by Pastor Tim Burt
As Christians, we are agents of God’s love. Seriously! That is a calling that is given within our heart from the moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior! We are given the assignment to shine for Him! 2 Corinthians 5:18 NLT says, “All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the ministry of reconciliation – the task (joy) of reconciling people to Himself.”
When a person becomes a new believer in Christ, something supernatural happens. Their eyes spiritually open. The Holy Spirit instantly comes to live within them upon receiving Jesus and they begin to see the world and life through God’s eyes for their very first time. Jesus called this being born again. In John 3:3 (NIV) Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
When you begin to share Jesus with others who are not yet believers, their eyes have not yet been opened by the Holy Spirit. This means that what you share with them may be accepted or rejected because they can’t fully grasp and understand it. If they accept and ask Jesus into their heart, then the Holy Spirit will open their spiritual eyes. If they keep up a wall and reject what they hear, their mind will reject what you have shared and the eyes of their spiritual understanding will remain blinded. This is why Jesus spoke the words to those who would accept Him saying, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16 NIV
We are given the joy of sharing the love of Jesus but it won’t always feel like a joy. Sometimes we will share and people will listen and receive every word we say. Sometimes people will write you off as a kook. The Apostle Paul said it like this in, 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT) “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing (rejecting Christ). To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume…”
It is the most wonderful feeling in the world when you lead someone to Christ. It can also hurt terribly when someone rejects Jesus because it feels like they are rejecting you! This is especially true when it’s someone you care about. But as Jesus said, they aren’t rejecting you. They’re rejecting Him. So, we can’t allow ourselves to take it as a personal rejection. When the seed (sharing God’s promise of eternal life) has been planted within them, it will live within them forever. For that reason we can live with the hope that one day, it will sprout within them and they will receive Christ! As the saying goes, “It’s not over till it’s over.”
The Apostle Paul was arresting and delivering Christians to prison when the Lord got a hold of Him. When Paul received Jesus, the eyes of his heart were open and he did a complete 180 degree turn in his life. He became one of the greatest soul winners in the history of mankind. The very person who rejects you today, will continue to think about what you said and mull it over in their heart. Especially if you pray for them. One day they may have a change of heart. This is the hope and prayer of all whom attempt to reach others with the love of Jesus! Praying for them is watering the seed planted within them.
The reason I’m writing this today is to say that the persecution you may experience for living a passionate Christian walk and sharing your faith, is a sign that you are having an impact for the Lord. No one wants to purposely draw persecution, yet when you do share Jesus’ love in the multitude of ways that you can and are led to, persecution could come. The devil will find ways to try to stop or discourage you. Your family may reject you. Your boss may threaten you. Your friends may think you’ve become a religious nut! Many of mine did and that hurt. But if they do accept Jesus, you’ve been used of God to help save their soul for all eternity! It will have been so worth it!
Persecution will come when you live your life passionately for the Lord. Sometimes people may hate you just because of what you represent. Your love and godly lifestyle may make them feel guilty about their own life. Some people may attack you because they have a hard heart and are evil. They may lie and find ways to come against you. When this happens, Pray 2 Thessalonians. 3:2 (NLT) which says, “Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord. But the Lord is faithful; He will make you strong and guard you from the evil one.”
Persecution is a part of the Christian walk when you live strong for the Lord, but, do so with a right heart. It carries an eternal reward that will bless you forever! Where do you begin? Just pray daily, “Lord please use me today! Give me favor and wisdom as I be a light for you today! ” Mean it sincerely and then keep your eyes open! You are surrounded by hurting people and people looking for answers to life! The opportunity will come! God will teach you how to be a wise ambassador for Him!
Matthew 5:10 & 12 (NLT) “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs…Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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