Scripture: Luke 9:18-27
(18) Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
(19) They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
(20) "But what about you?" he asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ (Messiah) of God."
(21) Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. (22) And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
(23) Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (24) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (25) What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (26) If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (27) I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
When Jesus died for you and me, He wanted us to believe in Him & the love of our Father and accept His gift of salvation.
As we have received that gift, we have surrendered the control of our selfish self to God and let Jesus sit on the throne of our hearts. Therefore, we are no longer the ‘lord’ of ourselves but Jesus.
He also gave us a helper & companion to be with us always, we may call Him our ‘conscience’ but it is really the Holy Spirit. And as we spend more time knowing God by reading His word and praying to Him, we are strengthening the hold of the Holy Spirit in us.
And so, when trials and testing come our way, we can be sure that we do not have to face it alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, Jesus is with us, always. Now, these testing can come in so many ways so that we may develop our character in Christ. These testings could include the persecutions of people, because, God’s love is so palpable in our lives that these people, just could not help but notice it. They would notice the changes that God is bringing upon us so that we would become effective testimonies of His love to them! They notice because they are missing something great in their lives.
In the persecutions of these people, we should draw closer to God and not be ashamed of Him. Instead of conforming to the norms of the world, stand up for what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, anything excellent & praiseworthy (see Philippians 4:8) in God’s eyes. Be strong and firm in your faith, we can do this with the help of our ever companion, the Holy Spirit.
Father in Heaven, I confess to you that at times when people tease me for being your child, I fail to stand up for you. I am so sorry for this and for compromising even in the things which I thought are just small. Lord, I praise You because You never left my side. I praise You because You are with me always and that Your love is unending. I pray to You, Lord that when You are allowing me to face testing, You will strengthen me and my heart that I may hold on to You more. Help me to stand up for You and be a testimony of your love to the people who do not know you yet & are hurting. Thank you for allowing me to touch their lives, thank you for using me for them to know Your son, Jesus Christ. All these I ask and pray, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.