Thursday, March 17, 2016

For Me

Sidewalk Prophets' "To Live Is Christ" has got to be a favorite of mine! It is my prayer.
"If I rise, let me rise on you
Not on all of my successes, my sting or my pursuits
If I lose, let me lose my life
'Cause if I belong to Jesus, the flesh is crucified

For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain

If I grow, let me grow in You
whilt the seeds of wanting more
ripped and pried out by the roots
and if I'm still, let me hear You speak
Not the tone of my transgressions,
but the song of the Redeemed

For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain

For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain

My great desire is to be with You
But this is the place you chose for me
this is the place you chose for me
to lift my cross and give everything
this is the time you gave to me
this is the time you gave to me

For me to live is Christ, For me to live is Christ
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain
I'll never be the same, I'll never be the same
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain"

This song, based on Philippians 1:21, has impacted my life in a way that I will attempt to explain...

For ME to live is Christ and to die is gain.

And that means counting EVERYTHING as rubbish, compared to the greatness of knowing Jesus.


I hope that this isn't taken the wrong way... 
If and when the time comes to choose between Jesus and family, Jesus makes it clear that our relationship with Him should make our relationship with our family look like hate.

I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home, but not everyone has the same background. Not everyone's parents look favorably on their children who have committed faith in Jesus Christ. 
We are to put our relationship with Him above other relationships. No matter what happens. Whatever the cost. 

Matthew 10:37
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
We have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, who are suffering for Jesus' sake. 

Sons are having all hopes of an education taken from them. Daughters are either being locked up in their rooms or chased from their homes. Husbands are beating their wives for converting. Wives are turning in their husbands. All for being a follower of Jesus Christ - the same Jesus that I follow.

Yet here in the US, I am not suffering like them. Yes, I'm being persecuted. Verbally. But I am most certainly not getting beaten on a daily basis, or locked in my room for weeks on end. The most persecution I experience in a normal day is a couple of comments from an unbelieving coworker - poking fun at Jesus, and Christians, or maybe a dirty look from a customer.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the freedom that comes with life in the United States. I enjoy getting to openly study my Bible in the mall without fear of arrest.
But I am inspired by the fact that my brothers and sisters in the Middle East are standing strong under intense persecution, and I pray that one day, when America is no longer the free country I've always known it to be, I would continue to be a witness to Jesus' love. Whatever the cost.

The symbol below is the Arabic letter "n." It is meant as an identification for Christian-owned property. 
"Christians live here." ISIS has begun spray-painting this symbol on the houses of Christians, as a powerful accusation that the occupants are "Nazarenes."


I will not let them suffer in silence. I will not let them serve alone.

Hebrews 13:3
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” 

The worst they can do is kill us. What of it? Death is gain. I'll spend eternity with Jesus.

Matthew 10:28
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Hebrews 13:6
“So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"”

There, I did my best to explain to you, dear reader, what my thoughts are right now, and how I feel about this song. All of this has just been welling up in my heart these past weeks since I first heard that song, and now you know (if all of that even made sense to you).
I am n. Are you?
-Elizabeth

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting, Elizabeth!

    I've been recently been pondering similar things recently. I've just finished reading "Heavenly Man", which is a book about a Chinese pastor/preacher who was persecuted in China just for being Christian, and was jailed and tortured 4 times for the sake of Christ. It's a really good book--you should read it!

    It's amazing (or at least, to me) how much people are willing to suffer for the sake of Christ!

    Also, I LOVE the new blog look!
    rockandminerals4him.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I've actually already read Heavenly Man... Twice! My church's ladies book club did it a couple years ago, and it's left me amazed.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. This is beautiful. Love it. Well done!

    ReplyDelete

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