1 Timothy 6:1-21
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who were so in love with God, so in love with Jesus, that they didn't care what people said or did to them. The Bible is full of stories of men and women who truly suffered because of their devotion to God.
I knew about the disciples, Paul, Silas, Noah, and I see I can add Jeremiah to that list as well.
I've grown up hearing these stories and hearing these people glorified for their faith. "Do you think you would be singing praise songs if you were in prison?"(Acts 16)
And it always frustrated me that it seemed that was the only takeaway: guilty feelings and awe for a Bible character.
There are a lot of different points I think could be made, but today this is the thing I'm learning....
For me, I don't think the question is "would I sing, would I still have faith if I were in prison?" For me, the question is "am I so in love, so devoted to Jesus that it would be offensive to anyone enough to put me into prison in the first place?"
Paul and Silas were preaching the gospel in the streets and driving away demons. People were offended! And so they were thrown in jail.
Right now I don't live in a culture where I would be thrown into prison, necessarily, for preaching the gospel...
Wait. Back up.
I won't be thrown into prison???
Then what is stopping me???
"Would you be singing praise songs if you were in prison?"
What a silly question. I have to be willing to sing praise songs outside of prison first.
I could go on, though I don't know how I would word it, about how I want to be more devoted to Jesus and I want to know that my faith would withstand great persecution and all that. But I think probably the only thing I needed to be reminded of today was: when I see fear, doubt, insecurity, and complacency in my own heart, the best way to preach the truth to myself is to say the truth out loud.
I believe if I was put in a situation like Paul and Silas or Jeremiah, where people were mad at me because of the truth I said out loud, I would sing, sing, sing. Because I know the joy that comes when I obey God. I have known the joy that comes when I hear the Word of God in my own voice.
I don't feel guilty. I feel empowered.
I don't feel in awe of a Bible character.
I feel overwhelming gratitude and wonder for a God big, holy, and everything.