Jesus is different. And if you belong to him, you’ll most likely be considered different or strange as well. So let’s buttress ourselves and take a closer look at the awesomeness of his uniqueness. First, Jesus is God-with-us. He is the very fullness of God in human form (Colossians 2:9). ‘Do you mean to say … Continue reading The awesomeness of his uniqueness
Have you ever felt strange because of your faith? What if that wasn’t a bad thing? And what if there was a purpose in it? Paul’s teaching about the risen Jesus to the philosophers of Athens provoked accusations of strangeness: “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing … Continue reading The difference being different makes
This week we’ve been talking about facing trouble and persecution as a follower of Jesus. Most overt persecution happens in other parts of the world. But I’m convinced that it’s going to be more and more common here in North America. It’s a big deal. And we’re naïve to ignore it. And we’re super-naïve to … Continue reading Not alone (in these 3 ways)
This week I’ve been sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. Maybe this idea is new to you, maybe even bothersome. But even though we usually think of persecuted Christians as people in desperate situations on the other side of the world, it’s going to be an increasing issue here in … Continue reading Like a wounded coyote backed into a corner? Um, no.
This week I’m sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. When you look at the New Testament, it was expected that Christians would experience this. An example is 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5. Paul writes, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you … Continue reading Prepare to be persecuted?
In Mark 4:16-17 Jesus says that some people will fall away from their faith because of the trouble and persecution they will experience because of it. Since they have “no root” he says, “they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” In the New … Continue reading Expect to be different
You’re right. Your faith in Jesus makes you stand out. You’re different. To some degree, you will also suffer for it. Your reputation will suffer, you may miss out on certain opportunities, people will exclude you, you’ll get criticized… Because of that, it can be tempting to play down or ignore your faith—in part, or … Continue reading Blending in and fading away
I’m a Christian who is also trying to be a Christian. Does that sound strange? What I mean is that I am a Christian because I have professed my loyalty to Jesus as the Lord of my life. But I’m also trying to be a Christian because I know there’s still a lot of work … Continue reading Standing out and blending in
In the 1st century, the apostle Peter wrote a letter to encourage Christians who were feeling shunned and persecuted for their faith. Since they didn’t buy in to the dominant religions of the day, and would only worship the one true God of the Bible and order their lives according to his teachings, they were … Continue reading Expect to be different
1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation..." (ESV) Today's Thought Barna researchers asked people what kinds of religious behavior they considered “extreme.” 93% said that using religion to justify violence was extreme. I’d agree with that one! But 60% also said that evangelism was extreme. Evangelism is … Continue reading What if you’re SUPPOSED to feel different?