Jesus: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12) Luke: “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” (Acts 5:41) Paul: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3–4) James: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:2–3)This is probably my biggest burden for this time in our history. If there is someone in your church clamoring for you to show them from the Bible how they have a right to carry a gun to save themselves and their family from suffering and death, by all means spend ten cents of your labor on that. And then spend a million dollars on this. You don’t need the Bible or the Holy Spirit to persuade human beings to protect themselves. But to bring into being a church of people who rejoice when they are treated unjustly — that is a miracle that you should give your whole life to. Nothing is harder. Nothing more amazing. Nothing more beautiful. Our Savior was beautified at that horrible mount! By: John Piper
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.
Did you know that almost six out of ten teens leave the church at some point? Nearly 60% of high school students who grow up going to church will close the doors to a Christian life. And usually, they don't come back (survey by the Barna Group). "Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold." Matthew 24:12