By Topic

Persecution

Tuesday

November 1, 2016

Courage Into Fire

Read

Daniel 3:17-18, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up".

Think

Going against the grain and standing firm in faith is a daunting task. God's faithful servants, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego demonstrated amazing calm, inner strength, and courage as they stood before a fiery furnace and refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar's ten foot golden idol. Even in the face of death, they refused to crater to fear and chose the heroic yet difficult path to obedience.

The godly character demonstrated by these men did not occur in a vacuum. They had been taken captive, driven into a foreign land, and successfully adapted to their new lives without compromise. You see, their strong faith began long before the Israelite's exile to Babylon. They likely came from families of conviction and integrity who instilled in them the value of obedience. Likewise, we must do the same as our children grow to face moral dilemmas. Teaching faith in God's strength without compromise is not only paramount to the Christian faith, it sets an exemplary standard in a world so overwrought with moral relativism. Remember, when we take a stand, God will always give us a hand.

Pray

Thank God for His constant faithfulness and ask Him to instill this same godly character and conviction in you and in the lives of your children.

Act

Memorize Isaiah 41:10 to add to your Scripture arsenal in times of trial and difficulty:
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

 

Wednesday

April 13, 2016

Face Your Fear

Read

"I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” Revelation 2:9-10

Think

The letters to the seven churches in Revelation are absolutely amazing. They give us a glimpse of the past, while at the same time pointing us to our own future. These churches, which actually existed at one point in history, are clues into the life that God wants each of us to experience today. And Christ’s message to the people of these churches is the same to us wherever we are.

In today’s verse, we read Christ’s words to the church of Sardis as they faced persecution from those around them. His message was simple: Face your fear. Persecution is a reality in our world today as well. When we make a stand for Christ and do what He has called us to do, we’re going to face persecution from those around us who oppose us. But God reminds us that we are not alone. He understands what we are going through. And when we rely on Him, we discover the power to overcome our fear! What are you facing today? What has you fearful? Turn to God and rely on Him. And face your fear with faith!

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He understands exactly what you are facing. Pray for strength as you take a stand for Him in a world that is often hostile to the things of God.

Act

How can you stand for Christ today? Think of one thing you can do to serve as an example for Jesus to those around you. Then, do it! Be bold and fearless as you stand for Christ!

 

Friday

November 6, 2015

Be Ready for the Giant’s Return

Read

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Think

This week, we’ve been studying the story of David and Goliath. And while the victory that David achieved through God’s provision is huge, that wasn’t the last obstacle or “giant” David faced in his life. As followers of Christ, we will be continuously persecuted and challenged. In fact, if we don’t see or know of a “Goliath” that we’re facing, we’re probably not living the way that God wants us to live.

The Christian life is not a giant-free life. It’s a life free to fight the giants. In fact, the greatest giant we will ever face is the ultimate villain – the devil. Learn from David’s victory and be ready for each giant as it comes.

Pray

Thank God for his protection against all of the “giants” you’ll face in your lifetime. Pray that He will help you to remain steadfast through each trial that comes your way.

Act

Be at Fellowship Church this weekend for week one of Pastor Ed’s newest series, Simplexity, and discover how God’s truths can uncomplicated your life and equip you to overcome any obstacles you may face.

 

Wednesday

August 13, 2014

He Knows Our Wounds

Read

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” – Psalm 56:8

Think

It is inevitable that we will suffer pain in our lives. The sorrow of losing a loved one, the darkness of depression, the tragedy of divorce; these experiences and more can leave us feeling alone and abandoned. We can’t imagine how anyone could understand the depths of our pain. But God truly does. When we grasp that fact it can be the light of hope we need in our darkest moment.

Sometimes God’s all-knowing, omniscient nature can make Him seem distant, but because He is omniscient the exact opposite is actually true. Because He knows everything, He is intimately aware of our pain and it never goes unnoticed. Take comfort in knowing that you are deeply loved by God. He knows your deepest pains and catches every tear.

Pray

Thank God for His all-knowing nature and for knowing you so intimately that He is aware of your deepest pains and needs.

