Monday, July 20, 2009

daily text 07/20

Monday, July 20th, 2009
"Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely." (1 Peter 2:21)

Today, millions of people look forward to living forever in peace and security on a paradise earth, and they joyfully tell others about their hope. (Psalms 37:11; 2 Peter 3:13) Are you one of these Kingdom proclaimers? If so, you are to be commended. However, each one of us must consider the words of today's text. Note that Peter mentioned, not Jesus' zeal in preaching or his skill in teaching, but his suffering. As an eyewitness, Peter was well-aware of the extent to which Jesus was willing to suffer in order to submit to Jehovah's sovereignty and prove Satan to be the liar that he is. In what ways, then, can we follow Jesus' steps? We must ask ourselves: "To what extent am I willing to suffer in order to support and honor Jehovah's sovereignty? Do I show by the way I live my life and carry out my ministry that upholding Jehovah's sovereignty is my foremost concern?" (Colossians 3:17)
(Watchtower issue: 12/01/07; 2:12, 13)

*this is an interesting topic because its an area that not all Christians are willing to follow through on. This isn't referring to an unnecessary, 'self-inflicted' type of suffering. Some religious groups in the past used to inflict excessive bodily pain on themselves as a way of 'suffering just for the sake of suffering' But thats not whats being talked about here. It has to do with the idea that when "the going gets tough" you aren't going to "abandon ship."
The entire premise of Satan's argument (which he singled out Job to try and prove his case against Jehovah with), was that no human will serve God out of love. That all humans "have a price" so-to-speak. At Job 1:9-11 Satan posed the challenge that humans only serve God for what they can get out of Him. He said: "Is it for nothing that Job has feared God?" and then proceeded to list all of the material blessings and security Job had. And when that test failed, Satan again made a challenge to God at Job 2:3-5, saying: "everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul" claiming that no human would be willing to suffer for God if their life or health was on the line. But we know for a certainty, from the examples of so many loyal servants of God in the past and present, that all true Christians do not have a spiritual 'breaking point' - God only allows us to be tested as far as we can handle before he steps in to help us. (1 Peter 5:10; 1 Corinthians 10:13) Whether we are WILLING to face that challenge, is entirely up to us.