FAITH REQUIRES YOU TO PERSEVERE IN THE FACE OF UNBELIEF!
When John the Baptist was put in jail and became unsure of Jesus' identity, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah. Listen to how Jesus Christ responds to John's disciples. Matthew 11:4-6 states, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense [skandalizō] at Me.'"
Friends, we are not to look at people the way the world does by evaluating them according to externals (color of skin or family heritage) and incidentals (job or appearance), but rather we are taught by Jesus' example to evaluate people by the fruit of their life (Luke 6:44)!
The world will not return you this favor, so plan on being judged by the world according to the world's standards. Jesus teaches in the Gospel of John 15:18-19, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you."
Jesus was judged and rejected by worldly men from within the religious and political establishments. Let me give you a word of insight and potential warning, just because you are religious person doesn't mean you look at people with eyes of faith. Many Christians have never been taught to look at people any other way than how the world has taught us (externals and incidentals!), but today God is confronting us with this truth (evaluate the fruit of a person's life; the content of their character!)! If God is working on you today, don't get defensive about it; confess and repent! That is the only way to true freedom in Christ. You have been chosen by God to be His child and this leaves you with a choice that will determine the fruitfulness of your life: Will you live for the approval of the world or for the approval of God?
God's Word in Colossians 3:23-24 requires of us, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Truly, we live for an audience of ONE! Easier believed than lived!
With this perspective, you will be able to persevere through whatever you are going through at school, in the work place, at home. And it is clear from Jesus' example in our Scripture lesson that FAITH REQUIRES YOU TO PERSEVERE IN THE FACE OF UNBELIEF!
Dr. Ingalls new book Live on Mission Today: Battle Drills for a Christ-Centered Life teaches you how to live a Christ-centered life by training you to live according to the training regimen of a Christian soldier. This book was designed intentionally to prepare you to be ready, at any time, to accomplish God’s calling upon your life, anywhere you are commanded to go. You are invited to learn how to train yourself, according to God’s wisdom, to grow strong in God’s grace so that you can live on mission today, without being distracted by that which is not God’s priority for your life. This book teaches you, from a soldier’s perspective, how to live your life effectively and fruitfully for God’s mission in your daily life.
Learn more about the author www.jerryingalls.com.