Act

Our wounds can cause us to draw away from God and the people He uses to help us. If you are experiencing pain, reach out for help. Here is an excellent place to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday

August 13, 2012

Mon, Aug 13

Read

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10˸16

Think

When Jesus sent his disciples out into the world, he didn’t pull any punches. He let them know they would be facing difficulties. He told them they would be facing wolves. He could have told them they would be swimming with sharks. But He also gave them the ability and the skills it would take to survive that swim.

We all swim with sharks in life. Maybe they’re people who question and ridicule your faith. Perhaps they try to drag you down and get you off God’s plan. The reality is that we live in a difficult world. The good news is that Christ can equip us with what it takes to survive that swim.

Pray

Let God know when you are facing a difficult situation. Ask Him for the strength to face the situation and the ability to set an example to those around you of what true faith really can do.

Act

Don’t try to face the sharks in your life alone. Instead get plugged into Men of the House, Flavour  or The Mix, and establish relationships with those who can help you thrive the swim of your life!

Friday

July 13, 2012

Fri, Jul 13

Read

So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6˸15-16

Think

Anyone who leads will be attacked by negative people at some point. To put it another way, when you’re doing great, people will hate.

Nehemiah faced this reality when he was building the wall; we face it today when we are making a difference for God. But Nehemiah didn’t allow negativity, gossip or slander to distract him from his purpose. Instead, he stayed on the wall and continued to follow God’s plan for his life.

Are you facing negativity? Are you being attacked? Don’t get off the wall. Instead, pray, stay above the fray, and complete the task God has for you.

Pray

Thank Him for giving you purpose in the face of any attack. Ask Him for the strength and courage to carry out the purpose He has for your life.

Act

Read Nehemiah 7 to see how his leadership, direction and reliance on God’s hand helped bring back to Jerusalem so many from the exiled nation of Israel. Remember that God wants to use your leadership to have the same kind of impact in the lives around you!

Thursday

July 12, 2012

Thu, Jul 12

Read

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us … I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding...” Nehemiah 2˸19-20

Think

What did ‘they’ influence you to do that you would not have done if ‘they’ hadn’t been around?

We all have people in our lives who influence us—positively and negatively. The question is, which group gets the bulk of our attention?

Nehemiah didn’t waste time on the wrong ‘they’. Instead, he stayed on the wall and remained positive about getting the work done that God had prepared for him.

As you go through today, don’t focus on the wrong ‘they’. Instead, spend your time with the right ‘they’ and discover just where God can take you!

Pray

Ask God to open your eyes to the right ‘they’ in your life. And pray for the strength to turn away from the wrong ‘they’ in order to stay on point for what God has in store for your life.

Act

To determine who in your life is a good influence and who is a poor influence, think about the people in your life and ask yourself, “What did ‘they’ influence me to do that I would not have done if ‘they’ hadn’t been around?”

Thursday

June 28, 2012

Thu, Jun 28

Read

The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. 1 Samuel 5˸6

Think

So often people don’t respond to biblical truth unless there is personal pain. The people of Ashdod knew about the Lord, but they did not follow Him. It wasn’t until they went through personal affliction that they recognized the Lord as God.

Many times it takes personal pain for us to acknowledge God’s way is right. We rebel and eventually face the consequences of our choices, only to recognize we should have been following God all along.

Pray

Think of an area where you are experiencing personal pain. Ask God to show you if there is a biblical truth you need to learn in that area.

Act

Many times those outside our situation can see things more clearly. If you have a friend who follows God, ask them about your situation of personal pain to see if they have any discernment about what you can be learning through your circumstances.

Monday

June 18, 2012

Mon, Jun 18

Read

“So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing—and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.” Genesis 37:23-24

Think

Bullying has always been an issue. It's almost as old as time itself. And in our culture today, bullies are everywhere. We encounter them in every realm of life, and at every age. But just because we experience bullies, we don't have to live as victims; we are called to be responsive.

Joseph’s situation is just one example of bullying throughout the Bible. But Joseph didn’t sit at the bottom of the pit feeling sorry for himself; he listened to God, took action, and let God use his situation to elevate him from the pit to the palace.

At some point, we all end up in a pit. The question is, how do we respond?

Pray

If you find yourself in the bottom of a bully's pit, ask God for perspective. And ask Him what He could be showing you from the situation that you’re in, and how He can use it to take your life to the next level.

Act

Read Genesis 41:41-56 to see how God took Joseph from the pit to the pinnacle.