Friday, April 17, 2015

Onward, Christian Soldiers!

- We should not be ashamed or embarrassed if we suffer as Christians (suffer because of our faith in Jesus Christ) but we should praise God that we bear/represent the name of Christ and glorify Him, instead. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12) We are to endure suffering patiently and cheerfully. It's an honor and a privilege to suffer for Christ and His Gospel. "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." (Philippians 1:20) "Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord...Rather, join with me in suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God." (2 Timothy 1:8) 

- What is a Christian? 
Nowadays, the word "Christian" is used so loosely that it loses its meaning. Many claim to be "Christians" yet they act nothing like Christ. Can people tell that you are Christ's followers?
"The world cares little for a mere profession. We say we are Christians, and the challenge is, "Prove it!" If we are of Christ, then we must do the works of Christ, live the life of Christ, and show the spirit of Christ...We must prove that we are the followers of our Master by the love, the grace, the beauty, the holiness of our life... It is vitally important that all who profess Christ--shall manifest Christ's beauty in their life and character. It is not enough to preach the gospel in words alone; others must also read it in our daily life." (J.R. Miller) How we respond/react to trials, suffering, and persecution is one of the proofs.

- "That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know Whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." (2 Timothy 1:12) When we suffer according to God's will, we should commit our lives/entrust our souls to God our faithful Creator who is in control of all things and we should continue to do what is right. Continue to "let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Suffering does not give us an excuse to be mean, to retaliate, or to stop doing good. If we can trust God with our eternal salvation; why can't we trust Him to take care of our trials and sufferings? Rest in God's sovereignty, love, grace, mercy, power, wisdom, and faithfulness! God is always faithful in His character and in His promises. He will sustain us and enable us. He will see us through to the end. The cross always precedes the crown in God's kingdom. Onward, Christian soldiers!

God Hath Not Promised (by Annie Johnson Flint)

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.


Alyce Eccentrick said...

It's easier to call yourself a Christian than to actually be a Christian. We have to work at it every day and, sometimes, we don't succeed because we are, after all, human. Fortunately, God's love is far greater than ours, and He doesn't give us more than we can handle.
Thank you for reminder of how to live my faith.

Laurie Collett said...

May we put on the whole armor of God to be prepared for the battle. Praise God that He has already won the victory! Linked up with you at Sunday Stillness -- hope you'll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
God bless,

Mary said...

Great post! God does not promise us that we will not suffer as His followers but we know He goes before us and beside us the whole way. I loved your definition of what is a Christian because I do believe that the terms being used loosely today. Blessed you linked up at The Weekend Brew.

Queen said...

Great blog and very insightful!thanks for the reminder to always choose joy!

Hazel Moon said...

I like the quote from Jonathan Edwards -(summary) I will live for God no matter what anyone else does. There may come a day we are called to lay it on the line and be ready to die for Jesus if that needs be. I have some friends who claim to be Christian, yet one is living with her lover without marriage, and words that do not become a believer come from many of these so called Christian mouths. May other know we are a Christian by our walk, talk and example. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at "Tell me a Story."

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