It is close to midnight (almost Friday, yippee!) and I can’t stop the tears or the bursting sensation erupting from my heart. God has been dealing with me so much in the areas to follow since April. I will be sharing this devotion with my co-workers/brothers and sisters in Christ tomorrow and I have the yearning to share some of it tonight. I will be delving more into some of my creative works (and this message following will definitely make for a few poems and flash fiction to be created) this weekend, so look forward to reading more soon! But, I hope that this will minister to you in some way and for those of you who may read this as a non-believer, I challenge you to sit back and take a look at what love is according to the Scriptures and how Jesus Christ exemplified it on the cross.
I opened up Jesus Freaks book of the Martyrs tonight and cannot put it down. I knew that this was going to happen, because every time I open up this book, I can’t stop reading. It is one of my favorite books simply because it is REAL.
I was looking for a specific story and found it, Writing With Soap. It is about Xu Yonghai of Mainland China and his story of being persecuted in 1995 (I encourage you to look it up or grab the Jesus Freaks book). I lost my voice reading it aloud as emotion and tears took over. Did you know that only government sanctioned churches are legal in China? And that 80% of the Christians in China regularly attend “illegal” house churches?
Yet, here we are…
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are called to suffer too! We are all called to suffer, to pick up our cross daily and follow HIM.
1Peter 4:12-13 tells us this, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (NKJV)
Like I said earlier, since April I have heard speakers like Francis Chan discuss the partaking of suffering with Christ, read many devotions on it, stories in Jesus Freaks, and just heard a message the other night on how blessed we are as a nation, so blessed in fact we are spoiled. BUT, it took the living breathing word of God to truly knock this in my head! It took the Holy Spirit at work in me, counseling me (a lot of time yelling within me) and I am finally beginning to grasp the importance of placing His word on my heart (Psalm 119:9-16).
We are called to Follow The Leader; therefore, we are called to partake in Christ’s sufferings, make disciples as He did, teach as He did, and LOVE as He did.
In Xu Yonghai’s story, he was so dependent on the Lord, so in love with Christ and the word of God, so desperate for it that he wrote with soap on the walls of the prison he was kept in. How much more should we be doing the same?
We are going to be persecuted, hated, laughed at, and a plethora of other negative things but by His Word, by Prayer, by Sharpening one another with His word, and being filled with the Spirit, we can truly follow the Leader.
Guess what?! The Leader equipped us!! He gave us His love letter and His Spirit!
It is a simple message, but how can I share it if it is not written on my heart?
I want to let our Leader, Christ have the final word here:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:16-22 (NKJV)
Write His Word on Your Heart Today,