Prepared to Suffer?

“And He said to them, go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 16:15

In a recent article in an issue of “Voice of the Martyrs” I read the following words: “prepared to suffer for salvation.” That same evening I was sitting in a conference meeting listening to the speaker give a recap to a series of messages he’d taught from the Book of Esther and he made the following statement: “The Bible doesn’t talk about hundreds of different things. The Bible talks about one thing hundreds of different ways.” Then he said, “The Bible is about 2 things: “redemption and missions.”

To my shame, I sometimes check out when missions are spoken of because…I’m selfish and comfortable in my nice, cozy American life. And, after all, I work and do ministry at America’s Keswick. So, quite honestly, during some missionary updates my thoughts drift. Not that night! The Lord put a message in the speaker about missions that demanded my full attention.

His style of preaching kept me. and anyone else present, highly attentive and fully engaged in active listening. He spoke quickly and yet his words were clearly and concisely articulated to any heart hungry and in need of spiritual direction. The bottom line: in such a time as this, we need to be about our Father’s business.

I’ll say it again—in such a time as this, we need, we must, be about our Father’s business. A command has been issued to us in the American church and those of us who are called “Christian,” who are “Christ-followers,” “Christ-carriers,” sons and daughters of the Most High God, we must step up. We must rise up in any and all, small or big ways, wherever we are planted, to speak and live the true Gospel to some of the “2 billion people waiting to hear about Jesus for the first time.”

By the way, the speaker’s name is Dr. George Murray and the reminder he concluded with that evening was, “Jesus Christ, our King, has commanded us to take the law of life (The Gospel) to all people of the world who are living under the law of the sin of death.”

To many of us in the American church this can feel like, seem like, a scary venture. But the truth is, as I write these words from my comfortable office, at this exact moment, someone is being tortured for daring to have faith in the unseen God of our salvation, for daring to proclaim and profess with their mouths that JESUS IS LORD!

In many other places in the world, being a Christian is not comfortable. Being a Christian in those places is making a conscious choice, a decision to suffer for salvation.

So these are the questions I leave with you today:
Are you prepared to suffer for your salvation? Will you, right now, whatever neighborhood, workplace, etc…, wherever you are planted by God—will you verbally preach the Gospel?

Stephanie Dale

Stephanie D. Paul serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.

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