Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Perils are Found in Ministry

Photo by Joseph Illingworth
Scripture: Luke 10:3
“Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Insights: The third principle of effective ministry is in ministry we face perils.  Notice in today’s verse that Jesus is sending us out as lambs in the midst of wolves.  In other words, we are going to be attacked.  We are going to be persecuted.  Our adversary is going to try and devour us and destroy us.  We, as followers of Jesus, must be prepared and ready for the persecutions which lay before us as children of God.  Beloved, let me clearly state I don’t desire to be persecuted, but the reality is the church grows better during times of persecution. I think one of the reasons this statement is a true is because you truly find out who the followers of Christ really are. In seasons of persecution you do not find people playing church, but you actually have the real church serving the Lord. On Sunday I shared the story of Perpetua and Felicity. Perpetua was from a wealthy Roman family in Felicity was a slave woman. Both of these ladies were young mothers and both were Christians. They were both put to death in the Coliseum because of their faith in Christ. When the gladiator executioner step forward to kill Perpetua he hesitated and she literally had to help guide his sword in to her body. Before the gladiator entered the arena they had sent wild beasts to kill these two ladies. A bull had tossed Perpetua, but did not hurt her. Her hair, however, had become undone and she asked for time to fix her hair. The reason she asked for this time was because undone hair was a sign of mourning and she considered this day to be a day of triumph and joy. When questioned about her impending death, Felicity said, “Now my sufferings are only mine. But when I face the beasts there will be another who will live in me, and will suffer for me since I shall be suffering for Him.”  The Roman crowd that had watched these deaths had been touched and many of the spectators converted to Christianity as result, including the governor of Rome. Beloved, let us live courageously in the midst of persecution and let us do it all for the glory of God.

1. Have you experienced any kind of personal persecution for your faith?
2. Does the knowledge regarding the perils of ministry comfort or intimidate you?

Prayer: Father, I do not long for persecution, but I do pray for You to grant me strength when it does come my way.  Let my faithfulness bring You glory.  Amen.

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