Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Chuckle: "By perseverance the snail reached the Ark!"
Quote: "If the Tiber reaches the walls, if the Nile does not rise, if the sky does not move or if the earth does, if there is a famine or a plague, the cry is 'The Christians to the Lions!" --Tertullian, Apologeticus
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him" (Hebrews 10:36-38 NIV).
The word, "persevere," means "to stick to a task or purpose, no matter how hard or troublesome." "Persevere" needs to be a rallying cry for Christians as we experience these perilous times. It' essential that we persevere in our faith and service to our Lord.
We hear of Christians being tortured and killed, principally in the Muslim world, for no other reason except they are Christians. In New Testament times, Christians were also persecuted in every conceivable way including imprisonment, torture, and even martyrdom. In our quote of the day, Tertullian makes the point that when hate for Christians reaches a certain level, no legitimate justification is needed to inflict terrible persecution on them. Any justification is as good as another, even if contrived. However, isn't it interesting that, in New Testament times, Christians persevered and even grew stronger in their faith during times of persecution.
In our passage, the writer of Hebrews encourages Christians not to abandon their faith in times of persecution, but rather, to let their endurance show that their faith is both authentic and strong. Our faith should not only affirm our confidence in what Jesus has done for us in the past, but also show our trust in what He does for us today and will do in the future.
As Christians, we are greatly blessed to live in the United States of America. To this point, our persecution has been limited to hateful remarks and erosion of certain freedoms we have traditionally enjoyed. No doubt, there is growing resentment toward Christians in our society. Each of us would be wise to examine our faith and our commitment to our Lord in preparation for what may come in the future.
Here, James reminds us that God will reward those who love Him and remain faithful. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12 NIV). The "crown of life" reminds us of the victory wreath given to winning athletes -- those that persevere to the end of the race. Our crown of life will not come in this life, but will be the reward of eternal life in God's presence. The way to God's winner's circle is to love Him and persevere even in difficult times.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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