Season 1, Episode 92
For Tuesday, May 19, 2015
“All In: Suffer for Him”
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me (John 15:19-21).
Are you “all in” for the Lord? I’m talking about total commitment, giving all that I have and all that I am for Him. I’m afraid some Christians think that being “all in” is something that only the first century disciples did. Some even seem to think that “all in” Christianity is only for elders or preachers. The fact is, “all in” Christianity is the ONLY kind of Christianity. Jesus expects everything! He was serious when He said that we cannot be His disciples if we are unwilling to give ourselves entirely to Him.
When we’re “all in,” we’re going to suffer for Christ. In Philippians 3:10, Paul said that he actually wanted to suffer for Him!
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death
As we consider suffering for Christ, let’s make two observations from this verse.
First, we partake in His sufferings because we have a relationship with Him. It’s interesting that Paul groups knowing Jesus with partaking in His sufferings. Suffering for Christ is a natural byproduct of having a relationship with Him! Don’t believe me? Just ask Peter, who gave into peer pressure and denied knowing the Lord. Ask Paul, who went from persecuting Christians to be a persecuted Christian.
Here’s the second observation: we partake in His sufferings because the world hates Him. Note that the word “suffering” is actually in the plural form in Philippians 3:10. Paul says, “I want to partake in Christ’s sufferings.” That involves not just the things Jesus suffered around His death, but also the suffering He endured during His life and ministry.
Did alleged intellectuals and religious elitists attempt to correct the Lord’s theology? Yes. Did they reject Him, ignoring all of the evidence of Who He is and what He had done? They did. So here’s what I learn from this: I shouldn’t feel strange when it happens to me. The world rejected Jesus, and the world will reject us because we follow Jesus.
Let’s wrap it up: I truly believe that suffering for the Lord is an attribute of being “all in.” We don’t go looking for trouble, of course. But Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12 that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” It’s going to happen. Expect it. Glorify God in it. Let it drive you closer and closer to your Father who loves you and to your Savior who died for you.
Memory Verse: Paul is a great example for us of what it means to be “all in” for Jesus. Listen to what he says in this week’s verse, Philippians 3:8.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Thanks for listening to The New You. For more information about this show and the other work that we do on The Light Network, visit thelightnetwork.tv. You can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com/roberthatfield. For more information about the North Charleston church of Christ, just go to northcharlestonchurchofchrist.com.
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Tomorrow, we’ll notice how being “all in” means that we will live by faith in Him. That’s next time on The New You.