but at the service this very morning, the pastor began his sermon with Acts 5:41-42.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
at once, i was thinking to myself, oh my gosh, thank You God, He was speaking to me, that verse is just so meant for me, thank You Lord. and then the pastor told us that the topic of his sermon for today would be on "persecution for being a christian". wow! i mean, i do know that what i described last night wasn't like, anything as bad as what Jesus' disciples had to go through in their time... in fact, mine isn't even anything much at all. but i was so wowed... man, is God fast!
today i learnt so much. it's not as if i never heard all these before, but for the first time in my life, they were speaking to my heart, my soul, my spirit, no longer just my mind, my intellect. He gave me even more reason to be joyful, to take heart and rejoice! man, God, are You way cool! can you imagine? last night i was just saying that He gives me joy but what my classmate says bothers me, and then today, He takes what initially bothered me, and made it into something i can rejoice over!
i am glad because (1) i am counted worthy of suffering disgrace for His Name. (2) Matthew 5:11-12,
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
hey, i'm blessed! and last but not least, in fact the most important point, i feel, (3) my pastor said, if being a christian, you don't feel at all persecuted in any single area of your life, then maybe it's because the world loves you because you belong in it... which is really a pretty scary thing to me. so, man, am i glad to even feel persecuted in such a teeny weeny area! haha, gimme more! i feel so reassured because it means i truly belong in Him! wow! so encouraging!
this certainly gears me for more ridicules, scorning and mocking, a "bad rep" for being a Jesus freak... man, does this teach me to rejoice in all these! how amazing the way He turns such unpleasant stuff that happen because we believe, into pure joy! i never wanna cease proclaiming the good news! He is so real, so great, so wonderful, so powerful, He gives me so much, i really really wanna give every part of my heart to Him!