Philippians 1:29-2:4—For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (NIV)
Through the dark tunnel of ivy and rock one by one they came in.
They huddle together around the stone table sharing the water and bread.
Hands that are gnarled hold hands of a child, every heart written in bold,
Seventy quietly singing the words of a hymn no paper can hold.
He moves from the shadows and holds up the book, the only one this village owns.
He reads holy words and then softly prays before he explains what he’s learned.
He fills them with courage this cobbler by trade but really a pastor-at-large,
One step ahead of those who would seize him and lock him inside of a jail.
They worship and praise the Name that’s rejected, ridiculed, slandered and scorned.
They’ll die full of joy despite brutal suffering to be with the One they adore.
Across the same planet their brothers are living too many too spoiled to care.
Basking in wealth and the “right” to be happy with no clue what crosses they bear.
Who will fall on their knees and pray for the suffering--bend for the church underground?
Who will give from their heart to provide them with Bibles—food for spiritual souls?
No soldiers, no demons, no army can stop them, for God is the keeper of hearts.
The song of His bride will never stop singing for Jesus the Lamb overcomes!
We do not want suffering; we want success. We identify not with those who are low and hurt but with those who are high and healthy. We don't like lepers or losers very well; we prefer climbers and comers. For Christians, the temptation to be conformed to this world is desperately sweet and strong. Yet, says the apostle Paul, we are children of God if we suffer with Christ . . . God does not give his hardest assignments to his weakest children.—Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., in Assurances of the Heart
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)