My husband and I were out running errands one day and a song was playing on the radio. The woman was singing, “I want to be like you, Jesus, walking and ministering as I go.”
I looked at Ron and said, “We sing that, but when the rubber meets the road, do we really mean it?”
Jesus told us if we followed Him not to be surprised if we are persecuted and hated for no reason, just as He was. <Matthew 5:11 and 12, 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 9:22, 17:25, 20:17; John 6:66, 12:37 and 38, 15:18-16:4; Galatians 4:29 NKJV>
Christians everywhere are suffering because they are sold out to Jesus.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are targeting believers in Ninevah, crucifying leadership, and slaughtering 1700 people in the past three days.
In Sudan, Meriam Ibrahim was arrested in February and remains in prison with her small children under a death sentence. She was confined because she would not deny Jesus.
In India, a family of five lost everything when their own relatives took their possessions and burned their house.
As I have started this journey – all for Jesus – I have learned much of what it means to join in His suffering, though not to the extent of those dear ones mentioned above. <2 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Peter 4:12-16 NKJV>
I remember sitting there whining to the Lord, “Lord, I’m tired of people blaming me for everything.” He said, “I know what you mean.”
Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Hebrews 12:2 says, “…looking [fixing one’s eyes trustingly] unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him [that’s you and me] endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The holy Child, Jesus had His eyes on us and He gave Himself for us. Isn’t He worthy of your life so He may work through you to reach others?
Jesus told us that whoever loves his family and his own life more than Him is not worthy of Him and cannot be His disciple. <Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 14:25-33>
Jesus knew sorrow. He not only was a Man of sorrows, He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. <Isaiah 53:3,4> He catches all our tears in a bottle. <Isaiah 56:8> He knows it hurts. That is why he told us to fix our eyes on Him. Let Jesus Christ be the Joy set before you.
Consider the cost of following Jesus our King. He is worth it. Worth the rejection, sorrow and pain you will encounter if you put Him and His plan first.
Holy Spirit is ever reminding me that the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. <Ephesians 6:12> People aren’t your enemy. They may be tools of the enemy, but they are not the enemy.
As we share in His sufferings, we will decrease and He will increase. <John 3:30> As we turn to Him and trust in Him, we will become more like Him. We will be living epistles read of men. <2 Corinthians 3:2-3>
Do you really want to be like Jesus? I do. I agree with Simon Peter. From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that Christ, the Son of the living God.” <John 6:66-69>
I will follow Him because I love Him.
“I want to be like you, Jesus, walking and ministering as I go.”