Summary: Most modern day believers feel that to brave the hazards of the road on Sunday morning is all the danger they are willing to put up with. In contrast, Paul consistently forged ahead on his path toward greater Godliness despite continuous accusations, enda
One fact that many Christians would prefer to forget is that "All who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12)
Most modern day believers feel that to brave the hazards of the road on Sunday morning is all the danger they are willing to put up with. In contrast, Paul consistently forged ahead on his path toward greater Godliness despite continuous accusations, endangerments and harassments from the Jews.
Example: A much maligned Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing our labor is not in vain in the Lord." (I Cor. 15:57,58)
Example: It all began with the false accusation "that Paul was a man who preached against our people and the Law and this place."(Acts 21:28) Much mental, emotional and social persecution was endured by Paul because he knew that Christ had done so for the sake of the worldâs salvation and deliverance. Paul knew he was sent to be like Jesus in everyway. Not only did Paul not get credit for spearheading the missionary movement, but he was wrongly labeled as an enemy of what is good, righteous and praiseworthy.
Application: When you are determined to grow in Christ likeness be willing to endure dangers knowing that Godâs greater purposes will be accomplished through you. Do not be surprised if the worst critics you encounter will come from some of most Îreligiousâ people.
2. Paul was accused of making the holy place of God common. There was a close comparison between this kind of attack on Paul and that of Jesus. The Jews thought that if they could drum up a phony charge against the man of God, many people would rush to their assistance. However, Paul found great consolation knowing that he was walking in the steps of the great Master who bore the crown of thorns for the sake of such sinners. Paul took it in stride that God’s curriculum in Godliness included several field courses in suffering at the hands of difficult people. (Phil. 3:8-10)
A. Paul withstood the rejection of his own countrymen and their desires to kill him because he understood they sprang from unregenerate minds that could not comprehend what a Spirit filled person could perceive.
Illustration: 90% of the world’s people are yet to trust Christ as their Savior and Lord. Even the 10% of the people who are saved, few qualify as disciples, leaders or fishers of men.
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the grace to realize that 95% of the population will oppose Godly teaching, attitudes and actions because they do not have the Christian maturity or love to understand what true Godliness entails.
Song: Remember the song, "Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No there’s a cross for everyone and thereâs a cross for me."
3. Paul knew that someone who wants to be Godly must be willing to be misunderstood by the majority. The great apostle knew that many religious people possess prejudices, fanaticism and misperceptions of what it means to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord in all respect and manifests a truly Christ like fruitfulness.
Application: Ask God to give you the grace to rely more on the Lord and His word instead of the affirmation and approval of men.
4. Paul relied on the Lord’s intervention to deliver him whenever it was necessary to complete 100% of the will of God for His life. David wrote, "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears." (Psa 34:1-4)
Example: The great apostle did not consider his life as dear to himself in order that he could complete the work to which God called him. (Acts 20:24)
Application: Many believers miss out on many blessings, opportunities and eternal rewards because they are not consistent in their confidence that God can deliver them from life’s hardships.
Application: Ask the Lord to let you be confident that where God guides He will provide everything you need peace, protection, wisdom, strength, courage, ideas, energy, faith, knowledge, understanding, applications, associates and love.
5. God used a heathen Roman commander to help deliver Paul who never underestimated the Lord’s ability to use anyone or anything to rescue you from danger. How impressive it must have been to hear Paul offer the free gift of salvation to the same crowd that wanted him destroyed; here was a great example of grace under fire. As people looked on with hate in their eyes, Paul gave them truth in love that offered them deliverance from death, hell, and eternal judgment, only the Spirit filled love of God makes that possible.