June 22
‘In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,’ 2 Timothy 3:12
Bible reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 (Go to the Bible passage)
In all Paul’s struggles, it must have been a great comfort for him to hear that the faith of the brothers and sisters in Thessalonica was growing more and more. And where faith grows more and more, love for each other increases too.
Where in these days violence and cold-heartedness are ever increasing, this is a magnificent discovery. It is so precious and overwhelming that we want to give up everything for it, even an easy life and praise from men. But when the joy grows and peace radiates from our face, when the love of Christ is spreading, for relatives and neighbors to see, it is bound to happen that people will be irritated by this ‘strangeness’. Then people start talking about it. They will pass judgments about things they know nothing of, because they lack submission and faith in Christ. Then people warn each other for this ‘oddity’, which the Bible yet describes as the normal Christian life.
This is the beginning of the persecution that awaits everyone who wants to live a godly life, says the Bible.
Then the danger lurks that - in response to this - we isolate ourselves from those people who do not know the communion with the Lord in the same way as He has given it to us. But Paul warns us that - when Jesus Christ is revealed on His return - God will punish those who do not know Him and also those who do know the gospel, but refuse to obey it.
When the love of Christ fills our lives, we will dedicate our lives to our neighbors, to take along with us as many godless and disobedient people as we can, to join us in following Jesus.
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