DayBreaks for 10/29/13 – Your Opportunity
Luke 21:8-13 (NLT) He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.
Whenever an earthquake hits and lives and property are destroyed, people wish for an early warning system that might spare their lives. It might, in fact, do that – but it will not prevent the earthquake from coming. We want signs, we want warnings. Just read the labels on practically any product you purchase and the warnings are everywhere!
The time of great tribulation will not come without warning. I believe that we are seeing signs everywhere as nations rage against one another, strange weather abounds, famines, disasters, plagues, insurrections, earthquakes…could it be any clearer? These things are just as Jesus described to his followers.
Starting with verse 12, Jesus tells his followers in no uncertain terms: you will not be immune from the rage against Godly things. Christians will be taken to stand before the authorities and we may stand there in fear, wondering why such a thing should happen to us. Jesus himself tells us the why in verse 13: it is so that we will be able to tell them about Jesus. That’s the purpose of it. Not to suffer needlessly for no worthy or valid reason. But it is about Jesus…it is always and forever about Him and not us.
Does that just mean we are pawns in this great game of God? Some would say so. That would be the case if He just manipulated us from square to square to do what He wants done, but He has done something great for us first: He has forgiven our sin and granted eternal life to all who believe in His name. That makes it so that it is not manipulation. We are not moved from square to square without thought or care, and we have a choice, motivated by gratitude.
But will we choose to be moved to stand before the authorities when the time comes? It is not IF, it is when. It may be nearly upon us.
PRAYER: Lord, even reading these words frightens us. We don’t like the prospect of this kind of terror coming upon us. In America we have lived charmed lives while brothers and sisters around the world die by the thousands and millions for refusing to recant their faith. We have grown to believe we live in a favored land that will be somehow immune from such persecution, but our faith in that delusion is being strongly challenged these days. We never thought we would see the things we are seeing happen in our lifetimes in our country. We beg your forgiveness for not being the salt and light we should have been as your people. We ask for Your strength to stand strong and take advantage of the opportunity when the time comes to tell others about You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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