Are You A Keeper??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 14

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.14      Are You A Keeper???

 

It’s been a lovely weekend here in Oklahoma, the weather has been lovely, a bit of rain without dangerous conditions, although some near us were afflicted by damaging tornadoes.  Please pray for those throughout our country who are encountering damaging weather and trials.  I’d like us to consider prayerfully another area in danger—our homes.  We live in a culture that is not only minimalizing the import of the home but is continually bombarding and attacking the natural order of things—and the authority of parents to guide, teach and direct their children in living godly lives.

We need to “get back to basics”, as coaches often say to their teams!  We need to get back to God’s Word and teach and direct our families accordingly, regardless of what the world thinks or says. Jesus Himself, warned us to be aware of the reality of the conflict around us!

Therefore said he unto them,

 The harvest truly is great,

but the labourers are few:

pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,

that he would send forth labourers

into his harvest.

3 Go your ways:

behold, I send you forth

as lambs

among wolves.”  Luke 10:2-3

We are Jesus’ sheep in the midst of a world full of wolves: Paul warned the Ephesian church of this very thing—and it is rampant about us—even among us.

Take heed therefore unto yourselves,

and to all the flock,

over the which the Holy Ghost

hath made you overseers,

to feed the church of God,

which he hath purchased

with his own blood.

29 For I know this,

that after my departing

shall grievous wolves enter in

among you,

not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves

shall men arise,

speaking perverse things,

to draw away disciples

after them.”  Acts 20:28-30

We often think that no one else has had to deal with sin the way that we have, but that is just not true.  Solomon clearly declared:

The thing that hath been,

it is that which shall be;

and that which is done

is that which shall be done:

and there is no new thing

under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

So, what are we to do?  We must heed the scripture, lean on Jesus, and follow His Holy Spirit’s leading and promptings. As we follow His voice in all our ways, we will find that God’s Word is liberating, not restrictive.  And while God has given each of us a free will, He has also revealed HIS will for each person, individually; for the family as a unit; for the church as His body; and to men, women, leaders, and children!  God has a plan for us all—and HE hasn’t changed the design, the rules, or the purpose of the family.  I read something the other day, that accused those who choose to believe and uphold the biblical teachings of morality and the family of ‘picking and choosing’ what scripture we upheld!  I find that totally amusing, especially in light of the fact that the scriptures that they used were out of context specifically and totally out of the context of the whole counsel of God!  Peter talked about this in his second letter warning us of those who would “twist” God’s Word for their own purposes and benefit.  But God gave us the plan, and Jesus Himself confirmed the sanctity of marriage, and the truth that it Is between one man and one woman, till death!

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them,

Have ye not read,

that he which made them

at the beginning

made them

male

and female,

5 And said,

For this cause  (marriage)

shall a man leave

father and mother,

 and shall cleave to his wife:

and they twain

shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain,

but one flesh.

What therefore God hath joined together,

let not man put asunder.”  Matthew 19:3-6

Jesus makes several things clear here; God made “male” and “female”—nothing in between!  He made them “at the beginning”, and HE established marriage for the “man” and “his wife”; He also blessed them to be “one flesh”; and Jesus makes it clear that God created this “union” and man isn’t to ‘recreate’ it into something else!  This IS God’s plan, for the welfare of the man and the woman, for the benefit and well-being of the children in the home, and for society to flourish and continue to receive the blessings of God!  Yet we have become a culture with women lined up in the street demanding the “right” to kill their own children!  I never thought I could live to see this—but I have, so I must take that as an opportunity to speak His truth from The Word!  God has a task for us all, and for we who are women, whom HE created, designed and equipped to be “keepers at home” are blessed!  Uh-oh, I just lost some of you—who think that means every woman must be a stay-at-home mom—and while I do think that is the optimal design for the home, it isn’t the main thing that phrase is talking about!

