“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 5:10
I recently attended the memorial service of a man who was a long-time church member and leader. It was clear through the testimonies and comments shared by pastors and friends that he was an influential and successful lawyer, widely known for his unapologetic Christian integrity and character.
As his grown daughter recounted endearing memories of her loving father, she shared a question asked to her as a teenager by her dad that shaped the content of her own life: “If you were arrested and imprisoned, charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Would your friends be able to testify against you? Could you be found guilty beyond any reasonable doubt?”
The self-application began immediately. Is there undeniable evidence to convict me of being a Christian? Even for mature Christians there is value in such an evaluation. Sure, we have the knowledge that belief in Jesus Christ (faith) is life’s most important decision. We have accepted the gift of forgiveness of sins and redemption through Christ’s death and resurrection. But is our devotion to Christ evident to those around us?
I have never faced true persecution for my belief in Jesus. Compared to many Christians in the Bible and some modern-day believers, my biggest challenges are mere inconveniences. That said, I know the devil constantly challenges our faith, scheming and sneaking to find a crack to exploit. With God as my guide, may I be found faithful.