A few days ago, a friend made reference to her daughter’s piano teacher who is taking her daughter “to a new level.” Music students rate themselves as beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Not many go from beginner to advanced, but from one level to another, as they are trained and practiced in what they are being taught.
This can be applied to our lives as disciples of Christ. Does not our Lord Jesus Christ challenge us to a new level of wisdom and understanding of His grace? If so, we will find ourselves more humble than we can imagine. We will be filled and enabled to thrive on the abounding grace and the abundant life that He promised.
As we continue to see our need for humility; to desire this abounding grace; to pray and believe as we wait on Him, He will not fail to fulfill His promises to us, in us, and through us.
Growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now live, should be an ongoing process as we pray, read, study, meditate, and wait.
We should be advancing in our faith to higher levels of knowledge and holiness. This is a process working in us that will not exalt us, nor of which we can boast, but rather one that will humble us more and more.
It is the sinner dwelling in the full light of God’s holy, redeeming love ~ in the experience of that full indwelling of divine love, which comes through Christ and the Holy Spirit ~ who cannot be anything but humble. Not to be occupied with your sin, but to be occupied with God, brings deliverance from self.
Humility Chap. 8 Humility and Sin
Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride, whether of evil spirits or my own corrupt nature and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit. Humility: the Beauty of Holiness
Dear Father, you, the God of all grace, have called us unto your eternal glory through Jesus Christ. You do not leave us to grow by ourselves. You know what we need ~ grace and more grace. Work in us according to your own good pleasure that we may be a witness of the abundant life in Christ that humbles us and glorifies you. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen
(Excerpt from A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
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After our pastor’s recent sermon from Luke 7:38, my heart was led to think of what it means to be “at Jesus’ feet.”
“Behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:38.”
“Gracious tears are wept at Jesus’ feet. Oh, if you would have your heart broken until the rock shall gush with rivers of repentance, stand at Jesus’ feet. Stand there now. If you would have a tender heart, think of the Beloved who died for you! Think of how those feet were pierced. This woman could not see that, for it was not then done; but you can see it, and note where the nail has bored each blessed foot.” At His Feet Charles Spurgeon
The first reference of Jesus’ feet is in Matthew 15:30
In recognition of Jesus’ power to heal, “great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”
There were those who fell at Jesus’ feet to worship Him, and those who sat at His feet.
We come to His feet to pray for loved ones, knowing by experience He is the only one who can save.
Jairus, a rule of the synagogue, whose daughter was ill, ”fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:” Luke 8:41
In Mark 7:25 “a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
We find in Luke 8:35 the story of the man who had a legion of demons in him who used to cut himself, and who lived among the tombs.
“They went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the demons were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
At Jesus’ feet” is the fitting place for a willing learner.
“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word”; Luke 10:39
In the healing of the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus and acknowledge His healing.
“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:16
It is at Jesus’ feet that we recognize our place before Him and honor and acknowledge His power and authority over all things.
“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32
After His resurrection “when they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Matthew 28:9
When we fall before Him, it is His feet we see and touch. We come to Him in gratitude for His condescension to us, for He walked this dusty earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, our Father; then climbed that hill to Golgatha to have those precious feet pierced for our sake.
His disciples tarried in obedience to the Master and were blessed to see those glorious feet as He ascended back to the Father to rule in power and as our High Priest to intercede for us.
“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15:25
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” Ephesians 1:22
We live under His authority, no longer enemies but friends and family ~ His church. We will not come under His feet in the wrath of God, but we will rule with Him at His feet, forevermore. We bow before Him now or will be brought under His feet in condemnation forever.
When He Reigns
“I think I see the angels and the blood-bought ones beginning one of their celestial chorales. Hear them as they begin the rapturous strain! Their notes how sweet, how seraphic, as they praise the eternal Father and the glorious Lamb of God and worship!
“We hear the song. How it swells! Listen to the soft touches of the harpists playing on their harps! Do you see how the singers and the players of instruments seem caught up in the ecstasy? But notice! as the song rises they begin to bow. As it rises higher they bow lower, and lower, and lower.
“The enthusiastic fervour of their love has made them lift their loudest hallelujah; and lo ~ they cast their crowns at his sacred feet. The whole company are still lifting up the song to its utmost glory, but immediately they fall on their faces, prostrate before the throne. “At his feet” is their loftiest position. Let us imitate them, and making the worship more ecstatic than before, bow before him.
Lo, at his feet, with awful joy,
The adoring armies fall!
