Pleasure, Peace, and Persecution

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Today, for many Christmas is associated with parties and festivities. It is a commercial goldmine, the annual focal point for merchants. It is also a time of lights, revelry, and family gatherings.

Yet how easily we can forget that, for Believers in the early years of the church, a decision to celebrate Jesus’ birth could cost their lives. This celebration announced to everyone that they were not just honoring His birth but were His followers, and that, regardless of what was popular, they believed in His teachings, death, and Resurrection.

This could be a dangerous commitment not just for first-century Believers, but also in the following centuries. We know, for example, how in 303 AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian marked the birth of Jesus by putting 20,000 Christians to death by fire.

Today, many Believers around the world experience various types of persecution. And just this past year, many have lost their lives. But this persecution also can be subtle. Some seek to silence Believers or keep us from sharing our testimony. We can be mocked and ridiculed for our faith.

During this season, as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, let your heart be filled with joy. But never forget that following Him is a lifelong commitment, something that involves every part of our lives. Remember that He came to die and that He calls us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him.

No matter what people around you might think, make sure that you focus on Him during the holiday season. May this be a time when you renew your commitment to let Him lead you as the Lord of your life.