"Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. But those people don't allow the teaching to go deep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit."
— Mark 4:16-17 NLT
So many of us can get excited about new things, especially new spiritual undertakings. Unfortunately, when the going gets tough, we tend to bog down and give up. Self-discipline has never been a commodity found in abundance. Those who are first responding to Jesus will find difficulty awaiting them. There is no way to avoid this. At the very least, these new believers will find themselves in a culture clash as the values of the Kingdom conflict with the values of the world around them. Often times, the world around new Christians pushes back. Sometimes it is overt persecution. Other times it is that incessant ridicule or condescension that gets to them. If Jesus faced a time of trial for 40 days after his baptism, we must know that new followers of Jesus will too. Persecution isn't an option for most believers! (See John 16:33!)
Give me strength, O heavenly Father, to withstand the ridicule, persecution, and opposition of others. Help me be an encouragement to new believers so they do not succumb to the same kinds of problems in their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matthew 5:10
- Romans 8:35-37
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.