."

Philippians 3:10: "I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death...."

Acts 5:40-41: "They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." 

2 Timothy 3:12: "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted...."

(2) Scriptures about being unworthy of Christ:

Matthew 10:32-34: "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Matthew 10:37-38: "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

Luke 9:62: Jesus replied, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

Luke 9:26: "Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."

See also these passages commanding us to act in ways "worthy" of Christ: 
Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 1:10, Philippians 1:27, 1 Thessalonians 2:12.


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