Paul wrote to Timothy,
- “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (II Timothy 3:12 – NASB)
Sobering words, are they not? Do you “desire to live godly in Christ Jesus?” Do you “desire” to be like “Christ Jesus,” to love Him who has redeemed you from your sin, to keep His commandments, to be a witness for Him? Certainly this is the calling for those who are “in Christ.” We have been bought with a price, purchased out of the slave market of sin by the precious blood of “Christ Jesus,” saved to be vessels for His glory, and knowing such, we “desire to live” as He lived . . . . . “godly.”
This lifestyle that we have now attained to “in Christ Jesus” is one that is in direct to opposition to the behavior of the world. It is a lifestyle that is ordered by the Word of God and such it is not one that the world readily accepts. The walk of a Christian emulates “Christ” and such a walk convicts the world around us of sin . . . . . and the world does not react favorably to that.
Reactions by the world to those “who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus” will vary, some being a reluctant tolerance, some being degrees of indifference, some being outright antagonistic, but the degree of these reactions will worsen as the time of His coming grows nearer.
I remember when I was working at the Naval Regional Finance Center in North Chicago, Illinois. I would have lunch with a couple of guys, one a brother “in Christ” and the other a non-believer. Each day I would bow my head and give thanks for the food God had provided me. At first the non-believer didn’t say much but eventually he became more vocal in his opposition to my giving of thanks. Starting lunch in this manner was obviously setting a tone that he was not comfortable with. He came to the point of saying to me, “I wish you wouldn’t do that.” It was clear that to get along with this person my “desire to live godly” was something he would have me put aside when he was around. Well, I told him it was my Father’s will that I give thanks for that which He provides and my “desire” was to please Him . . . that was my calling as a disciple of “Christ Jesus.” I continued daily with the prayers and this young man became more and more intolerant of my actions. A degree of “persecu(tion)” became the norm.
It is no light thing to be a Christian! But for we who love “Christ” it is the greatest thing! We desire not to be obnoxious, not to be over-bearing, but we do “desire to live godly,” and when we do just that, to whatever degree the Father knows we can handle, we “will be persecuted.” It’s inevitable!
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk desire to live godly . . . and do it, no matter the persecution that may come your way. Rejoice to be able to suffer persecution for Christ.
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