Withstand

Scripture: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.  Acts 7:59,60 NIV

Observation: Stephen is killed for his faith in Christ.

Application: Stephen dies in the same way that Christ died, by asking forgiveness for his killers.  Once again we see a repeating of an action or truth restated in the bible. I believe that God intends for us to forgive our persecutors. The fact that this truth keeps recurring as I read daily may mean that the time is drawing close when persecution of Christians will increase. I believe that may be why God keeps reminding me to be a man of forgiveness. I can’t be that man without the strength provided by the Holy Spirit. I must trust the Spirit to supply that strength.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me a means to endure hardship when it occurs. I pray that I am able to lovingly withstand persecution no matter how great or how slight. Amen

Doug

2 Replies to “Withstand”

  1. Mosab Hassan Yousef is certainly a courageous but misguided man. Bucking the Hamas terrorists and its religious fanatics requires extraordinary courage. However,it is a tragedy that he left the folds of one obscurantist ideology for another. Far more people have killed and been killed in the name of Christianity than Islam. That the latter is now aspiring to outdo the former does not make either one appealing much less peaceful.

    1. Sir or Madam,

      What are you talking about? Who is Mosab Hassan Yousef? Are you referring to the Egyptian evangelist Michael Yousef? What does his ministry, if that’s who you’re referring to, have to do with my devotional about withstanding persecution and forgiveness? Did you actually bother to read what I wrote? Allow me to remind you. I wrote, “Stephen dies in the same way that Christ died, by asking forgiveness for his killers. Once again we see a repeating of an action or truth restated in the bible. I believe that God intends for us to forgive our persecutors. The fact that this truth keeps recurring as I read daily may mean that the time is drawing close when persecution of Christians will increase. I believe that may be why God keeps reminding me to be a man of forgiveness. I can’t be that man without the strength provided by the Holy Spirit. I must trust the Spirit to supply that strength.” I asked for the strength to withstand persecution when it comes and I asked to be able to forgive those that persecute me, just like my Lord Jesus Christ did of his killers. Nowhere did I reference retaliation or retribution; nowhere did I imply that people had been killed in the name of Mohammad and not Christ. (You should know here that in no way, shape, or form are Christ and Mohammad equals). I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to get at. If you’re implying that Christians are not being persecuted in today’s society I believe that you’re living your life with blinders on. Christians are, without a doubt, being singled out and treated as though evangelism and homicide bombing are synonymous. Within your intellectual diatribe you state “…it is a tragedy that he [Mosab Hassan Yousef] left the fold of one obscurantist ideology for another. Far more people have been killed in the name of Christianity than Islam.” Maybe if I were as intellectual as you and I actually knew what “obscurantist ideology” meant I might be able to appreciate your position. Alas, I’m not and I don’t. I’m just a simple man that wrote down some God-inspired thoughts about his daily bible reading and posted those thoughts in hopes that somebody may be blessed by them. If what I wrote struck a cord with you maybe there is something within you that needs to be addressed, I don’t know, you’ll have to figure that out. None-the-less, whatever the reason for your post, I wrote about asking for strength in forgiveness, not killing Muslims. I hope that I have shed a bit more light on what I intended with my blog entry. I might ask that if in the future you intend to post to our blog I’d appreciate it if you would try to focus your criticism to the subject that is actually being written about. Thanks for your time.

      Doug

      P.S.
      To whom it may concern,

      My wife asked that I not allow our blog to become something controversial. I tried to oblige her but I was unable. I tried to respond to this individual personally but they somehow covered themselves and hid their trail so that they could not be contacted. Therefore, I decided to allow their post and to respond to them here in hopes that they may see it should they revisit us. I also did it because I did not want them to be allowed the last word. As you can see their argument made no sense. I apologize for this pettiness, I couldn’t let it go without responding.

      Doug

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