Jeremiah 20:9 A Fire Burning Inside

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9

The message God had given Jeremiah to speak to the people was not exactly a comforting message. It was one of doom and destruction for a time. Since that was the message, it was not very well received by the people. Each time he spoke, people would beat him, threaten and ridicule him. It was a very hard message to keep speaking.

At times Jeremiah would get frustrated with the struggle of it and choose not say anything. When he did that, his misery increased all the more. God’s word was so strong in his life, that he felt like it was a fire in his bones and he had to say something, regardless of the outcome.

Every person has times in their life where something happens that is so great that they are bursting to tell someone. Most often it is good news that people want to speak about. Things like a new child on the way, a proposal for marriage, a new large promotion, graduating college, or some other event. When news like this happens, it is so great that the person cannot help but talk about it.

God has a message for you to speak to the world. You may not be a prophet or pastor, or any other ‘titled’ position in the church, but God has a word for you to speak to the world. That message is the gospel message of Jesus.

The world is dying and you have the message to keep them alive. It is, by far, the greatest message the world could ever receive. Not every one will accept it. There will be some who will fight or ridicule you when you speak it, yet, you must speak it.

Do you realize how much God has done for you? Do you realize how much God loves the people of this world?

If you have a full realization of those things, God’s word will burn in your heart to tell others. You will not want to see them condemned to hell, because you chose to be silent.

Let that fire out to shine in this dark world. Don’t be silent.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will strengthen you to speak His words; and that God’s word will burn in your heart to be spoken.

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1 Thessalonians 2:14 Who Do You Imitate?

“For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews” 1 Thessalonians 2:14

The church in the city of Thessalonica was not a part of Israel. They did not have to directly deal with the Jewish beliefs fighting against Jesus. The churches of Judea, however, had to deal with the Jews who still followed the Mosaic Law. Those Jews were against Jesus and would persecute the believers of Jesus. Even though the Thessalonian church did not have to be concerned with persecution from the Jews, they did have other persecution from their own people.

The churches in Judea did not back down when they were persecuted. They stayed strong in the Lord Jesus and held onto their beliefs in Him. In this same way the church in Thessalonica were doing the same thing.

In the same way there are churches, some in America and many around the world, that are going through extreme persecution. Family and friends of believers are persecuting the believers for following Jesus. In many countries it is an honor to kill one’s family member if they start to follow Jesus. There has always been some ridicule for following Jesus in America, but it is getting stronger and more violent.

The challenge is who are you imitating? Do you give in like many do in America and do or say what the world wants to hear?

Are you trying to be politically correct in what you say? Or are you speaking what God wants in His love?

As you are getting ridiculed, not beaten or imprisoned, for your belief in Jesus, there are believers around the world getting killed without mercy for their belief in Jesus.

Be willing to stand strong and true for Jesus. Imitate those who have gone on before you in following Jesus, even to the point of death. Imitate those today who are suffering for being a follower of Jesus. Do not allow the world to back you down. Greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in any persecution you may go through; that God’s presence will be with you in trials; that you will not give in to the pressure to deny God; and that you will imitate those who stand strong and true for Jesus.

Acts 5:41 Worthy To Suffer Disgrace

“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Acts 5:41

The apostles had been telling people about Jesus. The leaders of the Sanhedrin came and put them in jail. God sent an angel to release them. The leaders are very angry and pull them in for more questioning. They decide to flog the disciples and release them with a warning to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. The apostles leave rejoicing. They were honored at being able to suffer for Jesus.

When a person gets ridiculed, the first thing most people do is fight back. Sometimes that fight is with the same type of ridicule in words, or it can be physically fighting, or going to authorities to get the person in trouble. Being offended by the ridicule is very common.

The disciples did not get offended. In fact, they actually counted it as a great blessing. They probably remembered all the suffering Jesus had to go through for them, and decided that the little bit of painful flogging that they had to go through was nothing compared His suffering. That flogging was not just some words but extreme physical pain.

If you are not doing anything to spread the gospel message, the Devil will leave you alone. When you are doing something actively for Jesus, the Devil is out to get you. He will want to stop you at all costs. The world is willing to physically harm you to stop you. Don’t let them stop you.

What are you willing to go through to tell others about Jesus? If you are suffering for Jesus, consider it a joy, since that means you are doing what God wants and the Devil is angry with you. Remember that greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.

God is on your side. Trust Him in all of your suffering. You will win with God in the end.

I pray today that Jesus will strengthen you to be His witness; that you will not fear any suffering; that Jesus will protect you; that Jesus will hold you in your suffering; and that you will tell many people about Jesus.

Luke 22:57 Denial

“But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.” Luke 22:57

The time of Jesus being arrested had arrived. He was in custody and was now being tried for crimes He did not commit. Most of the disciples ran away as Jesus was arrested. Peter chose to follow from a distance to see what was going to happen.

While he was standing with the crowds watching, various people recognized him as a follower of Jesus. A few chose to say something about it. Peter openly denies knowing Jesus. Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him, and now it was happening.

As a person reads this, looking at it from 2,000 years later, it is easy to be upset with Peter. Why would he ever deny Jesus? He had walked with Jesus and saw all the miracles He had done. He knew Jesus intimately.

The main reason was probably fear for his own life. Jesus was in the process of being condemned to a death sentence. Anyone who followed Him would probably receive that same sentence. Peter did not want that.

People have that same fear even today. Although in America, one does not usually receive a death sentence, there are other threats. You may lose a friendship, be pushed out of a relationship, ridiculed, passed over on a promotion, or many other “smaller” things.

Most believers do not directly state that they do not know Jesus. The denial comes in the form of being quiet. Refusing to make a statement about serving Jesus. Pointing out not liking someone else’s ridiculing Christians or Jesus. Asking others not to curse with God’s or Jesus’ name.

Silence can become a form of denial. Do not chose to be silent about your relationship with Jesus. Let your light shine. Think about what Jesus went through for you on the cross to give you life and not deny you. You have not gone through that, yet, so do not deny Him.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to strengthen you; that you will stand strong and true for Jesus; that you will not deny Jesus in any way; that you will tell others about Jesus daily; and that God will build His kingdom through you.