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Thoughts Archived > Expect Disbelief....Persecution....As You Go Forth

24 Aug 2014



August 24, 2014

   Expect Disbelief....Persecution....As You Go Forth   

Acts 9: 21 




All who heard him were amazed.  "Isn't this the same man who persecuted Jesus' followers with such devastation in Jerusalem?" they asked.  "And we understand that he came here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests."  







As Saul started his ministry, people were amazed that the man who persecuted Jesus, and the new movement called the Way [Acts 9:2], which we call Christianity, was one and the same person.  It was he, who, as an impressionable young man, stood and watched Stephen be stoned to death as a result of the lies of others.  Acts 6:8-7:59  Saul was then part of a wave of persecution that swept over the church in Jerusalem.  'Saul was going everywhere to devastate the church.  He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into jail.'  Acts 8:3  And he uttered threats with every breath, eager to destroy the Lord's followers.  Acts 9:1  Then we learn he took a turn on the road, if you will.

From heaven, Jesus spoke to him, while he was on the road to Damascus....and then blinded him.  Even though it seemed he was spiritually and morally blinded enough.  Yet, Jesus forgave him, healed him, chose him....Saul....to take his message of the Gospel, that, 'The Messiah you are looking for is Jesus." to the Gentiles, kings, and Jews.  And in that choice, he and others would learn how much Saul would suffer for Jesus.   Acts 5:42 & 9:15-16      

If you think you cannot 'go forth', enter the ministry, preach and teach the Gospel, or even bow down before God, think again.  It does not matter who you are in this moment, who you've been, what you've done.  It does not matter if you are male or female, educated or not.  It does not matter what others will think about you if you turn from your old life to a new way of living.  It does not matter if you are in a church that mandates by man's law that you 'need' to go to seminary.  You do not have to.  You have only to

1.  ask God for forgiveness of your sins,

2.  ask Jesus to come into your life to save you (make Jesus your Savior),

3.  ask Jesus for the baptism of the Holy Spirit to empower you,

4.  obey God, Jesus, Holy Spirit (make Jesus Lord over your life), reading, listening (to get to know THE Trinity and enter into a relationship with them), praying, praising, and going forth, etc.),

5.  living your life in such a way as to give testimony and point the way to THE Trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), and then   

6.  go forth....with the same kind of faith the psalmist had who said, "I believed in God, and so I speak."  Acts 4:13, Psalm 116:20 

Your ordination is from GOD.  'It is GOD who gives us, along with you, the ability to stand firm for Christ.  He [GOD] has commissioned us, and he [God] has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment of everything he will give us.'  Acts 1:21-22     

As you start your ministry, or continue the path of ministry you are on, expect disbelief and persecution....not just towards God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and your ministry, but towards yourself.  Satan does NOT want anyone to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because, Satan will lose members of his army as folks choose life with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.  Satan, and his assigns (all those not accepting/professing Jesus as their Savior and Lord), will choose to spin, in a negative light, everything you've done in your past, how you have presented yourself, who you've been.  They will lie, make up things about you, do things to cause you to trip, while on the path for Christ.  They will try to dissuade you in all ways possible to keep you from hearing, praying, reading, preaching, teaching, healing, raising up, ETC!, in the name of, with, and for God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.

And they will say you cannot talk about God or your ministry for and with him, Jesus, Holy Spirit.  Not only do we have freedom of speech, we have religious law on our side. Own the power that provides.  Worry more about offending God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, than about offending those who do not speak of them, or speak in opposition to them.  Even FEDERAL employment laws exist that allow you to do so in the work place in America.  If your place of employment prohibits it, they are going against the laws of the land of the U.S.A.  Let them know.

So, 'Don't team up with those who are unbelievers.  How can goodness be a partner with wickedness?  How can light live with darkness?  What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?  How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?  And what union can there be between God's temple and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.  As God said:

"I will live in them and walk among them.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.  Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.  And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

"Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit.  And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.  2 Corinthians 6:14-18 - 7:1 

[See Galatians 5:16-26 on how to live your life in (immersing yourself in the right ways to live) and with Jesus.]

'We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you.  [If you do not part from him....See John 15:1-18.]  All of these things are for your benefit.  And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 

'That is why we never give up.  Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long.  Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!  So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now [disbelief, persecution, ETC!]; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen.  For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.'  Acts 4:13-18  

Jesus said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world."  John 16:33.     





  Let Us Pray


Thank you, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit for reminding me that I am not alone, nor alone in my walk for you, that you are with me.  That your ways are not the ways of those in the world.  That I can go forth with the fire of the Holy Spirit to preach and teach about you, Jesus.  That you are the Messiah the world is looking for.  And, that I have blessed assurance that I have been called by you, Jesus, and I am identified and commissioned (ordained) by you, God.  I realize that I will have troubles in my walk for you, but with you I....we....you and I....WILL rise above them.  My job for you, God, is to walk in your ways to bring you glory.  Please forgive me of my sins, heal me and make me whole, and, being filled with you, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, lead me on.  Please send other Christians to surround me, so that we might all be prayerful strengths to one another in the field together.  And please, show me what you would have me do, and say, as I walk this journey, that I might present with a quality testimony to bring you glory, God.  Thank you, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.  May all the glory be yours!  I praise you!  I thank you again!  I love you!  Amen!     





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Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.




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It is time to reach into the community and the world around you to see wherein lies the greatest need.  As you choose to focus on these areas, do so with a servant's heart.  Whether the need is for children, adults, or animals, or any cause in between that will help those in need, ask God how you can best serve his needs, what path you must take, and how long you should persevere.  Sometimes we are to be in the lives of others merely as stepping stones.  Sometimes we are to touch those lives forever.  Whatever journey you are called to take, whatever team you will be a member, know this:  God is with you always...even til the end of time.  He loves you, is grateful for you, and will help you along life's way, especially if you are helping others along theirs, persevering with a servant's heart.  


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    One last thing....


 Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.


   Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,










 I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.  I encourage you to pray your own prayers as well.


  Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


NOTE:  I said it long ago, but let me say it again.  If you are wanting to lead a group, start a church, or are confined in an institution, or live in a country where the Gospel is not preached, and you don't know what to say or how to say it, and yet feel led to share, teach, or preach, besides just reading straight out of the Bible and sharing what God puts on your heart, please feel free to share any or all of what I've written, if it will help you, as long as you include where it comes from, due to copyright laws.  Jesus gave God's love and healing freely, as well as his message.  Our responsibility is to get the Word out to those who need to hear it.  If what I've written....by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit....or what he has said through me....has helped you, it may help others that you know.  You are welcome to share it.  God calls all of us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.  Please share it with the fullness of love that God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and I....have given it.  Amen!



Bible Authors and Minister