Monday, August 8, 2016

Obedience Training for Christians!

Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of the twelve disciples, and a large mob armed with swords and clubs was with him. They had been sent by the chief priests and the nation's leaders. Judas had told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss.” Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Hello, teacher.” Then Judas kissed him.  Jesus replied, “My friend, do what you came for.”

The men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of Jesus' followers pulled out a sword. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting.  Don't you know that I could ask my Father, and he would at once send me more than twelve armies of angels?  But then, how could the words of the Scriptures come true, which say this must happen?”

Matthew 26:47-54

When it comes time for you to be “Crucified with Christ,” do you call for armies of angels to save you from that fate, or do you do as Jesus did and recognize the Will of God in your life?  

But how could crucifixion be God’s Will for you?  Doesn’t God oppose all evil?  Why would He allow you to suffer?  Didn’t Jesus suffer so that we wouldn’t have to endure persecution and pain?  

Of course, it is difficult to understand why any follower of Jesus would be called upon to endure great hardships and suffering.  But consider Hebrews 5:8 that says:  “Jesus is God's own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God.”

The bottom line is that Pain has a Purpose!  When you experience difficulty and hardship as a follower of Jesus, you are enrolled in obedience training for Christians!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me enough to let me learn to be obedient through suffering.  May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

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