by Pastor Greg Laurie
The Faithful Follower
“But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)
Near the end of his life, the apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). A few sentences later, he referred to a man named Demas who had deserted him, “having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica . . .” (2 Timothy 4:10). When it got too hard for Demas, he quit. He didn't want to be a follower of Jesus if it required anything of him, if it cost him anything, and certainly if it meant he would suffer persecution.
Jesus spoke of the same dilemma in the Parable of the Sower, in which He compared the Word of God entering the hearts of men and women to a farmer who scatters seed. Jesus explained, “He who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matthew 13:20-21).
There are some who will abandon their Christian faith when trouble comes or persecution arises. They give up. They deny the Lord. One way people do this is by simply saying, “I don’t know Him.” But another way is to not confess your faith in Jesus Christ or to not speak up for Him when the opportunity arises. Do people know you’re a Christian? Do your coworkers know you’re a Christian? Do your family members know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? Are you speaking up for Him? I hope so.
Copyright © 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.