Jesus always chose suffering rather than to disobey God.

I have been asking the Lord to take me deeper (Philippians 3:10) into the fellowship of His sufferings but of course I can’t share His sufferings unless I know Him progressively in the power of His resurrection.  If I don’t share His sufferings I will not be conformed/transformed into the likeness of His death.  When I pray, am I deeply moved and led to grieve over the sin all around me in this world or do I just judge and condemn the sinners?  Where will my prayer for the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10) take me and what will it mean in my life?  (Oswald Chambers) “Sin is a fact, not a defect, it is red-handed mutiny against God.  Jesus was a Man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) and acquainted with grief because of sin.  Sin explains why Jesus came and why there is grief and sorrow in life.  The climax of sin was that it crucified Jesus Christ.  What was true in the history of God on earth will be true in your history and mine.  If sin rules in me the life of God in me will be killed.  If God rules in me, sin in me will be killed.  You must reconcile yourself to the fact of sin or it will catch you around the next corner and you will compromise with it.”  We must be alert because we cannot trust our human nature.  We must depend fully on Jesus.  Our God-given desires will receive God-given answers when the Lord sees that we are ready for them.  (Dr. Stanley) “Prayer plus purity releases God’s power”.

Something awesome grips me as I remember that hell was prepared (Matthew 25:41) for the devil and his angels.  Consider with me:  Jesus paid so fully, so totally, so completely for the sin of the world that only the devil, demons, the antichrist and the false prophet (Revelation 20:10) would have to inhabit the Lake of Fire where there is no end to the torment and no escape.

Yet millions of humans, who were created in the image of God and by their own choice reject Jesus Christ the only Saviour, will experience a future of unending torment and unfading memories of lost opportunities in that Lake of Fire.  To be there they would have had to trample underfoot the incredible love and grace of God and the precious, priceless shed Blood of Jesus.  This causes God’s heart to be filled with grief.  There is no sorrow like His sorrow.  By the enabling power and guidance of the Holy Spirit I can pray for the foolish moths of the night who flit about in darkness and refuse to come into the light but dance closer and closer to the flame.  In the fellowship of His suffering, which will give me the greatest pain - - the eternal torment of the willful Christ rejectors – or – the supreme worthiness of the Lamb and the intensely agonizing cost paid willingly by the Lamb of God to prevent anyone from going there?  I am compellingly drawn by the broken heart of God, that humans He created, the work of His own hands, would reject His beloved only Son and by their rejection choose eternal hell.

I want to share deeply with Jesus in His suffering and experience increasing loving, intimate fellowship with Him in the things that matter to Him.  I want to be so completely one with Jesus that He will be the Source of everything I think, say and do.

Our society has become so tolerant that we go out of our way not to offend anyone about anything.  This is not the Christian way.  In the Bible we read (Romans 9:33, Galatians 5:11, 1 Peter 2:8) of a Stone of Stumbling, the offence of the Cross and the Rock of offence.  If I tolerate everything and accept anything, I will be a spineless wimp who stands for nothing.  If we hear anyone speak falsely about God’s Word, we must politely speak TRUTH and defend the holy Scriptures.  If we can’t even speak God’s Truth against mere words what will we do if the time comes when we will be threatened with torture or death if we refuse to deny our Lord and Saviour?  I know that in myself I am cowardly but I want the worthiness of the Lamb to so invade all of me and my love for Jesus to be supreme over all my emotions and that they will never falter but will eclipse fear, danger and pain.  That cannot happen suddenly at a perilous time.  We must be steadfast in loyalty to Jesus now, always and in everything from the smallest detail to whatever comes.  We read that a time is coming when things will be brought to a crises and sin will increase.  It seems almost a description of what we are seeing in the world at the present time.  Lord, You have taught me from my youth and now (Psalms 71:9, Psalms 71:18) I am old, my strength is spent and my powers fail.  Keep me alive until I have fulfilled your purpose for this generation even though (Philippians 1:21) to die is gain.  It will be much less gain if I have not fulfilled Your purpose.

I want to learn more, mature more and every day be more like Jesus.  I want to be a clean and undistorted mirror (2 Corinthians 3:18) reflecting my Saviour, Master, Lord, God and King.  I want to so share with Jesus in the fellowship of His suffering that I will truly grieve over the things that grieve Him.  To be conformable to His death is to die to everything except that which pleases and honours God.

(Oswald Chambers) “Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness.  We are not to ask that sorrow and difficulty be prevented, but that we will receive the self God created us to be through the fires of sorrow.  Suffering either gives me my true self or destroys myself.  In the fires of sorrow God will make us broken bread and poured out wine to nourish others.”  Someone has wisely and helpfully said that when we repent we cannot turn back the clock but we can certainly wind it up to start again.  Just a few minutes ago the Holy Spirit put the following sentence into my mind.  “To experience the fellowship of His suffering is to do what Jesus always did and that is to choose suffering rather than to disobey God.”  We are not to be self-made martyrs.  No spiritually healthy Christian chooses suffering but loyalty to Jesus must be our top priority in everything.  If our circumstances are fearful and our conditions are dangerous, we have the assurance of God’s promise (Thessalonians 3:16) that He will give us His kingdom peace in all ways, at all times, in every circumstance and condition, whatever comes.  Never forget that all the spiritual riches and holy privileges we have are because of the Atonement of Jesus on the Cross.  If we had not heard Jesus say (John 19:30) IT IS FINISHED, we would never hear God say (Revelation 21:5) BEHOLD! I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.