“For to you, it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake.”
Philippians 1:29 NKJV

Upon the new birth, we became followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1, Ephesians 5:1). We were not saved to live unto ourselves but unto Christ. Jesus Christ has become our Master, and our lives belong to Him. Our priorities have been radically changed and our lives must be guided by Christ. This is the concept of the Lordship of Christ. Salvation is a gift as much as it is a supernatural responsibility bestowed on us.

We must therefore know and prepare for the cost that comes with following our Master. From our opening text, we see that we have not only been called to eternal life with Christ but to also suffer for His sake. In Acts 5:40-42, the apostles were beaten for preaching the gospel. Their response to this was to rejoice. Jesus had already prepared their minds for this (Luke 10:10-11, Matthew 5:10-12, John 16:1-4).

Since Jesus is now our Lord and Master, every other thing must take second place. In our plans, pursuits and ambitions, He must come first. This means that there are some things that we won’t dabble into, or some things we must let go of. Some relationships would be affected when we give up our lives to follow Christ.

In Luke 14:26, the word “hate” does not mean to despise or to have a strong dislike for the people you love, but to prefer Christ over them. When you are at a crossroads and have to choose between them and Christ, Christ must be preferred.

We must therefore make up our minds to follow Him and preach His message, regardless of the opposition we may face. Always remember that there are people in your shoes, or even worse, who are still serving the Father. Yes, there will be oppositions, the journey is long and won’t be easy, but Christ has overcome for us (John 16:33).

Do not lose heart, and don’t lose your zeal for the things of God. Keep the fire burning and watch out for the things that will let it out. Never be ashamed to suffer for Christ.

We have rounded off our Bible Reading Plan for the year. If you are yet to finish, take the rest of the year to catch up. We are cheering you on!

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