November 26

Today's Bible Reading
     I Chronicles 22
     I Peter 3
     Micah 1
     Luke 10
''Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;''
(I Peter 3:8)
            The epistles of I and II Peter could be called ''Faith Under Fire." Peter is writing to the Christians of his day who are undergoing severe persecution. They were learning that to be a Christian did not make one immune to suffering and difficulty. In fact, our world today is becoming more and more alien to Christians all the time.
            The battle is for the mind, and humanism is winning that batt le in many circles.  That is true even in the churches and among Christians. In our memory verse, Peter is exhorting us to consider our thoughts. He says, ''Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one of another." When he speaks of ''being of one mind'', that does not necessarily mean that we are to agree on everything; however, our thought patterns must be in unison. We are to think consistently, compassionately, courteously, and condescendingly.
            He is talking about the kind of humility that brought Jesus from Heaven's golden streets to walk this earth, the hell
itself to Him, and to give Himself in agony and pain on the Cross. This is condescension, when God takes on human flesh and dwells among men. God calls on the Christian to get off his soapbox and status symbol, and to condescend to be like Jesus. You can count on it. The persecution will come. You will experience difficulty. The question is not ''if', but ''when.''
            When you stand up for Jesus in today 's world, the crowd will give you a thumb's down; the Hollywood fat cats will
give you a thumb's down; some governmental Nero will give you a thumb 's down; the crowds where the Christian serves God will give you a thumb's down; but stay close to Jesus, stay in the Word, stay on your knees, get a word from God, obey it, and look up. There will be a nail-scarred hand in Heaven giving you a thumb's up. Do it for Jesus' sake, and not because of somebody else.
            Peter is indeed talking about faith under fire, and how you can have victory in the valley. What Peter is talking about here is the triumph of the Lordship of Christ, the triumph of knowing Jesus, His Prophet, His Priest, and His Potentate 
                    Are we dreaming impossible dreams?
                    Are we fighting unbeatable foes?
                    Are we bearing an unbearable sorrow?
                    No, we will run where the brave dare not go,
                    We are willing to march into Hell for Christ's heavenly cause
                 We will reach the unreachable ''star."
            What is the star? It is the last, unsaved soul in the most remote, most difficult place to reach on this earth that will someday be brought into the Kingdom of God. Then, the voice of the Archangel will be heard, and the trump of God will be heard, and He shall come for His saints.  Then, it will be worth it all!
            Some people are in fiery trials, some are in valleys of despair, some in the front trenches of spiritual conflict, but we will win because Jesus has already won!
Many of the nations of the world have large segments of the population that is scattered throughout the world, and are often neglected in the outreach of the Gospel.  An example of this is from the very poor country Haiti. Refugees have fled by boat by the thousands to the U.S., Cuba, Bahamas, and elsewhere. Because they are so deeply in poverty and destitute, their need has made them spiritually receptive. A number of missions have sought to minister to them in various places. There are large communities of these refugees as far north as Canada.  This is a group from many countries that must not be neglected.
''Many are called, few are chosen. Many are cold, and a few are frozen."