- “A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to ‘accept’ Christ without forsaking the world.”—A.W. Tozer
Jesus called disciples to follow Him, forsake all, and to never look back. He does not allow us to have our cake and eat it too. His requirement is complete surrender to Him.
When we surrender to Him, we instantly become big targets.
- Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- John 15: “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
- “The more like Christ you are the more the world will treat you like they treated Christ. Maybe you don’t get much persecution because there’s not much similarity.”—John MacArthur
This is a far cry from today’s mindset that says if Christians would become more like the world, then they would be more acceptable to the world, and if they are more acceptable to the world, then the world will be attracted to Jesus. Reality is, if we live like actual biblical Christians we will never be acceptable. Why? Because the Bible tells us that the unsaved world hates God (John 15:23). That means we are to be loving and firm, but offensive as well (and by offensive, I mean by proclaiming the offensive sin enlightening, repentance-oriented, bow the knee in submission Gospel because only the Gospel is the power unto salvation and while it offends, it also convicts and lays hold of peoples’ hearts).
- “Listen, the only time the church has made any spiritual impact on the world is when the church has stood firm, uncompromising, unwavering, and boldly proclaimed the truth right in the face of the enemy.” –John MacArthur
Our weekly Thankful Thursday focus is rooted in humility this week. You and I are disciples of Jesus or disciples of Satan. If you are saved, then that means Jesus called you to salvation and to bear fruit. If you are not bearing fruit, the question is, are you really saved? This is not me throwing my thoughts out there, just look at what Jesus said. I’ve heard far too many people tell me they know they’re saved because they said a prayer, had an experience, or felt a burning in the bosom. But, is your life bearing fruit? If you’ve been grafted into the vine of Christ (John 15), then you will (not maybe, not potentially, but definitely) bear fruit. And, if you are bearing fruit today, there is nothing more humbling than to know that without Christ, you are worthless and there is no good within you, yet He has shed His love all over you.
- If, and only if you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ can you say, “I am my Lord’s and He is mine, His banner over me is love.” If that’s your testimony today, then thank Him now for His infinite grace which has bought your pardon, has brought you into His family, and has made you a disciple of Him.
- Thank Him now ahead of time for those who you will get to share the Gospel with, that you will be able to make disciples of, and for their future walk with Christ.
- Pour out your thanksgiving that He is not done with Waikoloa Baptist, is not done with this world, and that He is still working in it today to change enemies of the cross into followers of Him.
- Thank God for the week in and week out work of Trent as he reaches out to the Teens in Waikoloa. Thank Him also for the work and support of Rebecca as she faithfully supports his ministry. Thank God for those teens whose lives will be impacted for the Kingdom now and in the years to come.
- “You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. They community will already know it.”—Leonard Ravenhill