Tag Archives: Steadfastness

How to Be Steadfast like John

March 19, 2014

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The beheading of John the Baptist - 1608 - Caravaggio (1573–1610)

The beheading of John the Baptist – 1608 – Caravaggio (1573–1610)

John the Baptist went to prison for telling Herod what he needed to hear. (Luke 3:19-20)

It is nothing new to see God’s word challenged in the government. Men have a terrible habit of letting power go to their heads.

Right now, we see laws based on morality changed or challenged every week. It is not hard to understand why: Allowing the country to slide further and further into an amoral atmosphere is exciting! We are liberated!

And … anyone that points out God’s way gets the same treatment as John. Maybe not physically, but certainly verbally.

The lesson for us to take away from the life of John is one of steadfastness in the face of outside challenges. We are not excused from teaching God’s word just because things are getting challenging.

Jesus praised John for his steadfastness. (Matthew 11:7-19) He did that to reassure us that it is definitely worth it to stick with God. In the end, we want Jesus to include us in that praise when he introduces us to the Father.

The key to growing steadfast is:

  • remain committed
  • show consistency when we apply God’s word
  • teach as many as are willing to hear.

Work hard now – the reward comes at the end.

But, Compared to what John went through – we don’t really have it that bad do we? We’ve got this!

Question: When was the last time you were beaten or thrown in jail for teaching what the Bible says?

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To Tell the Truth

January 21, 2014

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Solome with the head of John - Caravaggio (1573–1610)

Solome with the head of John – Caravaggio (1573–1610)

Previously, in How to Earn Jesus’ Praise, we thought about John the Baptist’s steadfastness in teaching the truth. In Matthew 14:1-12, we get to see how he carried that steadfastness to his death.

The marriage of Herod to Herodias was unlawful in a number of ways and the Jews detested him for it. According to Josephus and others:

  • He was already married
  • She was his brother’s wife
  • She was his niece

While the Jews in general did not have the courage to deal with the situation, John made no bones about it. He went to prison for telling Herod he was in an unlawful situation. (Matthew 14:3-4) The truth in John’s mind was more important than his personal safety. He took a risk in a situation where he had enough influence to try to correct it.

We are hearing more and more about the same type of situation in the news. Those willing to speak up against sinful laws and celebrated lifestyles are finding themselves threatened with financial ruin and endure personal hardships as a result. Some businesses have even made it a condition of employment to remain silent about certain sins.

The odds are becoming quite favorable that each one of us will have to decide how to act in this scenario. This will be the big test of our own steadfastness. Can you look into a coworker’s eye and tell him you cannot go “have drinks” with him because you believe drinking alcohol is a sin? If not, how would you respond to a larger threat?

Based on the Biblical examples, we do not have permission to opt out of teaching others about what is sinful. Like John, Pricilla and Aquila, (Romans 16:4) and all the apostles, we have to teach the full counsel of God.

Now is a good time to practice not being “a reed in the wind.” As Christians we need to become mature enough – to be courageous enough – to say something when we see sin.

What if we start small and practice on those close to us? Most often, those are the ones who are willing to accept correction given in a loving way.

Do you have a situation where you could begin practicing?

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