I watched the recent Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam. I’m uptight and conservative. I’m so far right I have come back up on the left, so I am probably biased. That plus my dad served over there.
Did you see the episode that showed some monks who protested by catching themselves on fire and burning to death in the middle of the town square so everyone could watch? They were committed to their cause and that makes me think about the commitment of the modern day church. I like what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10, “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering, and go all the way with Him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.”
I read that and like most “good Christians” I think, me too! But then I look around and I still have all my “stuff.” I still live in the 1958 Beaver Cleaver house, with two coffee pots, a two car garage and two dogs.
In 2nd Corinthians 11:25, Paul talks about all the things he suffered for Christ: Prison, shipwrecked, beat up and left for dead, cold, anxious and this doesn’t even include the time he was bitten by a snake. Hey, I killed a snake at the church building once, does that count? My point is where is all of this in my life, your life? And we say we, “follow” Christ? Follow Him where?
Right now the hardest thing I’m suffering with is trading in the Mini Cooper two years ago. Man, I miss that car! Okay, I can be shallow and superficial. But most of us consider Vacation Bible School a hardship, so I’m not alone on my weakness and perceptions.
Maybe I’m wrong, but Jesus loves me, He died for me, what am I doing for Him, how is He controlling my life?
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness … that we are children of God, and if children, … fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him (emphasis mine).” That’s my second point. No suffering equals no glory? Hmmm, that brings into question heirship? He asked me to ask you that.