25th February, 2018
Hymn of meditation: PH 164
In the wounds of Christ my Savior, Mortal wounds on Him I see.
In these wounds, I have a blessing, In these wounds, Christ paid the price.
In this Christ did die for sin, Condemnation, I dread not,
For I have such sure salvation, Now I hate the life of sinners.
eThe Word of the Lord admonishes us to be fully prepared whenever we come into the presence of God to hear Him. Jesus said to us that He is the way, the truth and the life. If you have responded to the call of Christianity, and accepted Christ completely, then His life comes to dwell in you and to teach you the will and way of the Lord. Then also, the truth of Christ Jesus will come to you.
If you accept the truth, if your life has been transformed to conform to His life, if the way of the Lord has been revealed to you, then you will automatically be hated by the ‘world’ and be subjected to suffering. So today, we’ve been called to share in the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’venot been called unto merrymaking, and to eat bread and butter but to share in the suffering of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
As a Christian, prepare to suffer once you choose to stand right with the Lord. In an office where cheating and all manner of negatives are ongoing, it is easy to succumb to the norm, for fear of being maligned by the rest; but prepare to stand and suffer the hatred, backbiting and even transfer out of that office owing to your righteous stance.
You will suffer wrongly because of your true Christianity. 1 Peter 2:19 – “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God”. The people of the world and those of other faith will hit at you with mockery and hatred. 1 Peter 3:14 – “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened”
Even your family may hate you because of your faith. 1 Peter 4:19 – “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good”.
In the Presbyterian Church for instance, all we know and practice is the Bible and the Bible as we all would agree, is Jesus Christ; and He alone gives us the grace to support and enable us go about all our endeavours in life. My brethren, you have been called to share in the suffering of Jesus. In the passage from Genesis 17:1-7, Abraham was ninety-nine years old when God revealed Himself to him. He saw the overwhelming presence of God and bowed down to acknowledge God’s presence. God came to him with the promise to restore him (Abraham) to his fullest. This is a revelation of the power of God and what He can do. We must render to Him all the fear and respect due. We must accept Him in His totality. He blessed Abraham beyond measure. By God’s power, He sustains all who have faith in Him, counsels and supplies all needs. The faith of Abraham which made him what he became has been transferred to you and I.
Christianity, we are being told today, is a call unto suffering. Yes, because of your honesty, because of your sincerity, the world will hate you. Your very own family and friends will hate you if you choose to abide by the tenets of Christianity. We must be prepared. Our God will jealously guard and guide you through the shame and avenge on your behalf.
I am the Holy Ghost naked fire,
I am the Holy Ghost naked fire,
If you touch Me, I will shock you;
I am the Holy Ghost naked fire
Yes, He is the God able to avenge the world of hatred imposed on us.
Paul said to the Romans that the God who called Abraham has equally called us and all the promises of God that has come to pass is our portion also. Jesus called His disciples and proved to them He is the Messiah who has come to dwell and protect but also made it known that His calling is that of suffering. We truly have been called to suffering; not to just suffer in vain but with the assurance of a glorious end awaiting us. Christ rates suffering so important that when Peter, in the garden, prior to His arrest tried to speak against it, Jesus rebuked him saying: “Get thee behind me satan”. This also shows how the devil would try to convince you to stay away from shame and suffering and cause you not to follow Christ. God will sustain and give you the power to endure and the strength to overcome. Do not fear them for God is able to sustain you.
Today, you and I have been called to suffer a little. Pay no heed to those who will tell you that once you accept the Lord you become the head and not the tail. You will suffer but in your suffering, Jesus will be present to uphold and sustain you. The enemies will come at you in all spheres but they will burn because “you have the Holy Ghost naked fire”.
Brethren, you will suffer but do not look to the suffering; look to Jesus who has called you. Christianity is a call not to a church but to the life of Christ. The same God who called and blessed Abraham after much suffering is the one we answer to. Do not allow the world and social media to dictate to you; always look up to Jesus. He would never have called us if He knew He would not support us through. He called us not to shame us but to bless and provide for us and that is why He is Almighty. He gives life to even the dead. You certainly will suffer but He will bring you to a glorious end in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,