Jesus never promised it would be easy...
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me."
I am currently reading the book written by Kyle Idleman, called Not A Fan. Kyle discussed recent findings by Barna research published in a book called UnChristian, "that 65 percent of 18-42 year-olds in America have made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still important. He went on to say that on the surface that seems really encouraging. But how many of these are followers? Because, their research also showed that only 23 percent of those people believed that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Only 13 percent said getting drunk is a sin. And the list goes on. In other words, 65 percent say they are committed to Jesus, but most of them aren't committed to Jesus in every area of their life. And Jesus never left open the option of selective commitment." (pg. 146-147)
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!"
- Revelation 3:15-16 (NLT)
Kyle also mentions in his book that, "Followers are willing to deny themselves and say, I choose Jesus. I choose Jesus over my family. I choose Jesus over money. I choose Jesus over career goals. I am his completely. I choose Jesus over getting drunk. I choose Jesus over looking at porn. I choose Jesus over a redecorated house. I choose Jesus over my freedom. I choose Jesus over what other people may think of me. A follower makes a decision every day to deny himself and choose Jesus...even if it costs everything." (145)
I can't help to think of my own life and as I read more and more in God's Word...I realized so many times I chose ME! I see the courage in strength in these new Christians and how powerful their testimony and faith shines to others. Lord, I pray for all the new believers here in Peru. Lord, I pray for all the youth and children that heard your Word and pray Lord that one day they will make a decision to follow You if they have not already. I pray that you will give us all strength to choose YOU and face each day with courage to do Your will (not ours). Amen.