The aged women likewise,

that they be in behaviour

as becometh holiness,

not false accusers,

not given to much wine,

teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women

to be sober,

to love their husbands,

to love their children,

5 To be discreet,

chaste,

keepers at home,

good,

obedient to their own husbands,

that the word of God

be not blasphemed.”  Titus 2:3-5

Paul gives instructions to this young pastor, Titus, to call his church to right living before God and the world, and while his focus is to the church, these principles apply to any who will heed the true message.  Many become so distracted by the “keepers at home” that we miss the message.  Paul calls the “older” women (Every woman alive is ‘older’ than someone else and can teach, but by the same token, every woman is ‘younger’ than someone else, and can receive instruction!) to teach, but only after he admonishes them to live lives that are holy, truthful, sober (not controlled by external substances), teaching ‘good’ things, in contrast to being, by our living, a corrupt influence!  Godly women are to teach younger women to live holy lives—keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus—and considering things that are profitable (See 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16-17, as well as Philippians 4:8) to them personally which will result in beneficial things for the family.  And I find it interesting that many who oppose what this passage teaches, get so caught up in the one phrase, that they miss the message—homes need godly mothers who can influence the next generation for God—not the world!

As women we are called to be:

Sober—not given to the control of external drugs

 “not drunk with wine…but filled with the Spirit

Loving our husband—NOT someone else’s

Loving our children—more than our own pleasures

Discreet—being wise, gentle and quiet-spirited

Not the ‘drama queen’ of the block!

Chaste/Pure—in our speech, demeanor, and dress

 Keepers at home—We are the front-line of defense—

  ‘keeping’ our home safe in

  Mind—

  Body—

 Spirit–

Good—just doing right before God and our family

Obedient to their own husband—Pleasing our mate

before our in-laws, out-laws, neighbors or friends!

All because we have influence—and what we say and do will affect the atmosphere of our home—we can make or break our husband and our children!  What are you using your tongue and actions to do?

A wholesome tongue

is a tree of life:

but perverseness therein

is a breach in the spirit.”  Proverbs 15:4

Ladies, we have the ability to influence our homes (and other people’s homes as well) by our life, our words and our actions IN our own homes, in the public arena and as God directs our steps, into perhaps greater arenas—but we must guard our heart and mind, and then set ourselves as “keepers” at home, and “keepers” of the home!  It’s not just what I do “at” home but what I do “with, for, in, around, and through” my home that will make a difference.  Many of you women have no other choice but to work ‘outside’ of the home to provide, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t work “inside” the home no matter where we are!  But it must be a deliberate choice of the will—to keep my eyes on Jesus, and meet the needs of my family by guarding, protecting, and training the young (and old) souls whom God has placed in my care!

There are false teachers/preachers/leaders around us everywhere, but if we will simply avail ourselves of the truth of God’s Word and stand in it, we can overcome and be victorious “keepers” at home as well as for our home!  If we don’t, who will?  If not now, when?  Time is fleeting and there are those all around us trying to steal the hearts and minds of our children; they are determined, malicious, and well-funded.  But by God’s power—we can overcome.  And dads this includes you too, your children are at risk!!!  We must act NOW to ‘keep’ our homes safe!

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he

that is in you,

than he

that is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

 WE WIN!!!  We must stand fast!!!  Amen and Amen!!!

Who’s Listening Anyway??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #556

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #556. Who’s Listening Anyway???

 

Elijah is one of my favorite Old Testament figures; a fiery man with a heart for God, but a real man with fears, and emotions that we all share from time to time. Elijah had a great victory on Mt. Carmel over Jezebel’s prophets of Baal, yet after leading the people to see the power of God in the consumption of his water-soaked sacrifice, calling the people to follow God not idols, slaying the prophets of Baal, and then seeing God answer his prayer for the drought-busting rain, Elijah fled from the threat of death from Jezebel.

Just like us, Elijah was real flesh and bone, and when we humans—even, if not especially, men and women who follow Jesus—choose to follow God and have those mountain-top experiences, we will almost always encounter a great valley; and I think it would serve us well to rehearse the account of Elijah’s experiences today.

When Jezebel heard about Elijah’s overcoming encounter with her false prophets of Baal (some 800 of them), she was furious (as the enemy always is when we stand fast and see GOD move) and sent a real, genuine threat of death to Elijah.  And as the queen she had the might and the authority to do it (albeit, human authority not God’s authority)!

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done,

and withal how he had slain all the prophets

with the sword.

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying,

So let the gods do to me,

and more also,

if I make not thy life

as the life of one of them

by to morrow about this time.