With joy they shrink to nothing there,
Before the eternal All.
“So let us praise him for all that he has done for us; and, as we praise him, let us sink lower, and lower, and lower, until in ourselves we are nothing and only Christ lives in us. Let no thought of self, nor wish for self, nor dream of self, intrude, but let Jesus be all in all.
“At his feet,” there our heaven shall be found. When our soul is deepest bathed in grateful praise we shall fall down on our faces and worship the Lamb. May the Lord bless you, and keep you at his feet for ever. Amen. At Jesus’ Feet Charles Spurgeon
“And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever andever.” Revelation 514; Revelation 19:4
From the survey last week, seven responses netted forty-nine words, including three of my own that were different than your lists.
I asked for words from a Christian view that are important to our relationship with God and others.
Over the weekend I wondered and prayed about the connection of these words to each other and to us.
First the tally from eight lists, including mine:
Jesus appeared on seven lists.
Forgive (forgiven) appeared on seven.
Love appeared on six.
Grace on five.
Truth and Mercy on four.
God and Salvation on three.
Father, Kindness, Peace, Free, Life, Faith, Know (known), Sin (sinner) on two lists.
Each of the following were listed once on different lists.
In a former post, we wrote of how names leave impressions and bring to mind the character of the person. This can be seen in this survey.
Let’s take the one formal name many of us listed.
Jesus is relative to God, Father, Lord, Spirit.
Forgiveness is through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love and Grace are revealed in Jesus’ Sacrifice
Mercy, Truth, and Glory came through Jesus.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Jesus means Salvation. Salvation comes only through Faith in Jesus.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
A Sinner has remission of Sin through the Sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ.
We Know God and are Known as Jesus is revealed to us and in us.
Life is given through Jesus, both physically and spiritually.
We are Free from Guilt in Jesus.
He is our Peace.
In Jesus’ Kindness, we are brought to Repentance to be Sorry for our sins and to live in Obedience.
Jesus in us, by His Spirit yields the fruit of Kindness, Joy, Patience and Humility.
We are Holy and Accepted in Jesus.
In Jesus, we have the promise of Eternity in Heaven and escape from Hell.
We experience Jesus’ Presence through the Scriptures and Prayer.
In Jesus, we are delivered from the law of sin and Death.
We say, “Thank you” and in Jesus, we live to His Praise and Glory.
We Encourage, Comfort, and Help others as we receive these in Jesus.
We are Welcome to the Family of God through Jesus
What do we learn from this survey?
In Jesus is hid all the important words we need to know. They are Words of Life. We could never list them all. He is all we need for this life and the next. The more we know Him the more we are amazed and grow in His wisdom and grace.
The words Light, Wisdom, Power came to mind while I was writing this post.
Please share scripture references to the ones that were on your list. We did not have time or room for these in this post.
Meanings of Names Who Contributed to our Survey
In case you do not know the meaning of your name, I am posting these for you who participated in our survey.
Tom, Thank you,
From the nameThomas:
Derived from the Aramaic tē’ōma (a twin). The name is borne in the Bible by an apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ.
Tom, Praise the Lord for bringing you to faith, not by seeing but by the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. I like to think of Jesus’ image in you, making you a twin.
I pray blessings for your ministry to our Lord as you make known the name of Jesus, His work of Grace, Truth, and Love, through Scripture and Prayer, to help others to be Sorry and to know the Lord who will Forgive, and through His Kindness to you and through you, Encourage others not to doubt.
Jim, Thank you,
Medieval diminutive of the name James meaning “supplanter”
The name has its root in ya’aquob (supplanting, seizing by the heel).
A supplanter takes over or takes the place of someone else, usually on purpose.
Jim, You are living up to your name.
I pray you continue to wield the sword of truth as you address the Sinner and his Guilt, in the name of Jesus, the God of our Salvation, Grace, Faith, Mercy, and Forgiveness.
Bruce, Thank you,
The name Bruce arrived in Scotland with the Normans, from the place name Brix, Manche in Normandy, France, meaning “the willowlands”.
Robert de Bruce, a knight from Normandy, followed William the Conqueror to England.
There is no Hebrew meaning; though it’s not unlike the Hebrew name Baruch, which means “blessed.”
According to someone from Taiwan, the name Bruce is of Unknown origin and means “Happy warrior”.
Whether the meaning is the willowlands, blessed, or Happy Warrior, take heart in who you are following, how you are blessed in Jesus, and the warrior He has called you to be.
