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Cost to follow Christ can be suffering

October 19, 2013
By JOHN SIRTOLI , The Leader Herald

Hupernikao is the Greek word meaning conqueror. Those who love in Christ's name are conquerors of hatred. Like a magnet, the love of Christ attracts people to the savior. However, the cost of following Christ means suffering and persecution. Someday, Christ will separate the "sheep" and the "goats" - symbolic of people and of how they treated the Jews. The "sheep" fed, clothed, visited and gave drink to the thirsty. The "goats," selfish as they were, committed the sins of omission. In the valley of Jehoshaphat will be the judgment of the nations comprising "sheeps" and "goats." It's a place designated by God. Love entails no selfishness. We freely feed, clothe, visit and give drink to the thirsty. Lacking love dishonors God, bringing shame to his name.

"Then shall he answer them saying, "verily will I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me." This is man's sin of omission. This wounds Christ's heart as well as the sin of commission. Since we love as Christians, suffering for Christ is a token of honor as Acts 5:41 states. To suffer Christ's name is indicative of the wounds Christ bore on Calvary's cross. As we will reign with Christ so we will suffer for Christ. Romans 15:3 states - and this is significant - "for even Christ pleased not himself but as it is written the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me." The cross reference is Psalm 69:9. The commentary on this is, "Those who mock God also made his servant who trusts in him as Christ also experienced. Relating suffering and love, men who love in Christ's name face persecution (2 Tim 3:12). Read Matthew 25 about the "sheep and "goats." Consider the outline on love from John 15:9-17.

A. The granting of desires.

1.) abiding in Christ.

2.) abounding in love.

B. the glory of God - producing fruit of love.

C. the proof of love.

1.) obedience.

2.) outlet of love - joy.

3.) order of love.

4.) outstanding love - sacrifice.

D. The position of those who love: status or standing.

1.) Christ's companions.

2.) Christ's confidants.

In summation, the scarred wounds of Christ are verily manifest in a Christian who is persecuted and "love seeks man's higher good" - William Barclay.

JOHN SIRTOLI

Gloversville

 
 

 

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