3 And when he saw that,

he arose,

and went for his life,

and came to Beersheba,

which belongeth to Judah,

and left his servant there.”  1 Kings 19:1-3

Elijah “went for his life” when threatened by the enemy, yet God knows where we live, and what we need; and I’d like us to consider God’s work with Elijah in this crisis of fear. One of the things that we need to remember is that fear is an emotion not a sin; yet we must not let sin rule and run us, but we must overcome our fears through God’s power!  Let’s see how God dealt with our victorious but fearful prophet!

But he himself went a day’s journey

into the wilderness,

and came and sat down under a juniper tree:

and he requested for himself that he might die;

and said,

It is enough; now, O LORD,

take away my life;

for I am not better than my fathers.

5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree,

behold, then an angel touched him,

and said unto him,

Arise and eat.

6 And he looked, and, behold,

there was a cake baken on the coals,

and a cruse of water at his head.

And he did eat and drink,

and laid him down again.

7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him,

and said,

Arise and eat;

because the journey is too great

for thee.

8 And he arose, and did eat and drink,

and went in the strength of that meat

forty days and forty nights

unto Horeb the mount of God.”   1 Kings 19:4-8

God didn’t rebuke Elijah but allowed him to sleep and rest (ignoring his request to die for the time being), and even sent an angel to bring him food and water to sustain him; then he journeyed forty days to Mt. Horeb.  God knew that Elijah was tired, and He provided him rest and sustenance—God knows exactly where you are, and He has provided what you need if you’ll but listen to His voice and follow His Holy Spirit.  You may be in your own wilderness, and think you can’t go on, but let God supply what you need and then you too can go “in the strength of that meat”!  God knows exactly where we are and He has called us to trust HIM, and His power as we seek the mind of Christ Jesus. (See Philippians 2:5-11)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power,

and of love,

and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7

But God wasn’t through with Elijah!

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him,

What doest thou here, Elijah?

10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts:

for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant,

thrown down thine altars,

and slain thy prophets with the sword;

and I,

even I only,

am left;

and they seek my life,

to take it away.

11 And he said, Go forth,

and stand upon the mount before the LORD.

And, behold, the LORD passed by,

and a great and strong wind

rent the mountains,

and brake in pieces the rocks

before the LORD;

but the LORD was not in the wind:

and after the wind an earthquake;

but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire;

but the LORD was not in the fire:

and after the fire

a still small voice.

13 And it was so,

when Elijah heard it,

that he wrapped his face in his mantle,

and went out,

and stood in the entering in of the cave.

And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said,

What doest thou here, Elijah?”  1 Kings 19:9-13

I love this passage of scripture, and I can hear my mother, with her hands on her hips, saying, “What are you doing in there?”! And often I was where I shouldn’t have been, doing what I shouldn’t have done, similarly, God came to Elijah in this amazing example of how the work of God is often opposite to the clamor of the world!  God came to Elijah not in the spectacular (as the world might call it), but in “a still small voice”!

Be still,

and know

that I am God:

I will be exalted among the heathen,

I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”  Psalm 46:10-11

It’s so easy to be caught up in the ‘busy-ness’ of the world, and forget, or be distracted from the intimacy of our relationship with God!  Sometimes God is just calling us to “Be still, and know that I am God”!  But this isn’t all that God had to say to Elijah, yet HE hears and answers Elijah in a way that he wasn’t expecting.  Just like us, Elijah had been distracted by his circumstances, but God was about to readjust his vision!

And he said,

I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts:

because the children of Israel have forsaken

thy covenant,

thrown down thine altars,

and slain thy prophets with the sword;

and I,

even I only,

am left;

and they seek my life,

to take it away.

15 And the LORD said unto him,

Go,

return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus:

and when thou comest, anoint Hazael

to be king over Syria:

16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi

shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel:

and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah

shalt thou anoint to be prophet

in thy room.

17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth

the sword of Hazael

shall Jehu slay:

and him that escapeth

from the sword of Jehu

shall Elisha slay.

18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel,

all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal,

and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

19 So he departed thence,

and found Elisha the son of Shaphat,

who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen

before him,

and he with the twelfth:

and Elijah passed by him,

and cast his mantle upon him.”   1 Kings 19:14-19

God answered Elijah’s earlier question about being the “only one” who was faithful to God, and we’ve all felt that way on occasion; as God told Elijah, and us as well,  HE is faithful, and HE knows those who are His!  The world around us may be enamored of the false prophets, but we can rest assured that God is still on HIS throne and HE knows HIS own!!!  And YOU and I my friend are never alone.  I leave with two simple passages of encouragement!

