December 4, 2009
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Some people perceive Christianity is the magic solution to all their problems and difficulties.
In reality, believers often face tougher circumstances than non-believers. In the apostle Paul's second letter to Timothy, there is an indication Christians will be persecuted.
Surprisingly, this persecution does not impact only those who appear to be godly or pious, but against those whose piety is founded in Jesus Christ. Our text mentions that "everyone" who is a true Christian will suffer persecution. The word everyone indicates that any true Christian must face difficult circumstances.
Paul suffered persecution during his ministry. Having been himself a persecutor of the Church, he later endured mistreatment and abuse for being a part of that same Church. His conversion to Christ did not grant him any magic solution to his problems.
When we confess openly our faith in Jesus we must be prepared to face the consequences. And how does one prepare for such difficulties? Staying close to God's Word is crucial. Paul reminds Timothy of this a little later: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
Truly, that's wisdom for the ages!
When troubles beat loudly at the door, Christians can confront them with courage and hope, remembering God's promises in the Bible. Believers will be persecuted, but they are not defeated. Jesus took our sure defeats and hopeless battles to the grave with Him, and in that tomb they were buried, even as He rose to life everlasting -- the glorious Son of God.
THE PRAYER: Lord, grant me a pious life, and when problems arise, give me faith well founded on Your Word. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's devotion from Guatemala was written by Carlos Raúl Sosa Siliézar. At Christ the King Lutheran Church in Guatemala City, he serves as a musician, youth leader, and Sunday school teacher. In Guatemala, Lutheran Hour Ministries operates as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations"). Utilizing radio, television, the Internet, and printed materials, LHM-Guatemala creatively shares the Gospel in this country of 14 million people.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.