Privileged Suffering

For years, Scott and I have had the privilege of participating in speaking into others lives in regards to their marriages.  Our message is simple, God can and will resurrect marriages in the same way that Jesus was resurrected.  Don’t get me wrong, those aren’t the only words that we speak while teaching but it is the root of every lesson; I’m entirely too wordy to only say one sentence!  We entered into the very first Sunday School class we ever taught with the expectation that we would continue to teach as long as someone continued to show up.  There have been days that 2 couples attended, and other days when 30 couples have attended.  Over the years we have had the same determination … we will continue to teach whoever God places in our path.

Early on there was resistance; ridicule even; regarding us being equipped to teach a marriage class.  After all, weren’t we the ones who’s broken marriage was so catastrophic that it impacted everyone around us?  Yep, that was us.  The circumstances surrounding our destruction were extreme.  The healing and restoration that took place was also extreme – and it was possible ONLY because of God!  So, despite any opposition that may come our way, we will continue to proclaim the good news that in any area regardless of how stained with sin it may be, Jesus died on a Cross to remove every stain and blemish to make whole what was once broken.

When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Acts 5:33-42

“For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”  This exact scripture is why we have held the belief to continue to share our testimony.  If what we are doing is of God, then He will continue to equip us and provide opportunities to speak truth into the lives of others.  We pray often that if at any time we get off course and become selfish in our motivations that God will remove us from this position so that we do not cause harm to those around us.  When doing the work of God it can be intimidating and cloaked in fear.  But this is the thing, as long as we are in God’s will there is nothing that can be done to stop the forward momentum.  That is a truth that no man can take away.  At the same time, being in God’s will places you in a position to be persecuted.  Don’t be surprised if the nay-Sayers rise up to accuse you.  Don’ be caught off guard if there are people in your life who are not in support.  And; above all; do not be swayed from the mission God has called you to, but rejoice in the privilege of suffering for sharing the message of Christ!

Read Day 21 Devotion by Scott

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