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them that are his.

And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.”  2 Timothy 2:19

Let your conversation be without covetousness;

 and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”   Hebrews 13:4-5

Amen and Amen!

Mothers And Crosses??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 13

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.13      Mothers And The Cross???

A Repost Edited from 2013.

A happy Mother’s Day to all-whether you be the mother or the child!!!  What a beautiful day to celebrate our mothers—and to celebrate The God who created us all-mother and child!!

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.    Isaiah 4:2

And Isaiah also wrote:

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,     

which shall stand for an ensign of the people;

to It shall the Gentiles seek:                             

and his rest shall be glorious.”   Isaiah 11:10

These verses have a double reference, referring to the future time of the Lord’s return, and also to His “ensign” of the cross. We can take comfort and delight in the joy of the Lord today.  Our Lord who is beautiful and glorious and, I am convinced, soon returning, He who blesses us day by day in more ways than we are aware of!!!

I pray that you took some time to spend with your mother today, or at least spent some time in reflection of her if she is no longer with you; and whether you have/had the “perfect” mother or if you have less pleasant memories—God gave each of us the mother He planned and we can trust Him.  Psalm 139:13-17 reminds us that God knew everything about us—everything!

 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I    will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and  curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members   were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of    them. 17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

Consider the commonality of God and Mothers.   Both made sacrifices for us!!!  Consider and know that God IS—Jesus the Son IS—and God the Holy Spirit IS!!!!!  They are and always were, and without the sovereign, eternal, omniscient God of the universe we wouldn’t even exist.

 “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by he word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of        the Majesty on high”.   Hebrews 1:2-3  

God IS the creator who brought us into existence, and we know that although we sinned, HE had already planned for our redemption before the world was founded!!!  I find that amazing and am reminded that not only did our mothers give us birth, care for and provide for us, but I am also reminded of the GOD who “created” us, provided for our salvation and cares for us continually, through Calvary, and HE is the same God who gave us mothers!  So, whatever your childhood experience, whether good or difficult, God has always been, and continues to be there for you!!!! (see Hebrews. 13:5). He gave HIS own Son for our salvation, and Jesus came, lived and died that we might spend eternity with Him!

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”  John 17:24

Jesus confirms His own pre-existence before the world was made (also see Col 1:16 & John 1:3 which clearly reveal Jesus as “Creator”) and scripture tells us in several other places that our salvation was planned before we needed it!!!

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:                        Ephesians 1:4

And Peter wrote:

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without        spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the worldbut was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the  dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”   1 Peter 1:19-21 

As the Dennis Jernigan song says, “I belong to Jesus”!!!  He loved us and gave Himself FOR us.  Do we truly understand that Christ Jesus gave His all for us at Calvary?  When we do, I think we will be able to say with Paul,

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”     1 Corinthians   2:2

Depending on the Cross for our life, breath and being, helps us to live our lives with HIM in mind, as we find in Galatians 2:20:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  

When we are born into a family, we take on the “name” of our family!  When we are “Born Again” we take on more than the “name” of our heavenly family, we actually receive the Holy Spirit of God who continually conforms us into Jesus’ likeness.

 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the        righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,  and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”   Philippians 3:8-10 

Always reminded that “I am crucified with Christ”, knowing that God is ever working in me. And much like our mothers were teaching us when we weren’t even aware of it, God is always at work in HIS own!

And we know that all things work together for    good to them that love God, to them who are the        called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he   did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be    conformed to the image of his Son, that he     might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  Romans 8:28-29

God is ever at work, by His Spirit within us (Remember Romans 8:9b, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”), and we can trust His work– ever conforming us into the image of The Lord Jesus!!!

As we think today of our Moms, may we also spend each day appreciating The Lord who created them and us!!!

 “…… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those  things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

May we commit ourselves anew and afresh to “press toward the mark”; taking our confidence from Colossians 1:27

 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” 

Christ is our eternal hope, His Spirit our total supply, and God the Father our complete confidence.  Praise HIM for giving us “Mothers”; but even more that HE GAVE US HIS OWN SON, for our salvation on the cross!!  May God bless you with joy and grace for this coming week’s work for His kingdom. Thank YOU, Lord, for mothers!

