TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, December 27, 2019:
The price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish, or maintain anything; a sacrifice, loss or penalty.
They would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
II Timothy 4:2.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Identifying with Christ often comes at a high cost. And in much of the world, it is even dangerous to follow Jesus. Jesus was persecuted during His time on earth. The disciples and the early church in Jerusalem were persecuted. Many in the world today can relate to the persecution that comes for following Jesus. America has been shielded from the reality of what suffering for their faith looks like. We are outraged when our faith is mocked or we suspect we were passed over for a job or in any way discriminated against because we follow Jesus.
There is a huge difference between the cost of loss of social status and the cost of sacrificing our lives. Realistically, self-interest, financial stability, and social acceptance have always been intense human motivators. We see this in the actions of some of Jesus’s earliest converts.
The apostle John reports that even though the people had seen Jesus do many miracles most of the Jewish religious leaders still rejected Jesus (John 12:37). Many of the Jewish religious leaders did believe that Jesus was who He said He was, their long-awaited Jewish Messiah but they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear that they would lose their position in the synagogue. They loved human praise more than praise from God (verses 42-43).
Today because we as Christians face social pressures and sometimes even economic pressures if we make our faith known we keep our faith in Christ hidden. Whatever the cost, let us stand together as a people who seek God’s approval more than human praise.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Luke 2:13-14.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
Help me not to be one that is tempted to hide my faith. Make it my desire to seek God’s approval and not the world’s approval what-ever the cost.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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