PREPARING OUR HEARTS TO SUFFER FOR THE LORD.
Well, this is important in our part in this gospel, and we must never hide from it. It may take any form but whatever form it takes, our attitude to suffering for the name of the Lord matters. The Apostles that laid the foundation of the faith also took part in this.
Acts 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
5:40 And to him they agreed: and WHEN THEY HAD CALLED THE APOSTLES, AND BEATEN THEM, THEY COMMANDED THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SPEAK IN THE NAME OF JESUS, and let them go.
They were Apostles! They all received the beaten for the name of Jesus and they were told not to speak in that name again. Please note they were beaten for professing Jesus name and speaking in that name. But what was their attitude to it.
Acts 5:41 AND THEY DEPARTED FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE COUNCIL, REJOICING THAT THEY WERE COUNTED WORTHY TO SUFFER SHAME FOR HIS NAME.
5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, THEY CEASED NOT TO TEACH AND PREACH JESUS CHRIST.
You see their attitude towards it, they went out rejoicing, I know in our days we will laugh them to scorn. But they saw it as an honour to suffer in that name. This again never stop them to preach and to teach in that name. They continued, they did not cease to teach in that name. Do you know Jesus said it before time?
Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
And this all happened to the disciples. They all suffered and were crucified for the Lord sake. This is all because Jesus said we are not of the world, and Jesus had prepared their minds for it ahead. Some times is better to be told what you’ll suffer and prepare for it.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
15:19 If ye were of the world, the world WOULD LOVE HIS OWN: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, THE SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS LORD. IF THEY HAVE PERSECUTED ME, THEY WILL ALSO PERSECUTE YOU; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
15:21 BUT ALL THESE THINGS WILL THEY DO UNTO YOU FOR MY NAME’S SAKE, because they know not him that sent me.
God prepared their hearts for it ahead. Paul also heard this from the first day on his way to Damascus and later again when he heard of it, he was ready for it.
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
9:16 FOR I WILL SHEW HIM HOW GREAT THINGS HE MUST SUFFER FOR MY NAME’S SAKE.
He was aware of this from the beginning. There was a time again he heard of what he will suffer and when others were having pity on him, he said to them not so! Let’s see his attitude towards it.
Acts 21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
21:11 And when he was come unto us, HE TOOK PAUL’S GIRDLE, AND BOUND HIS OWN HANDS AND FEET, AND SAID, THUS SAITH THE HOLY GHOST, SO SHALL THE JEWS AT JERUSALEM BIND THE MAN THAT OWNETH THIS GIRDLE, AND SHALL DELIVER HIM INTO THE HANDS OF THE GENTILES.
21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, BESOUGHT HIM NOT TO GO UP TO JERUSALEM.
21:13 Then PAUL ANSWERED, WHAT MEAN YE TO WEEP AND TO BREAK MINE HEART? FOR I AM READY NOT TO BE BOUND ONLY, BUT ALSO TO DIE AT JERUSALEM FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.
21:14 AND WHEN HE WOULD NOT BE PERSUADED, WE CEASED, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
You see his attitude, his mind was made up for the suffering. You know it’s quite encouraging when someone suffering for Christ or has suffered for Christ is encouraging you.
Romans 8:18 For I(Paul) reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
One thing that makes us to be encouraged when suffering comes and we endure is what is set before us.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
To be beaten for the sake of the gospel is a shame. But to us it is to be counted worthy, it is glory. What normally follow shame is glory. Glory does not come unless we have passed through a shame. Glory does not come unless we have suffered for His name sake.
1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified BEFOREHAND THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, AND THE GLORY THAT SHOULD FOLLOW.
1 Peter 2:20 FOR WHAT GLORY IS IT, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? BUT IF, WHEN YE DO WELL, AND SUFFER FOR IT, YE TAKE IT PATIENTLY, THIS IS ACCEPTABLE WITH GOD.
There is even need to take the suffering patiently, we see that’s is acceptable with God! We receive grace.
1 Peter 4:13 BUT REJOICE, inasmuch as ye are PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS; that, WHEN HIS GLORY SHALL BE REVEALED, YE MAY BE GLAD ALSO WITH EXCEEDING JOY.
No wonder the Apostles went around dancing and Rejoicing.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation perfect THROUGH SUFFERINGS.
1 Peter 5:10 BUT THE GOD OF ALL GRACE, who hath CALLED US UNTO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS, AFTER THAT YE HAVE SUFFERED A WHILE, MAKE YOU PERFECT, STABLISH, STRENGTHEN, SETTLE YOU.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the SUFFERING OF DEATH, CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOUR; THAT HE BY THE GRACE OF GOD SHOULD TASTE DEATH FOR EVERY MAN.
You see, it needs grace and God said His grace is sufficient for us. And He is the God of all grace even grace to be be able to partake and endure suffering.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Note this does not mean poverty, it means to be suffer for His name especially where they do not accept the gospel. Poverty is not ours in Christ Jesus. This is hard but we receive grace!
How then could Paul know all this and says He is not ashamed of the gospel.
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.
1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
He became a man that stated out what he is living for.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Lord we receive grace for this, in nations where we will suffer for your name sake. We receive grace for those in missions and are suffering for your sake. Grace to endure. Grace to stand and have a right attitude for your suffering, for this is our course. We receive grace to be partakers of this, for we know we will then have glory in you. Take away our fears. Grace even in our own nation to suffer for Your name sake. Every man will love to die for a course that is not the uttermost, pursuit it even to detriment of their souls. Some souls are already given to the devil, Lord we receive grace to be sold out to You. We take men even in prayers away from Satan as he as decided to take them at his will. Lord we receive grace for boldness of the gospel. Grace to be bold and not be timid. Grace not to love our lives and take it so dear to us. Grace to love the higher life even by the giving of our lives away from the lower life. Grace to be ready for this suffering, grace for the right attitude towards the suffering and not look back so we won’t be be unfit for the Kingdom! Oh we receive grace. We don’t want to profess to be Christians and not be ready to suffer for the sake of this gospel and deny You. Grace to give the gospel our attention and focus. Grace and grace for grace to do Your will at all times. (Amen)
2 Timothy 2:12 IF WE SUFFER, WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Keep walking as we receive grace for this. Amen.