October 26, 2010

It Won't Be Easy

Matthew 10:17-22

[Be] strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance…
Colossians 1:11


Jesus calls us to be his witnesses, and we need the power of the Holy Spirit to do so.

Jesus also knows that living as his witnesses won’t be easy. “In this world you will have trouble,” he warns (John 16:33). People will “insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). “You will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues… Brother will betray brother to death… Everyone will hate you because of me.” It wasn’t easy being Jesus; it won’t be easy being Jesus’ witnesses.

In the book of Revelation we read of horrible calamities to come, and the writer says, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people” (Revelation 13:10; see 14:12). Those words echo Jesus’ words: “Those who stand firm to the end will be saved.”

Jesus loved us all the way to the end (John 13:1), and now he asks us to stand firm for him all the way to the end. Can we do that? Not without the special power of the Holy Spirit.

Even in simpler situations—how I spend my money and my time, how I interact with my coworkers—how can I stand firm in my witness to Jesus? By the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, you loved me all the way to the end, through persecution and death. Grant me the power to remain firm in my love for you all the way to the end. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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