aussieholyspirit

Reaching out to Catholic/Christians Individuals/Families

Afraid of Persecution?

Are you Baptised and Confirmed in the Catholic Faith/Christian Faith?  Do you have a desire to proclaim the Joy of the Gospel?  Are there hurdles in your path?  Have you come across various types of persecution in your life and has this stopped you dead in your tracks?  Are you afraid or timid and you do not want to proceed any further? Well, don’t you know that you are failing in your duty as a Christian?  We follow Jesus Christ and He died for us.  We are all called to be like our Master.  We are all called to die for Christ, for our faith and for one another.

I will give you a few scripture quotes on persecution :

2 Timothy 3:12  “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Matthew 5:44. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Acts 14:21-22. “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

I would like to share something of Stephen’s Martyrdom : Acts 7:54-60; 8:3.

1.   What was Stephen doing that angered the Jewish Leaders.  He was spreading the Word of God, and the number of disciples increased greatly and even many priests accepted the Faith.  Some persons who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) from Cyrene, Alexandria, and others from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and argued with Stephen but they could not match his wisdom, so they bribed a few men to accuse him stating that he did blaspheme against Moses and against God.  They then stirred the people, the elders and the teachers of the Law and they brought him before the Sanhedrin.  He spoke in wisdom and in truth but they became angry.  V.55 “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into Heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, 56 “Look!” He said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they rushed upon him, seized him, took him outside the city and stoned him. 59″As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

I have noted the following :

1.    Stephen was chosen and he was prayed over by the Apostles.

2.    He was a man full of the Holy Spirit and he was filled with wisdom.

3.    God revealed Himself to him – When he was about to be seized by the angry men, he gazed into Heaven and he was favoured by God, for God revealed Himself to him. Stephen saw the Heavens open and he saw Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God.  What do you think the mood was in Heaven.  Jesus Christ was sad that Stephen (His man) was about to be stoned and killed.  So God showed Himself to Stephen so that Stephen would sleep happily.  God gave Stephen the grace to speak up for God and for Jesus Christ before the Sanhedrin with NO FEAR.  Stephen had a taste of Heaven before he entered Heaven.  In my earlier article I wrote that it is better to go to Heaven without any limbs rather than for our entire bodies to be thrown into hell.

4.     Stephen had the FAITH that Jesus Christ would receive him when he stands at the Gates of Heaven, when he prayed in verse 59, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

5.    HE FORGAVE THEM just like JESUS CHRIST did, when he said in a loud voice in verse 60, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

6.     When we speak up for Jesus Christ,  we are openly doing battle with Satan and his dark angels and Satan becomes our adversary and he will furiously fight us.

So, when we are for Christ and for His Kingdom, we must bravely admit to our ourselves that WE HAVE OPENLY BEGUN OUR BATTLE AGAINST SATAN AND HIS KINGDOM.

So, my dear Readers, do you think that life would be easy for us.  No, we would have to be constantly vigilant.  We must forgive those who harm us and if we have knowingly or unknowingly harmed any body, we must ask pardon.  Forgiveness is they Key to our own happiness.

NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST, WE MUST STAND READY WITH CHRIST JESUS AND PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD.

Ephesians 6:10-18.

10 Finally, be strong in The Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything. To stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteous in place. 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all The Lord’s people.

 

 

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January 22, 2015 - Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christianity, couples, Evangelisation, Faith in God, Faithful, Family, Jesus Christ, Love for God, married couples, Persecution, Presence of God, Singles, Suffering, Trust in God, Youth

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