Thursday, September 08, 2011

Pencils!

Look at Acts 5:41, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

The recipient of a flogging was scared for life. Physical scars would be present forever. Those marks were intended to be a warning sign to the community that an individual had been involved in criminal activity. However, in the church, those marks were and are seen as badges of joy over being worthy of suffering disgrace for the name – The name of Jesus!

Look at those words, “Worthy of Suffering Disgrace…”

The words, "Worthy" and "Disgrace" mix about as well as oil and water do. In the modern mind, those words are polar opposites! "Worthy" and "Disgrace" Most see those two words as antonyms. There seems to be even a greater contradiction as the disciples were, “rejoicing” because they were considered worthy of disgrace.

Get out your pencils! The apostles saw their physical persecution and disgrace as proof that God was using them to build the kingdom! To those first believers, persecution and disgrace was the evidence that they were recognized as troublemakers to evil. To the apostles, it was an honor to be seen as a threat to the darkness! They did not see their flogging as a defeat – they saw their flogging as a victory!  They were opposed because they were effective.

Here is the meat: Persecution and secular disgrace often means that you and I are right smack dab in the center of God's will!  The apostles experienced opposition not because they were disobedient, but because they were obedient! Are you? Should you be? Are there any signs of persecution in your life?

Whenever the world mocks us and calls us fools, that ought to produce joy in side of us because such treatment indicates that we belong to God, not to the world.

No comments: