Today’s readings: Job 42:1–17; Acts 16:16–24; John 12:20–26
“Don’t go looking for trouble.” That was advice my mother gave me numerous times as I headed out the door on a Friday or Saturday night. We do not have to go looking for trouble if the world knows we are Christians. Trouble will find us. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are going to worship, minding their business when a demon-possessed slave girl begins harassing them by announcing who they are. This goes on for days until Paul had enough and in Jesus’ name casts out the demon.
Trouble found Paul and Silas. The girl’s owners drag them before the magistrate. They are beaten and jailed. Two peaceful evangelists, who had committed no crime, are put in stocks designed to hold dangerous prisoners securely. Even so Christ is proclaimed and God is glorified.
While at present, it is unlikely that we would be beaten and jailed for our faith in America, we need to realize that persecution is possible. In Africa and the Middle-East it is reality. We need to be in prayer for those who suffer for the faith. We also need to be prepared in the event persecution happens to us so that we can, not only endure but, proclaim Christ.
Prayer: Lord God, grant us faith to live for you and be prepared for the possibility of being persecuted for Jesus’ sake; in his name we pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Carl Haynes, Pastor of Christiana Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.
Tomorrow’s readings: Job 28:1–28; Acts 16:25–40; John 12:27–36a