Almighty God, You are the One who is Lord and Ruler of all. There is no one else like You!
Read Luke 21:5-19
 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,  “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”  “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”  He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.  When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”  Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.  “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  And so you will bear testimony to me.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  Everyone will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  Stand firm, and you will win life. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the purpose of Jesus’ warnings here (19)?
One thing is clear: Jesus knows that his followers will not have an easy time. Elsewhere Jesus warned that his followers would face opposition and hostility just as he did (John 15:18,19). Even today in some parts of the world, Christians face imprisonment and death. In others, they may find it difficult in education or getting jobs. For many it is more a question of facing ridicule and misunderstanding. One response is to keep a low profile. Too many Christians make little of their faith or even hide it. Paul would have none of that. He faced all sorts of things–2 Corinthians 11:22-33 has a list–but he never stopped telling others. Keeping our heads down is an attractive option, but it will not do us or others any good. Jesus wants us to be clear about who we are and where we stand. When opposition comes we know that God is with us and we can trust Jesus to help us know what to say. This is no excuse for not preparing when we have been asked to speak, rather it is an assurance that when someone attacks our faith we can look to God for a wise response.
Pray for Christians you know and Christians around the world who are actively persecuted for their faith.
Lord Jesus, You know what it means to be persecuted. I pray for Your followers who are in that situation today.
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