Friday, July 12, 2013

Endurance Overcomes Persecution

Gospel, Matthew 10:16-23

Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves.Be prepared for people to hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as evidence to them and to the gentiles.But when you are handed over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes,because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. 'Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will come forward against their parents and have them put to death. You will be universally hated on account of my name; but anyone who stands firm to the end will be saved. If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. In truth I tell you, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of man comes.

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." This opening statement of the Gospel seems attractive to me as it reflects what I've been through for the past nine years of my life when I begun my service to God. A lot of struggles have come to persuade me to quit serving, yet the Lord continued to be gracious unto me as he showed me the way to truth which made my service more meaningful and colorful.
I knew I was being called and I believe that the Lord has sent me like a sheep who, in as much as possible, needs the gentle guidance of a shepherd so it won't get lost amidst of threats and struggles that abound. And I always knew that my shepherd is no other than God himself. It was through Him that I was able to see for myself what I am for in this world and what the world is for to me. I was sent not to please the world but to let the world know that there is Someone mighty than anyone and anything else that exists. That this Someone is a loving and a merciful friend, a worthy companion, a perfect counselor and a listener--- our God.
However, like a sheep I am often prone to challenges to test my faith. When persecution comes, the Gospel tells me not to be anxious of how I am to speak or what I am to say, for what I am to say will be given to me in that hour. It further reminds me that it is the Spirit of the Lord speaking through me so I will be humbled. Truly, it must be anticipated by us who proclaim ourselves as believers to be persecuted. Nevertheless, it must be taken as a positive progress as we go along in our service. All it takes is our faithful endurance.
Brothers and sisters, let each day be our realization that endurance may require us a lot of inevitable sacrifices yet we must also be reminded that it is through God's mercy, love, and enlightenment that make us firm enough in our conviction to surpass whatever temptation and persecution life may bring upon us. I believe that it's also wise to know that as servants of God, we will "be hated by all for God's Name sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

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