"Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
~ 2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV)
A story is told of the British preacher John Wesley, who was riding along on his horse when he realized that several days had gone by, and he hadn’t suffered any persecution. For three days, not a brick or an egg had been thrown in his direction, which apparently was a common practice when Wesley would get up to preach. So he got off his horse and cried out, “Could it be that I have sinned, and I am backslidden?” Then he got down on his knees and asked God to show him if there was anything wrong in his life spiritually.
Meanwhile, a man was watching and listening to all of this. He thought, “That preacher is crazy. I will show him.” He picked up a brick and threw it at Wesley, just missing his head. But when Wesley saw the brick, he jumped up and said joyfully, “Thank God, everything is okay! I still have His presence.”
The devil will oppose us outwardly and try to stop us through persecution. But there is another way he will attack, and it is far more subtle. He will whisper in our ear, “You are so powerful. You’re a man [or woman] of God. When you speak, your words resonate. You are so wonderful. You are so great.”
The devil knows that pride goes before a fall and that more people probably have been brought down by pride than by any other sin. He knows all about pride because it’s the very thing that brought him down as well.
The Bible tells us, “ In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Are you living a godly life? Then get ready, because persecution will come your way as a follower of Jesus Christ.
O God of all the nations, the One God who is and was and always will be, in your providence you willed that your Church be united to the suffering of your Son. Look with mercy on your servants who are persecuted for their faith in you. Grant them perseverance and courage to be worthy imitators of Christ. Bring your wisdom upon leaders of nations to work for peace among all peoples. May your Spirit open conversion for those who contradict your will, that we may live in harmony. Give us the grace to be united in truth and freedom, and to always seek your will in our lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.In Jesus,
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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