Persistence of the world against you
Mark 14:69 -
And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
We see in today's message the maid was determined to cause problem to Peter, she not only identified Peter twice but was alerting others about him. She knew but alerting others about him, his life would be in danger and she desired that Peter be punished for following Jesus like how Jesus was punished.
Jesus told us if we are of the Kingdom of God than this world will hate us for this world hates God. I have heard this preaching many a times and most preachers will tell you that you will be persecuted for being a Christian but one thing they do not tell about why we are persecuted even when God is watching over us or how we overcome persecution.
When I hear or read of persecutions of Christians I always ask the Lord 'why' for I know our Lord is God and there is no other God beside Him and all things are in His control. Even in the case of Jesus if God the Father had not allowed they would not have touched even a hair of Jesus. People do not know the power Jesus had as Son of God (not God the Son) they do not know what transfiguration means. There are scriptures which state Jesus slipped from between the crowds that tried to kill Him, He did not hide and run like a scared person. When Adam had not sinned yet, it states he walked with God in the garden, people do not realize Genesis 2 does not talk of just 1 garden but of 2 and only if they knew where these 2 gardens were they would realize the power we lost due to sin.
There are scriptures which tell us our God will set a table for us before our enemies, if our God can do that then why do we experience persecution? Does God desire we be persecuted?
If we study how persecution started against the Church then we would know why is happens, before that the Apostles were staying in the porch area outside of the main Jewish synagogue called the porch of Solomon or Solomon's Colonnade no person harmed them. It was named after Solomon because it was to do with wisdom. It was an area where the people gathered to debated or preach. We see Jesus too visited this place (John 10:23-24), Peter after healing the sick man outside the temple spoke to the Jewish crowd standing in this place.
In today's message we see Peter was in trouble because he identified himself as a follower of Jesus but at the same time he was not fully with Jesus. When the Lord taught me about the stages of spiritual growth He showed me a stage that was above this world and below the Kingdom of God and in this place dwelled the beasts of this world which would attack the people of God.
If we are worldly people who dwell in the desires of the flesh the world will love us but as we start to deny the flesh and walk towards the Kingdom of God we struggle with the flesh and are yet to know the power of God. It is at this time we face the worst persecution in our lives.
When Jesus instructed Peter on how to take care of His sheep as Jesus ask him 3 times 'do you love me'? Jesus give him instructions feed My lambs, take care of My sheep and feed My sheep. It is very important we follow this to build the people of God. We need to first know the difference between Gospel and Word and should not give teaching of the Word to those who are lambs but stick only to giving the Gospel. It is only after they start to have relationship with God after their baptism that we teach them the Word as they grow into sheep.
Our walk of faith starts with hope and ends with authority. If we grow into people of authority then neither any being in the flesh nor any spirit (like evil spirits/fallen angels) can harm us. We really do not understand the power just in the Name of the Lord. The Lord does not need to come to destroy Satan or his army but just His Name is enough to bring them to their knees. At the end when Jesus comes again along with His army of Angels (the elects who are part of first resurrection) it is by He declaring His Name (Shout of an Archangel) that He causes all (including Satan and his army) to come to their knees.
The Lord is telling us to overcome persecution and that will happen only when we do not dwell in the place Peter was but be righteous people who walk in the ways of the Lord. We need to be people who do not need to even pray for the Lord gives them the desire of their heart and whose only prayer is 'thank you' like Jesus.
If we study the stages of the Church as in seven letters to the seven Churches (Revelation 2 -3) the next stage (6th stage)in which we are going to enter is a stage where the Church not only comes together as one but also grows in the Lord and the world sees the glory of God in her. This stage is not a stage where people persecute her but fear her for she is covered by the glory of God. Let us be people who see this stage in our life time so let us strive to grow in spirit.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we get persecuted for we call ourselves Christian but do not show people the power of God as Christians. Lord we prayer people of this world know You and know we are your people. That they fear You and your people who call on your Name...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
John 19:11 - Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above: therefore he that delivered me to you has the greater sin.
53 Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill where on their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he passing through the middle of them went his way,
Acts 5:12 - And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
Psalms 23:5 - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed [bosko means feed] my lambs.
16 He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed [poimaino means tend] my sheep.
17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Love you me? And he said to him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed [bosko means feed] my sheep.
Acts 3:11 - And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
24 Then came the Jews around him, and said to him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly.
1 Corinthians 5:4 - In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer:
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brothers, and kinfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess you your souls.
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