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But to the Degree

December 6, 2018

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But to the Degree

The apostle Peter really committed his life  to the preaching  of the gospel  of Christ.     Peter had experienced the depths  of the meaning  of being totally forgiven  of all his sins.     When Jesus forgave Peter  for his fearful denial  at Jesus’ trial,  Peter realized  what a shame it was  to not trust God.     Never again  would he be afraid  of standing up for the truth.     Peter became so fearless  of the evils in this world  that he even accepted  being crucified upside down  for the sake  of the gospel.

Peter’s bold preaching can be seen  in his writings  as he encourages Christians  to totally live for Christ  in all their ways.     Peter openly told them  that they would have to suffer  when they dared  to speak the truth  about salvation  in Christ Jesus.     Peter did not want his fellow believers  to be surprised or fearful,  so he wrote  in 1 Peter 4:12-14,

Beloved,  do not be surprised  at the fiery ordeal  among you,  which comes upon you  for your testing,  as though  some strange thing  were happening to you;

but to the degree  that you share the sufferings  of Christ,  keep on rejoicing;  so that also  at the revelation  of His glory,  you may rejoice  with exultation.

If you are reviled  for the name of Christ,  you are blessed,  because  the Spirit of glory  and of God  rests upon you.

The  “fiery ordeal”  these early Christians faced  included imprisonment,  beatings,  stoning,  and the lions  in the coliseum.     There are Christians  in parts of the world today  who face similar tortures.      They know they cannot deny the truth  of salvation  in Christ alone.

We most likely have a different  “degree”  of suffering — if,  in fact,  we are actually living  in God’s truths.     In whatever manner we bear suffering  for Christ,  we can and should rejoice.     When we gladly stand up  for Christ  and bear the snide remarks of others,  or a lower grade  in the classroom,  or the cold shoulder,  or whatever it is  that is intended  to hurt us,  we will have more reason than ever  to rejoice  when Jesus comes and reveals all  of His glory.

There will come a day when  “every knee will bow”  (Isaiah 45:23)  and admit  that Jesus is Lord over all.     Every single person  who has been hateful and angry  towards the LORD  will come and worship Him  for who He is.

Let us give ourselves reason  to be rejoicing greatly  on that day,  as we enjoy the wondrous glory  of our Savior,  who has humbled Himself  to suffer and die  for our sins.

If we are reviled and mocked today  for our faith,  we are greatly blessed  because others are  “seeing”  the glory of God  in our lives.    They might not like  seeing Jesus living in our hearts,  but that is something  they will have to deal with.

As our faith is tested,  we rejoice and say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord Jesus,  You have proven Your power  over all things — even over life and death.     Help us to keep our eyes  on You and Your glorious power,  so that we may rejoice  in every trial  we need to face.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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