8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 NLT
Any time, we hear a message or read a devotional or blog, the first thing that we must be sure of is that it is aligned with the Holy Scripture. God and His Word are not capable of being changed. Any time, we are listening or reading and feel a little tug at our hearts or minds, we need to stop and check the Word. There are different translations of the scriptures, some better than others. But they should all present the same thoughts. If anyone should say that God has given them something to add to His Word, have them read this scripture passage:
Revelation 22:18,19 (GW) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy in this book: If anyone adds anything to this, God will strike him with the plagues that are written in this book. 19 If anyone takes away any words from this book of prophecy, God will take away his portion of the tree of life and the holy city that are described in this book.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ does not depend on rituals or the kind of foods we eat. It isn’t the externals, it is what is in our heart. Will we be insulted and offended for our faithfulness? Ask the Christians in Iraq right now. We will have to endure insults just as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, did.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
23 Faith led Moses’ parents to hide him for three months after he was born. They did this because they saw that Moses was a beautiful baby and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s order. 24 When Moses grew up, faith led him to refuse to be known as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a little while. 26 He thought that being insulted for Christ would be better than having the treasures of Egypt. He was looking ahead to his reward. 27 Faith led Moses to leave Egypt without being afraid of the king’s anger. Moses didn’t give up but continued as if he could actually see the invisible God.–Hebrews 11:23-27 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Pharaoh had ordered the midwives to kill all the male children at birth, but Moses’ parents had faith that God would take care of their son so they hid him for three months. Then, by faith, they put in a basket in the Nile so that he might be discovered by the Egyptians. Pharaoh’s daughter probably never realized that she had been chosen by God to play a huge part in the deliverance of God’s children from Egypt. Moses was taken care of very well by the Egyptians. Later, by faith, he refused to carry on the masquerade, but rather chose to suffer with his Hebrew brethren. By faith, he realized that being offended for God was better than anything the world had to offer him. By faith, Moses stood against Pharaoh and without fear, he led the Israelites out of Egypt taking tons of their wealth with them. By faith, He followed the instructions of an invisible God and went out looking for a city not made by hands, his heavenly reward. By faith, Moses understood that
No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.–Hebrews 11:6 (GW)
We must remain faithful even when we can’t see the end result with our human eyes. We must press on knowing that we shall receive our rewards.
32 Remember the past, when you first learned the truth. You endured a lot of hardship and pain. 33 At times you were publicly insulted and mistreated. At times you associated with people who were treated this way. 34 You suffered with prisoners. You were cheerful even though your possessions were stolen, since you know that you have a better and more permanent possession. 35 So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. 36 You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.–Hebrews 10:32-36 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Early Christians had to suffer various kinds of persecution. They were beaten, imprisoned and insulted. They were also dressed in animal skins and used as prey for the dogs in the Coliseum to entertain the ruling class in Roman society. Eleven of the twelve disciples were martyred. We here in America know little or nothing about being persecuted for our beliefs. Until recently, we have enjoyed true freedom of worship and religious expression. That is changing now, Christians are being forced out of their jobs because they refuse to accept immoral principles that are in direct conflict with our Biblical beliefs. We need to stay in prayer, studying God’s Word and encouraging one another. Jesus told us that the time was coming when we would be tested.
9 “Then they will hand you over to those who will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you are committed to me. 10 Then many will lose faith. They will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.–Matthew 24:9-11 (GW)
We already see this happening in many parts of the world. But remember what Paul said to encourage us.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:37-39 (KJV21)
If we remain faithful. God is faithful to do what He has promised.