Bruce, I pray you Know the Presence of the Father; that you are Forgiven, Welcome and Holy through Jesus, His Love, Mercy, and Grace,
Heidi, Thank you,
A pet form of Adalheid (noble one) and Hildegard (battle protector), Heidi is also bestowed as an independent given name. It became well known internationally from Johanna Spyri”s famous story “Heidi” (1880).
Heidi, your name fits you well. In Jesus, you are a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ and a battle protector for His name’s sake. I pray that in Jesus. you Know you are Loved, Accepted, Forgiven and delivered from Death, Sin, and Hell, have an abundant Life in Him nd the promise of Heaven.
Amy, Thank you,
Your name was derived from the Middle English Amye, which is from the Old France Aimee (beloved), a name derived from the verb aimer (to love). It is not surprising that you included Love in your list.
Amy, I pray that knowing you are beloved in our Lord Jesus you are able to Love in Truth, Peace, Joy, Patience and Freedom. And because God is in you, you are a help and comfort to your God’s family and others.
Your name is derived from the Lowland Scotch bonnie (beautiful, good-natured and cheerful; this was derived from Middle French bon(good). Tour name fits you as one of Jesus’ followers.
Bonnie, I pray we all will remember to say, “Thank you” and continue to Praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His Glory, Love, Joy, and Peace, and show His Forgiveness and Kindness to others.
Pat, Thank you,
Patricia is derived from Latin meaning “noble”
I could not find more information on the meaning of your name but this one word is enough to describe one who is born of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pat, I pray that you continue in your ministry as a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ one who knows God, Jesus, and the blessings that ours through His Salvation; that you are Free to Love, and Forgive, through Faith in the Truth of His Grace and Mercy.
Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus, I praise you for revealing yourself to us by your Spirit. May all the glory be yours for your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Bring forth in us the fruit of our Lord Jesus Christ~ love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, and humility. We thank you for delivering us from death and hell to the abundant Life, accepted and free by the salvation that is ours in Christ. Thank you for the gift of faith to be sorry for our sin; in repentance to live in obedience and sacrifice for your name’s sake. We praise you that one day you will welcome us to eternity in heaven as holy in Him. Keep us in Scripture, truth, and prayer that we may encourage, help and comfort our family and others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Humility — the Beauty of Holiness (audio) by Andrew Murray became a gripping study for me over twenty years ago. In those first years, the conviction of my own need for this trait of the Christian life led me to study and memorize particular quotes. These were truths I had never heard and I began to long for this as part of my relationship and union with Christ.
In 2014, I shared for twelve months on this blog what was published in 2016 as A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility. Since then I have used my book which highlights the main points that I had memorized as a daily devotional. (A free PDF copy is available upon request.)
Why have I become so intrigued with this subject?
Because I have experienced the difference Christ’s humility has made in my life. I continue to witness of this so that others may come to this knowledge and blessing.
Humility is the least-claimed, the least-owned, and the least-known of the graces of Christ that are given to His people.
Because humility goes against the grain of all human nature. Pride is so ingrained that only a miracle — a work of the power of the Spirit of Christ — the Holy Spirit sent to transform the minds, hearts, and lives of His brethren — can we be delivered from pride and live a life of humility. This was the total of the life of our Lord and Savior and the abundant life He died to give.
It is the least-owned because it does not belong to us. It is the gift of His grace and the fruit of His Spirit — meekness –even next to the last of the fruit which is temperance (self-control).
And it does not happen overnight. As Murray teaches throughout the book, we must remember the process of all God’s work.
1. Conviction of our need.
2. Desire for the humility of Christ above all else
3. Pray diligently for His working in us.
4. Wait in expectation and live in praise to Him for what He will do in His timing.
I want to share this week and in subsequent posts the simple statements Murray used in his book that still bring me to my knees, yearning for this “above everything, seeking the holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all.” It must be the continual indwelling of Christ within. When we fail, we are reminded to return to where we started — the heart in prayer for His working.
“It is the indwelling Christ who will live His life in us, meek and lowly. We must long for this, above everything, seeking this holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all. We must set aside our ordinary religion to secure this, the first and chief of the marks of Christ within us.”
“And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you.”
I share these blessed truths, praying for His Spirit’s conviction and blessing for us as we seek, claim, own, and know the power of His working in us — for His glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name,
A sermon may put you to sleep. It may pass over you without leaving its mark — or it may very well pierce your heart, lodge within your soul, humble you and change your life. Such was last week’s message from our pastor as he began Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.
