Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We Endure Hardships for Jesus

Photo by 7 july :-)
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:3
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

Insights:  Our final point from this weeks sermon comes from today’s verse. We are to endure hardship for Jesus. There is a watered down gospel being proclaimed around the world. In this watered-down gospel we are told God wants us to be healthy, wealthy and wise. If we would just come to Jesus all of our worldly problems would disappear. This version of the gospel is not the gospel at all. It is in complete opposition to what the Scripture teaches about our life in Christ. Verses like today’s and many others point to the difficulties and hardships we face as Christ-followers. Think about Jesus' very own words, he said broad is the road that leads to destruction and many go that way. Narrow is the road that leads to life, however, and few find it. I share this statement because if indeed the gospel is about being healthy, wealthy, and wise, then many people would pursue that kind of gospel.  We were told, however, that few will follow the path that leads to life. In fact, Jesus even tells us to count the cost before being a disciple of His. When we read through the rest of Paul's writings we see persecutions face Christians at every turn. Somewhere along the way we Christians in the Western world have gotten the gospel confused. We think if we have success, power and pleasure, then somehow God is blessing us. At the same time we think if we are enduring hardships, then God must not be pleased with our lives. This mentality is so wrong. Paul says it even more strongly when he states if we are going to be followers of Christ, we will be persecuted. Beloved, let us stop the moaning and crying over our hardships, and let us instead start praising God for counting us worthy for suffering for His gospel. As today's verse says may we endure hardships like good soldiers. It is my prayer when the Lord Jesus comes He find you faithful.

1. How would others characterize the way you have endured hardship?
2. What hardships have you encountered for being a Christ-follower?

Prayer: Father, I do not long for hardships, but I pray I would endure them well for your namesake. I desire to be loyal and honorable to you as I undergo hardships.  May Your strength guide me.  Amen.

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