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Scripture Reference: Gospel of John 12: 1-7, Matthew 26: 6-13, Mark 14: 3-9
Discussion Point 6: “Jesus paired the gospel with a relationship of love that expresses itself in loving service.” – Elisa Morgan, page 37
Mary of Bethany took action to display her love for Jesus, and she was criticized as a result. Criticism did not hinder her actions. When people see you, do they see your love for and humble submission to Jesus? Is your love for him evident in your daily life? If the answers to both questions are, “Yes,” then what reaction can you expect from human beings as a result? When Mary of Bethany chose an expensive offering, Judas criticized. I sometimes hear people take pride in themselves when someone else “talks about” them as a result of their Christian beliefs. Criticism leaves us hurt, but criticism is not true persecution.
Putting it all in Prospective
We are protected by the laws of this country, and are free to worship whatever and however we choose. On rare occasions, we hear stories of Americans standing for the sake of Christ, and suffering real persecution in this country. I recall several years ago when there seemed to be a rampage of shootings at local grade schools. During one incident, a shooter asked the kids to stand up if they loved Jesus. One little boy stood up and was shot to death. It took courage for him to stand, and now he is standing arm-in-arm with the martyrs who have died all across the world.
Our Christian brethren stand in China and face persecution on a daily basis. On American soil, we may only be subjected to embarrassment or criticism for our Christian beliefs.
Do we allow the possibility of embarrassment or criticism to prevent us from taking a stand? Does it prevent us from giving God our all, or prevent us from giving him our best?
2 thoughts on “Natasha’s Study: SDWSC Chapter 6”
My how I love receiving confirmations…
I’m reading George G. Hunter III book entitled, “The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again” in preparation for a seminar for school.
The following passages stood out to me:
“What had Patrick and his people achieved in his twenty-eight year mission to the “barbarian” Irish Celts? The question cannot be answered with mathematical precision, but estimates are possible. We believe there were some Christians, perhaps Christian slaves or traders and their families, already living in Ireland by A.D. 432, but there was no indigenous Irish Christian movement before Patrick. Patrick and his people launched a movement. They baptized “many thousands” of people, probably tens of thousands. Tirechan refers, usually by name, to at least fifty-five churches that Patrick’s team planted essentially in the one province of Connacht. The tradition has Patrick engaging in substantial ministry in northern, central, and eastern Ireland, with some forays beyond. An ancient document called the “Annals of he Four Masters” reports that Patrick’s mission planted about 700 churches, and that Patrick ordained perhaps 1000 priests. Within his lifetimes, 30 to 40 (or more) of Ireland’s 1500 tribes became substantially Christian…
One would naturally assume that the British Church, which had ordained Patrick a bishop and sent him to Ireland, would continue to affirm his mission and celebrate its achievements. This was far from the case. The generation of British bishops who succeeded the bishops who originally sent Patrick did not “own” their predecessor’s appointment. Some of them, perhaps most, criticized him savagely. This criticism stung Patrick, and aroused him to write the “Declaration” that defended his ministry.
What was the “beef” of the British Church leaders” They seem to have defined two roles (only) for a bishop: administrator and chaplain. Therefore, a bishop’s primary (perhaps only) expectations were to administer the existing churches and care for faithful Christians. (A local priest’s job description was similar, stressing pastoral care of the local flock.) So the British leaders were offended and angered that Patrick was spending priority time with “pagans,” “sinners,” and “barbarians.”
See what one person with a vision can do for the Kingdom of God? My brothers and sisters, take an extravagant stand!