If you have studied Jesus’ Sermon recorded in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospels, you may know that the word Blessed is a description of a true follower of Christ.
In the Christian language Blessed translates Happy. Jesus’ teachings were radical in His day and in ours to show by His own life and His Words that the kingdom of God begins in the hearts of those who are humbled before Him.
This sermon serves to awaken again the desire to share what I have studied and written about the subject of Humility. It has been a constant study since 2014 through Andrew Murray’s Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness; when I posted A Broad Review of his book — a chapter every month that year.
Since then, I have been using that Broad Review, (published in 2017), with its main points, to saturate my mind, to meditate, ruminate and perpetuate the truths of God’s Word concerning the character of humility that is desperately needed in our hearts and lives. The humility of Christ within us is our blessedness and happiness.
Please watch ~ more importantly ~ listen to this sermon and visit with us this week for snippets of the reality of Humility that you may have never known or heard. May the Lord bless your week. Fran
Second in the series What the Holy Bible Says is available on Amazon.
What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD follows What the Holy Bible Says about LIGHT, published two years ago.
Both are devotional studies using references from Strong’s Concordance with questions and suggestions for discovering what God has to say about these topics. The first study on LIGHT is a ten-week study.
The second study on The Word of GOD is a twenty-six-week study. It not only involves a longer time than the first book but will produce a greater understanding of who God is, what He spoke and reveals about Himself. Going through this study twice, I have experienced a deep humility and relationship with God which I did not have before. This devotional study starts slow but quickens its pace and brings the reader to a greater knowledge of the Word of God. It ends with fullness and joy, giving the student a bountiful love for God and His Word.
(The third study, not published, is What the Holy Bible Says about LIFE.)
The first two books are in paperback and Ebook with others on Amazon.
We began publishing two years ago as a means to archive our work in proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdom to future generations. Profits from sales are designated for missions and charity. Free copies of any book are available to those who cannot afford to buy.
Dear Father in heaven, we praise you for another opportunity to share the truth of your Word. We pray for your Holy Spirit to lead readers to know you through this study. In Jesus’ name, we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.
As I continue to study Andrew Murray’s, Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness, the end of this year seems a good time to share some treasures from this book. We can take into the new year these special truths that can change our thinking and our lives. Considering if we live in pride or humility is to know if we live by the flesh as in the first Adam, or by the Spirit in the second Adam.
Think of the power of sin that was within us before we were born of the Spirit. Then meditate on the following quotes from Andrew Murray. Let us take these with us into the new year as we continue to study the power of the new life, the life of redemption that is ours in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Even as we need to look to the first Adam and his fall to know the power of the sin within us, we need to know well the Second Adam and His power to give within us a life of humility as real and abiding and overmastering as has been that of pride. We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.”
“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow. It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us. Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”
There is no greater blessing than a life of humility; serving the Lord and others.
Gracious Father, we thank you for the new life that is ours in Christ. We praise you that you showed your power in His incarnation, resurrection, and redemption so that we can experience the power of His humility working in us. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Have This Mind Among Yourselves
Philippians 2:5-11 Music
Suggested Reading: A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
I AM is a Perfectionist. Remember those italicized words in the King James Version, those smaller words that added clarity to the sentence from the Hebrew translation? I speak here as I have learned from the Great I AM.
I AM is a holy God, a perfect Father, Creator and Redeemer. The realm of His kingdom is perfect, nothing lacking, nothing out of order, no frustration, no oppression, no war, no anxiety, no fear, violence, sickness, death, disappointment or tears. In His kingdom there is no criticism, anger, jealousy, envy, dishonesty, or falsehood. He is surrounded by righteousness, humility, peace, harmony, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and temperance.
The LORD has established his throne
in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He rules in power, truth, grace, mercy and glory. From His own mind, heart and Spirit He lives and lavishes His own Being throughout His heavens. As a Perfectionist, He created the heavens and the earth, with expectation of having a perfect family bearing His image.
Did He go wrong somewhere? Then He is not a Perfectionist, and He is not able to rule and govern what He created.
Or is all still going according to His plans? Is providence the working out of His holy will?
If we were perfect, then we would understand His plans and agree that He is perfect.
If we could see the end of all things as He has planned, we would understand His perfection.
We cannot, so we must look to the Perfect One who makes all things perfect.
“The trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire,
Special revelation comes by the power of His Spirit in the lives of those who are His children, born of His Spirit through His Word. Within us He enables us to see beyond this world and its imperfections (the list is too long). We are brought beyond the power of sin to be occupied with God. The heavenly Father, Creator and Redeemer, whose perfect, heavenly love, humbles us, and begins the process of perfecting us by the power of HIs Son and His Holy Spirit, to share His eternal kingdom.
