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Friday, March 15, 2002

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Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

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the certainty of persecution

"Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him." —Wisdom 2:20

If we want to live a godly life, we will be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12). We don't know the severity of this persecution, but we do know the certainty of it.

Although many non-Christians pride themselves on being tolerant, they will probably not tolerate Christians, for we are obnoxious to them (Wis 2:12). They think we are setting ourselves against their doings, reproaching them "for transgressions of the law," charging them with violations of their training, and censuring their thoughts (Wis 2:12, 14). Merely to see us is a hardship for many non-Christians (Wis 2:14) because our lives are different (Wis 2:15). There is an automatic tension between Christians and non-Christians.

Eventually something has to give; something has to snap. Non-Christians either give their lives to Jesus and become Christians, or they revile, torture, and condemn Christians (Wis 2:19-20). Non-Christians either become other Christs or anti-christs. They take up Jesus' cross (Lk 9:23), or they crucify Jesus and hold Him up to contempt by attacking His disciples (see Heb 6:6).

May your life in Christ be so authentic that you are worthy of being persecuted.

Prayer:  Father, in life may I lead many people to You. In death, may I lead many more people to You.

Promise:  "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves." —Ps 34:19

Praise:  John gave his life to the Lord at the funeral of his Christian friend, Thomas.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries offers a ten-day series of four Discipleship Retreats, April 5-14. For information about any or all of these retreats, call 937-587-5464, e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com or online at www.presentationministries.com. Ask about credits for Guadalupe Bible College.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001