DAILY BIBLE READING:
1 Chronicles 5:18–6:81
BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
Acts 26:11 (CSB) “In all the synagogues I often punished them and tried to make them blaspheme. Since I was terribly enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
In America, we celebrate our freedoms. Unfortunately, our understanding of the power of the Gospel has become so intertwined with our national patriotism that we have come to an erroneous conclusion…
We believe that if and when we lose our religious freedoms (First Amendment) that Christianity will suffer.
Further, we stand in amazement at the reports of revival taking place in Christandom in countries such as Iran. We cannot imagine how Christianity could survive, much less thrive, in persecution.
That shows how disconnected we have become from the biblical narrative. When we read the book of Acts, we are reading of the perpetual persecution of Christians.
Christians were jailed.
Christians were tortured.
Christians were killed.
And Christianity was thriving!
In fact, while we lack a frame of reference to experientially understand the book of Acts, our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who live in countries like Iran, Syria, India and other persecuted countries understand it completely. They are living it.
When we read our Verse for Today, we hear the Apostle Paul saying that before he became a follower-of-Jesus, he persecuted Christians and did whatever he could to try to get them to reject their faith. He even cast his vote for some of them to be killed (Acts 26:10).
So, American Christian, what are we to do with this? Let me give you a couple of ideas:
- Pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. I would suggest downloading the app “Operation World,” or purchasing the book by that same title, or simply going to their website by click here. You will learn much about the countries of the world and how to pray for fellow believers and those who need to give their life to our Savior.
- Assess your own level of devotion to the Lord. Do you believe your commitment to Jesus is so strong that it could withstand persecution? Or would you deny Jesus if times got tough? To answer that question, friend, are you ashamed to tell others of Jesus right now when you live in the land of the free?