FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS
Friday, 14 February 2020
Romans 15 : 1-13
“ ... 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me’.” -Romans 15:3
The Apostle Paul continues his thought from Romans 14 on bearing with our weak brethren in order to build them up. Jesus Christ is our supreme example in seeking not to please Himself but thinking of the good of others above Himself.
The above quote is from Psalm 69:9 pointing in advance to the insults our Lord Jesus faced hanging on the cross. The contempt or the insults that fell on Jesus, are the insults on HIM who appointed Jesus or who sent Christ to this world- God Himself. Jesus threw Himself between the sinner and God to intercept and save us.
Similarly, when Children of God are persecuted through insults and mocking – understand that the attack is against Jesus Himself. This is very clear from the heavenly voice that Saul heard when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians. Acts 9:4 “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? ” Saul (later Paul) was persecuting Christians in his time but Jesus took that persecution on Himself. Colossians 3:3 says, “For you died (sinful nature) and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” the persecutions against a believer whose life is hidden in Christ, actually falls on Christ Himself. When man injured and dishonored God with sin, Christ honored God the Father by subjecting Himself to the highest form of dishonor that a man can face, yet without sin.
When people around him ridiculed David (a type of Jesus), instead of retaliating in flesh for revenge, David chose to chastise his soul by putting on sack cloth and humbled himself before God. When Job’s wife insulted him with her statement, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9) – even at that humiliating moment, he did not lose his patience - but honored God. When we are persecuted, let us honour God through our reactions.
Paul says in Romans 15:7 to “accept one another, just as Christ accepted you.” By doing so we are honoring God. Despite the difficulties we have to suffer to accept others, it works out for their benefit- for the salvation of the unsaved or the building up of the weaker brethren. We will be blessed and will bring honour to God when we understand this principle. Let’s make every effort to live a life in obedience to the Word of God.
Therefore brethren, when we are persecuted with insults and mocking for the stand we have taken for Christ, let us understand that it first falls on Christ. We do not become overwhelmed in such situations as we have the example of Christ who bore such insults for our sake. He bore the cross and its shame so we could be saved. The example of Christ makes us want to bear such insults thinking of the ignorant people through whom they come- so that our forbearance will one day lead to their salvation.
Remember this: “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
Dear Lord, thank You for bearing insults and shame for my sake that led to the victory on the cross and ultimately my salvation. Help me to follow Your example in bearing shame and insult for Your sake that it may honour You. Amen.
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