Posted by: everynation | November 23, 2009

Suffering for Christ: Radical or Reasonable?

wsmleaderscircle.jpgby Steve Murrell

I had a cup of coffee this weekend with a friend who suffered in a Middle Eastern prison for six months. His crime: following Christ. Oh yea, and he led hundreds of Muslims to Christ in a nation where that is illegal.

He spoke of his suffering as a “gift” from God.

If someone gave me the “gift of suffering” I’d probably say, “no thanks, already have one” – or I’d re-gift it to that person who writes critical comments on my blog.

My friend never once complained about his suffering. To him, it was just part of following Jesus and carrying a cross – nothing radical, unusual or unexpected.

I’ve heard preachers challenge people to “make a RADICAL COMMITMENT” to Christ.

Why do we think the willingness to lay it all on the altar is RADICAL?

Real followers of Christ have offered their all as living sacrifices for thousands of years. The Bible presents this as the normal Christian life. But we call it radical, the turf of a few special chosen ones. For the rest of us, as long as we show up at church a couple of times a month and drop a dollar in the offering we think we’re in the game.

Here’s a one-sentence summary of my sermon yesterday at Victory-Fort:
IN VIEW OF ALL GOD DID FOR US, GIVING OUR ALL IS REASONABLE, NOT RADICAL.

“I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your REASONABLE service.” – Romans 12:1 (English Revised Version)

I want to challenge all of you to a reasonable commitment to Christ – which means everything all the time forever.

 

Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”

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Responses

  1. Indeed suffering for our faith is a blessed thing, although it may seem painful. Jesus suffered too in the hands of the people and what less can we carry if we’re sharing His name.

    I salute these heroes that died for their faith in Jesus. Their rewards are great in heaven.


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