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February 21 | Matthew 10:16-31


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


From the Rooftops!

by Mary Kate Hipp

The Word tells us that persecution for His name is inevitable (v. 16-25). How comforting. We will expect discomfort/trials/death/torture all for the sake of someone we have never touched? Yes.


The Gospel of Jesus Christ is dangerous and uncomfortable for the world; it steps on our toes, our idols, our plans, and our natural state of being. But to those who accept and receive the Gospel, it sets us free, clothes us with undeserved righteousness, launches us into a relationship with the One True King, gives us hope for the future, lavishes us with love...the list goes on! How will/do you respond to this Good News? This life-altering, weep-worthy News? For many of the church fathers, it was to be a martyr. In fact, the greatest mark of a Christian in the early church was to be a martyr--it was anticipated and expected.


Now, I am not implying that you go out and become a martyr, in fact, most of us in America will never be put in a situation to do so. However, I am earnestly imploring you to have the faith and conviction of the martyrs. Proclaim it from the rooftops that Christ is your Lord! Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Proclaim how He loves His little children! You need not be the most eloquent speaker, or have a theology degree, or be perfect and put together in your faith. You will be given what to say at the hour you will proclaim--after all, the proclamation has nothing to do with YOU and all to do with GOD (v.19-20)!


I recently read this prolific testimony of a martyr moments before his execution. This individual had heard the Gospel a mere day before his execution. His response to the Gospel was so powerful that he could not help but proclaim it from the rooftops.


"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power.

The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, and am uplifted by prayer and labor by power.

My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road is narrow. My way rough. My companions few. My guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give ’til I drop, preach 'til all know, and work 'til He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear!"


How will you respond to the Gospel of Christ? Do you need to surrender to the Lord? Will you store up this GOOD news in your head or your heart? Will you proclaim His goodness from the rooftops? From your cubicle? From the aisles of Target? To your children and/or grandchildren? On your social media?


PRAYER

God,

We receive your Gospel. May we surrender our pride and ourselves to you that we might boldly proclaim this news from the rooftops. Send Your Spirit that we might proclaim the Good News and reflect only Your goodness today. We love you.

Amen.






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