Sunday, March 14, 2010

When You're Being ..or Feel Crucified

"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!" ~Jesus, Lk. 12:4-5, nkjv
When ya feel like you're being crucified ..or you really are.. what will you do?

"What can anyone do when they are nailed, Kurt?"

Hey, I love the cross but, like you, I don't feel like being put up on one ..ever. Limitedly, there are some things that you can do in case you are put up on one ..or on something like it. Hopefully not, but I say just do what Jesus did during His cross experience at Calvary ..if this kinda thing happens.

What are some things He did that I can do?

You can talk to your Father, forgive sinners who've deeply hurt you or your loved ones (we can indeed forgive from the heart, just not like He can).

You can let em divide up or cast lots for your garments and then steal them from you. You can refrain from attacking back, from lying about them, from whipping em, from mocking them in return, and from spitting or punching back. You can love and pray for your enemies.

You can take good care of your family. You can be totally honest or even cry out if you need to express yourself to the Lord saying "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" It might even feel like God hasn't been faithful but in spite of all that, just know that He has been and can't deny Himself.

You can turn down alcohol like Jesus turned down wine. You can be holy and a good witness, above reproach—a loyal representative for God all the way through until you ain't suckin' air anymore.

You can love and quote Scripture no matter the peer pressure and then you can die gracefully.

"For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing God a service. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I'm telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember I warned you." ~Jesus to His disciples, Jn. 6:2-4

"There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and epidemics in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs in the heavens. 'But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will be accused before kings and governors of being my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don't worry about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply! Even those closest to you--your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. And some of you will be killed. And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me." ~Jesus regarding the end times, Lk. 21:11-17

Tough, matter of fact, laconic words huh. I know ..I feel ya here.. those of you who want comfort right now. I really don't mean to come off as calous, cavalier or insensitive and I am not saying that there is never to be a time for Christians to: 1.) Be cautious about their own safety or health, to 2.) Own or use a gun ["See Kurt, you Christians are all about toting guns and Bibles to pound on. I was warned and just knew it!" Hey gang, see Lk. 22:36], 3.) to sue an unbeliever or 4.) Sue some secular company that keeps taking advantage of them or of their family (even though people selfishly abuse the legal process way to much here). Yes, we are not to be hateful, bitter people of fleshly retaliation, revenge, vigilante violence, slander, or of gang warfare. We are to be gracious people willing to turn the other cheek for the Gospel's sake and for the expansion of the Kingdom. Duh, Jesus emphasized selfless love of all people and basically warned His followers that those who take up the sword will die by the sword (see Matt. 26:52). Do you live for self protection, for having a macho image and for settling the score? Personally I see Jesus fully trusting the Father and taking steps to protect others, but not protecting Himself.. even when they came for Him with cruel homiside in their plans. Isn't He our prime Example in life? But many people really do need protection in our society, as well as restitution and to be comforted. Please let me know how we can pray for you. Who really wants to even think about hard stuff like this that has to do with possible suffering ahead.. but it is smart to pre-contemplate, pray and make decisions ahead of time before any potential pain arrives, so that ..just in case.. you and I can be ready to hold our ground in Christ.

See if you can find some more things that Jesus did while being murdered for you and me. The Good News is that He came out of the grave and so will you if you are in Christ. Are you?

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