TEXT: MATTHEW 10:16-33.
🔑KEY VERSE “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell” (MATTHEW 10:28)

A study reported that eleven Christians die every day worldwide for their uncompromising decision to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. According to the in-depth investigative research documented in Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List, these principled believers experience intense persecution before passing on to their Redeemer in heaven. The report ranks “ten most dangerous places where saying ‘yes’ to following Jesus is truly a life-or-death decision.” There are altogether fifty such nations where there is communal and official hostility to true biblical Christianity.

Has that stopped the spread of the gospel of our Lord Jesus? Has it held back new converts? Has it prevented believers from open evangelism?

It cannot because ….

sincere followers know the infallible teachings of the Master with regard to martyrdom.

The case of the hunted and pestered Christian is akin to what Moses beheld in the desert of Horeb: the fire burned in the bush but the bush was not consumed. Later, the early Church under the apostles in Jerusalem flourished despite unmitigated oppression resulting in beatings, denial of rights, imprisonment and death.

Today’s Christians cannot escape similar hostilities as predicted by our Lord. His word will always come to pass. But as we must “through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God,” so are we to enjoy the commendation of Christ before His Father in heaven. As we confess Him before men through holy living, winning souls and focus on heaven, we must not tremble at threats of death. Instead, we mock death and those threatening us.

✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY The true believer mocks death when his faith is threatened with the sword.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: NUMBERS 33-34.

MEDITATION

Antidote against fear

  1. Threats that causes fear
    a. Hostile and unfriendly neighbours v16.
    b. Threats of physical assault v17.
    c. Harassment from authorities and powers that be v18.
    d. Betrayal by relations and confidants vv22,23.
    e. Strife of tongues of the adversaries v25.
    Q What are the things that terrify you and make you fearful?
    Lord teach me to put my faith in your word that dispels all my fears and doubts
    Lord, I reject and bound all the spirits of fear threatening my soul
  2. Truth that cancels fear
    a. Jesus said “fear not” and that is enough v26.
    b. Truth is opposed to fear. Stand upon the revealed truth and it will be eternally rewarded v26.
    c. It is eternally fearful to face the angry God because of the fear of man’s anger v28.
    d. Nothing negative can happen to a true child of God without God’s consent vv29,30.
    e. The soul and all the human parts of a believer are too precious to God like the apple of His eye than to allow the wicked to touch him as if his God is dead vv30,31.
    Lord, I praise you because I am precious to you even though it is all by your grace
    Lord, I ask that you deliver all members that are being enslaved by the spirit of fear and give them the Spirit of faith

HYMN Faith of our fathers

  1. Faith of our fathers, living still
    In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
    O how our hearts beat high with joy
    Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
    Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
    We will be true to thee till death!
    2
    Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
    Were still in heart and conscience free;
    And blest would be their children’s fate,
    If they, like them should die for thee:
    Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
    We will be true to thee till death!
    3
    Faith of our fathers, we will strive
    To win all nations unto thee;
    And through the truth that comes from God
    Mankind shall then indeed be free.
    Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
    We will be true to thee till death!
    4
    Faith of our fathers, we will love
    Both friend and foe in all our strife,
    And preach thee, too, as love knows how
    By kindly words and virtuous life.
    Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
    We will be true to thee till death!