READING: Mark 13
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: In my reading the Scriptures this year, I’ve been halted more than once by God’s commitment to get His name to the nations. I’ve known that truth, but it’s been more obvious to me this year. In the Old Testament, He often led His people into difficult situations so the nations might know of His might. In today’s New Testament reading, it’s clear that God uses even persecution to proclaim His name.
Mark 13:9 “But you, be on your guard! They will hand you over to sanhedrins, and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them.”
Seldom do we understand all that God orchestrates in our lives, especially when the events are difficult — even leading to death at times. Nevertheless, God apparently gives believers opportunities to stand for Christ under persecution in ways they would not have had apart from such difficulty. Just as Paul and Silas had opportunities to witness in an unscheduled prison visit in Acts 16, perhaps we, too, will have more opportunities brought about by persecution.
We may not like that concept, but there’s no question that such an open door will force us to determine what we truly live for. If we’re living for ourselves, we’ll protect our name. If we’re living for God, we’ll proclaim His name — regardless of the cost.
ACTION STEPS: Today, read some stories about persecution (e.g., http://www.persecution.com/public/homepage.aspx?clickfrom=%3d6d61696e5f6d656e75). Pray for God’s name to be proclaimed.
PRAYER: “God, give me faith to live — and die — for You. Use me as You wish to honor Your name.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 24