Today we are reading from Mark 13: 9-13:
9 “As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
I tell people that I’m a diva. I have gone on mission trips before and hope to again. In fact, I had planned to go on our trip to Honduras, but the signup time was right when I got diagnosed with kidney cancer and didn’t know what the future held. But I really, really, really like my own bed. I don’t like sleeping in places that aren’t my bed. I don’t even like hotels unless is it something like the Hilton. There aren’t too many things in life I’ll really splurge on. But hotels, that’s one of them.
So, like I said, I’m a diva.
I’m not a fan of suffering or pain. Who is? I don’t like trouble or conflict, who does? It’s not something we want or desire.
So, we read today’s reading with that in mind. Our faith will cost of something. It will cause trouble and pain and even separation. We have it so, so easy here in America. We really do. Our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, they have it so very hard.
If you have a smartphone or a tablet, I’d encourage you to download the Pray Today app from a great organization, Voice of the Martyrs. A dear friend told me about this, and I now use it daily in my prayers. This app will, each day, help you pray for brothers and sisters across the world, and read about the actual persecution they face.
Recently the prayer focus was for Christians in North Africa, who in spite of persecution, were sharing the Gospel with the very folks who persecuted them! They were risking their lives to tell folks (who would kill them) about Jesus! There are so many Christians across the world who are literally, every day, risking their lives for being a Christian.
Persecution is a real thing in this world. Jesus told us that we would suffer. Jesus told us that our faith should cause us to make sacrifices. Our brothers and sisters across the world are living so faithful that it cost them something. It causes them to make real-world sacrifices.
How about me you and you?
If you’d like to get each day’s daily scripture reading sent to your phone along with this reading guide, text @39110 to 81010 to sign up!