*Chapters posted will be made available on the Lisa & Eric page for one week. To purchase Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado, click here. All author royalties from the book will go towards building water wells in Uganda*
Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado
Persecution: Prepare for It; Resist It
The priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them.
To hear Max's take on this chapter, Click Here
You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(2 Timothy 3:11–12 nlt)
Father, you warn us that persecution is coming. Not to alarm us but to prepare us for what’s ahead—that we might endure and persevere. That these hard experiences would glorify you and benefit us. For that to happen, Lord, I need a reorientation of perspective and a change of focus. Help me see the world through your eyes by focusing on your son, remembering what he accomplished on the cross despite the persecution heaped on him. Whatever persecution I might suffer, Lord, let it bring you honor—and use it to help other followers of Jesus who will face their own persecution. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.
Questions for Discussion
1. How do you feel when you hear stories about heroic martyrs such as Necati or stories about horrible persecution around the world? In what ways does it put your own difficulties into perspective?
2. In societies with religious freedom, we may not experience persecution, but we may experience spiritual opposition from critics, accusers, family members, professors, classmates, co-workers, and others in our daily lives. As you read that list, does it remind you of a situation that led you to silence your beliefs?
3. How do you think Peter felt in John 18:15–18, 25–27? Have you ever failed to speak out in the face of pressure or persecution? On the other hand, when have you been like Peter before his accusers in Acts 4:5–13—ready to speak the truth boldly in the face of pressure or persecution?
4. What habits have you developed in order to spend time with Jesus so you can linger long and often in his presence? How could such habits help others realize you have been with him?
5. In what ways should spiritual disciplines develop boldness in a believer?
Ideas for Action
■ Pray for the persecuted church. Become more knowledgeable about church freedom in a country you already have a connection with, and pray for the believers there to be strong in their faith. Stay current on the news about the church in that country.
■ Rally your church to pray for persecuted believers by setting up a special prayer vigil or by participating in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Consider buying a large world map for your home or church and having family or church members write prayers on Post-it notes and place them on the appropriate country.
“Reprinted by permission. Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado, 2010, copyright date, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.”