We give up our human perfectionism when we understand that only He can make things perfect, and His plan for perfection was not intended for this earth, but for eternity with Him. The only perfect thing here on this earth is His love. In the end, it will perfect all those who are in Christ, His Son. We are holy and acceptable in Him, now and forever (Romans 12:1)
Gracious and blessed Father, Perfect in all things, with the plan to perfect the disciples of Christ, your Son: in the power of your Holy Spirit, birth and train us according to your perfect will through your Word. Through us, by transforming our minds and hearts, make known your love to a perishing world . Fill us with your light that pierces the darkness and brings your children to a perfect love, joy and peace, as we wait for our Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Related article: The Power of God’s Holy Will
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: .
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:
But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
2 Corinthians 12:9
strength is made perfect in weakness.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace…make you perfect.
1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.
The last two chapters of Andrew Murray’s Humility (PDF) are extremes. From this chapter that deals with the valley, the last chapter takes us to the pinnacle. When we reach the depths of humility then we are lifted to the heights of Christ’s glory. And here is true happiness on this earth. This is not the experience for most believers. Most of us know nothing of the consecration and persecution that comes from following Christ. And we must remember that none of this is our own work. It is always the supernatural power of God working in the believer.
In this chapter, we see how Paul got where he was; from the height of his own glory, to the depths of his own weakness, and then to the glory of Christ’s sufficiency. He, like some of the Old Testament prophets and like John in his recording of Revelation, had been blessed with revelations of a higher kind than is usual for man. Paul did not record these, but they were of such that, he could have been exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations.
From His Own Glory
He was brought down so as not to glory in such visions. How? The thorn in the flesh was not described as a physical infirmity, but as the buffeting of Satan.
“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;” 1 Corinthians 4:11
What he learned in his state of humility was how to live in response to infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distress; he knew they were all for Christ’s sake. He could glory and find pleasure in these things because he knew they were his sufferings for Christ.
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philippians 3:10
It is in our own experiences that we will know Christ and the fellowship of His sufferings, so as to be humbled and made conformable unto His death ~ the death of self.
There are people in the New Testament that our heavenly Father has recorded for our imitation ~ especially Jesus Christ His Son, and then the apostle Paul. If we spend our time in this life researching the life of Christ, and how Paul was called and given up to follow Christ we shall see the purpose of Christ’s coming and dying for His people. We shall see the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing a person to Christ, and the devotion and obedience of faith that only He can bring about in this world.
So that this review will not be so long I ask you, the Reader, to read this chapter from the book. In this article I want to allude to other examples that reflect the truth that Murray is sharing, and to record my own impressions.
Beginning with our Lord’s own words from Matthew 5:10-12 we remember:
“Blessed (happy) are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
The name, the glory and power of God and Jesus Christ are revealed in the New Testament as relating to times of persecution because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts when the apostles, having been beaten and commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus, they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Acts 5:40-42
From Simon Peter’s Letter
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;” 1 Peter 3:14
Peter reminds those believers who were being persecuted, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
As they were a part of Christ’s sufferings He was being glorified. They could be happy knowing and experiencing the spirit of glory and of God resting upon them.
They could endure the evil done to them knowing the promise that just as Christ suffered for them they could suffer for Him and also share His glory.
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:” Colossians 1:24
We owe our thanks and praise to the work of the Holy Spirit in Paul’s life. His sufferings and afflictions were counted to him as for the sake of the church. As we see in Paul’s life what it meant to deny self and follow Christ, we have enough visions to lead us to humility and to follow Christ. In this is our only means of survival and true life here and for eternity.
Others are following in our footsteps. What do they see; do they see the true Christ in us? Do they see the happiness in our humility in serving Christ? Will they be led to self-denial, willing to suffer for Christ’s sake and His church, to rejoice in the Lord through any circumstance?
Gracious Father, we, in this country know nothing of the persecution that Paul and the early Christians endured. We pray for those who are suffering for Christ’s sake, that they not only endure but be filled with the power of your Spirit to rejoice in the Lord in the middle of persecution. Let their oppressors see the joy and power of Christ in them and wonder at such great salvation that you bring to your people.
Prepare us for such persecution that is sure to come in this nation. Have mercy upon us as your people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
And the Lord Said Unto Me: Scripture Tunes