Five Understandable Words for Today

"...one calling in the desert..." John 1:23

Having just finished reading Dr. David Jeremiah's book, "Agents of Babylon", it seems more evident than ever that Christians live in a wasteland of anger, resentment, disappointment, hurt, abuse, and hate. This desert we call the world is darkened by the lies of satan and his minions of darkness. Oftentimes, the fully devoted follower of Christ can feel abandoned in such a harsh socio-spiritual environment.

There are at least two biblical models to give us encouragement through the often hostile treatment one may receive. The first model is found in the prophet Jeremiah. He is known  as the "weeping prophet" who mourned his nation's secular condition and the idolatry that occurred as a consequence of God's people abandoning their first love. (The apostle John speaks of this to the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:1-7. For a revealing list of 40 evidences that the Believer may have left his/her first love, go to:  https://www.reviveourhearts.com/articles/40-evidences-left-your-first-love/)

Jeremiah's message of repentance was not well received by the people of his day, just as in our day. (A good brief article on Jeremiah's life and ministry can be found at:  http://truthfortheworld.org/bcc/courses/bcc_ots_l13.html)  Christian  be encouraged that others have gone before you experiencing similar treatment.

John the Baptist also provides the Christian an example to follow. He consistently challenged the norms of his day, calling people to repentance and reconciliation to God. Though he did experience a great following by those seeking forgiveness and a second chance, his life was cut short by the political establishment that sought to marginalize his impact upon their small window of the world. John's life is a testimony of the price one may pay for following God's way.

Of course, Jesus warned Believers to count the cost, framing His words in a way to show that full devotion for Christ may be perceived as hatred or disowning one's own father and mother, sisters and brothers, or even their own life (see Luke 14:26; though the truth is God desires His children to love and honor one's parents, siblings, and to love others as oneself). In any case, Jesus clearly described the reception we should expect: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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." (Matthew 5:10-12) (Other verses related to the cost of discipleship are: Matthew 10:37; John 12:25; )

Suffering from spiritual combat fatigue? Do you shy away from being light in darkness because of the "shell syndrome" of attacks from others? Persevere my friend, others suffered similarly and worse. Stay the course; speak the truth in love; and stay rooted in His Word. Drink from the refreshing well of His love as you are "...one calling in the desert...".

John 3:30

steve