Teaching Or Learning??? Bible Ballistics BBs #555

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Teaching Or Learning is A Repost of Bible Ballistics: “BBs” #58  Moms-Teachers?????

As this is the Friday before Mother’s Day, I thought I’d take a little spin on the Proverbs 31 passage that we usually hear about on Mother’s Day. I’d like us to look at the beginning of the chapter rather than the end, which describes godly wives and mothers.

Proverbs 31:1-5, “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.”

These words, usually credited to Solomon, are the words that he heard from his mother. What did she tell him?

The strength and courage of the soul should not be given to women or the things of the world that have robbed many a young man (and older men too, for that matter), particularly alcohol. Why women and alcohol? Because either or both can cause one to ‘forget the law, and pervert judgment’.

We see the contrast to the benefit of embracing wisdom.

Proverbs 2:10-11, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:.

So? Do you remember what your mother taught you about God and His word.

So??????  Mom may have taught you right, but the learning is in your court. Deut. 30:19-20a,

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:

What will you choose?

Expect Suffering, Really??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #554

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #554    Expect Suffering, Really???

We appear  to be living in a culture that is pervaded by an entitlement mentality.  I’m entitled to be happy and have my needs met, and ‘you’ are responsible to see to that! A stark contrast to the intent of the founders of this country who said, we have the ‘right’ to “life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness”; a totally different thing!  Even Christians are being influenced by this pervasive mindset!  We no longer desire to know God’s will, God’s Word or God’s way, but we simply want to be entertained for a time, have our ‘ruffled feathers’ soothed, and our consciences put to sleep as we continually seek to have our “ears tickled”! Paul confronted those of Athens with a similar issue on his journeys.

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens,

I perceive that in all things

ye are too superstitious…

24 God that made the world

and all things therein…

…. seeing he giveth to all life,

and breath,

and all things; …

..27 That they should seek the Lord,

 if haply they might feel after him,

and find him,

though he be not far

from every one of us:

28 For in him we live,

and move,

and have our being; …

..[and] commandeth all men

every where to repent:

31 Because he hath appointed a day,

in the which he will judge the world

in righteousness

by that man whom he hath ordained;

whereof he hath given assurance

 unto all men,

 in that he hath raised him

from the dead.

32 And when they heard

of the resurrection of the dead,

some mocked:

and others said,

We will hear thee again

of this matter.”   Portions of Acts 17:23-32

Paul shared the Gospel of Jesus with the Athenians, and they were eager to hear what he had to say until he got to the “resurrection” of Jesus, then they mocked and put him off.  Why would we expect people to treat us differently when we are sharing the truth of the Gospel?  We ought not! But we are to share continually the truth of Jesus, knowing that some will receive it others will not; and some will ridicule and oppose us.  Jesus Himself said that we should expect it!

If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater

than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.” John 15:19-20

And if you remember correctly, ‘they’ put Him to death!  I would like to share a few passages of scripture with you to encourage you to remember that we are called to suffer with HIM! It’s not an option, for Paul made it clear that those who choose to follow Jesus will pay a price.

Yea,

and all that will live godly

 in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.”   2 Timothy 3:12

The Spirit itself beareth witness

with our spirit,

that we are the children of God:

17 And if children,

 then heirs;

heirs of God,

and joint-heirs with Christ;

if so be that we suffer with him,

that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings

of this present time

are not worthy to be compared

with the glory

which shall be revealed in us.”   Romans 8:16-18

And in closing a wonderful message of assurance.

Yea doubtless,

and I count all things but loss

for the excellency

of the knowledge of Christ Jesus

my Lord:

 for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,

and do count them but dung,

that I may win Christ,

9 And be found in him,

not having mine own righteousness,

which is of the law,

but that which is through the faith

of Christ,

the righteousness

which is of God

by faith:

10 That I may know him,

and the power of his resurrection,

and the fellowship of his sufferings,

being made conformable

unto his death;”  Philippians 3:10

All because of His provision for us to live the ‘crucified’ life!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Are you suffering with HIM?  Only you can answer that question; and if we’re not willing to live for Him under persecution, why would we think we’d be willing to die for Him?