In His lifetime here on earth, Jesus suffered rejection, ridicule, mockery, and finally death on a cross. While he was living out His life as an example to us, He promised us that we would be offended and suffer persecution as well. When we suffer for His sake, we should be happy that He has chosen us to suffer with and for Him because we will receive a blessing here and a reward later.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.– Matt. 5: 11, 12 NLT
God also disciplines His children and the discipline is for our benefit so that we grow and mature in His service.
19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. — Hebrews 3:19 NLT
I like the NLT translation of this verse because the way most of us Christians sin is through indifference. So what, if my neighbors are lost, I am not going to get involved. Yeah, I felt that little nudge to speak or act but I am not going to do anything. Yes, I should visit the sick but I just don’t have the time. Woe unto us!! Jesus will not ignore these sins of indifference, there will be discipline for His children in this world, not in eternity. The kids of satan may prosper here because they are not God’s children to discipline but they will suffer punishment, the full wrath of God’s anger, for an eternity. So, we don’t need to concern ourselves with how God handles them.
We need to be concerned over why we are suffering: Is it persecution for His sake or discipline for our mistake?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.
The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good. He was our example of how to live our lives. We have many, many opportunities to do good everyday. It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunities that Jesus puts in our paths. If we sow goodness and the other fruits of the Holy Spirit then that is what we will reap in our lives. We all have the same excuses, “I can’t talk to people. I don’t have time” and the list goes on. God has given each of us a talent to use for His glory. Ask Him to show you how to develop that gift that He has given you. And when you ask, don’t forget to wait for His answer. He really and truly loves each of us and wants to bless us. He loves the fellowship and the communication with His children. God has given each of us twenty-four hours a day and it is up to us to take the time to talk with (not to) Him. He is waiting to hear from each of us. Speak to Him now and listen for His voice. He will direct our steps so that what we sow will honor Him and we will be blessed and be a blessing to others and He will receive the glory.
7 Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest.8 If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life. 9 We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way. Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time, if we don’t give up. 10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.–Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
Jesus went about doing good deeds and spreading the good news that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He is our example to follow. With all the bad news we hear each day, we need to be diligent in spreading the good news. God gives us abundant opportunities each day to plant good seed in good soil. The majority of people that you come into contact each day are looking for something to believe in and hold onto. They are looking for something solid and secure that is not going to change. We have the answer in the good news of Jesus and His free gift of salvation. People are drowning in the sea of uncertainty and doubt. We are holding the life rope they need. Take the time to throw it out and bring them to the shore to meet Jesus.
If we focus on Jesus and spreading the Good News, He will continue to strengthen us and fill us with joy. Again, we need to follow the example Jesus set by taking time to be alone with God, meditating on the Word and praying. These times of refreshing will keep us from growing weary of doing good. We will reap what we sow. So, let us be diligent in our journey here on earth and lay up our rewards in heaven.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.—Gal. 6:7-10 (NIV)
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was mocked by the crowd, the soldiers and even one of the thieves that was hung with Him mocked Him. That thief died and went to hell. The other thief asked for forgiveness and ended up in paradise with Jesus. This is a glaring example of immediately reaping what we sow. Just as God spoke the world into existence, we can speak words that create and build up or we can speak words that destroy. Let us be sure that we are speaking words that edify one another and that our actions prove the words that we speak. We will not always receive immediate punishment for bad words and deeds nor will we always receive immediate rewards for good words and deeds. But if we are faithful in doing good works, we have a reward laid up in heaven. So, let us continue to do good works, not for earthly rewards, but because we love our Lord and Savior. 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:62 (NIV)
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.–2 Tim. 2:12a (NIV)
1 This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. 2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. 3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”–2 Peter 3:1-5 (NLT)
We are to be in the world, but “not of this world”. While it is true that we need to be cognizant of the things going on around us everyday, we should not allow those things to weight us down. With all the bad news we are subjected to everyday, how do we avoid negative thinking? We do what Peter suggested here, we refresh our memories of all of God’s promises and how He has never failed or gone back on His word. When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God. We must be so grounded in the Word, that we do the same thing. We must remember that even Jesus said He did not know when the end would come. 32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!—Mark 13:32,33 (NLT)
Yes, there are those that mock and say “Oh, I have heard that for years and Jesus still hasn’t come back.” While that statement is true today, it may not be true tomorrow.
We do not need to waste our time trying to figure out when Jesus will come back. We have plenty to do while we wait. We must be on guard against the wiles of the devil and we must stay alert! Do not be deceived, Jesus will come back at the appointed time. We just need to stay ready.
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.–Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
We are to do good to the members of our faith and also to everyone else. This is how we show the world that there is a difference in our attitude because God’s Spirit dwells within us. When our lifestyles reflect the indwelling of God’s Spirit, it shows the world that we are living to please the Spirit and not our flesh. This is diametrically opposed to what the world believes and teaches us. We must persevere in our lifestyle so that we reap an everlasting life of joy and glory with God. You can’t manipulate or fool God, so our actions have to be from the heart and with right motives, otherwise, they are not worthy of the calling God has on each of our lives.