Meditation is a devotional exercise leading to the contemplation of Biblical standards. Persecution, salvation, resurrection, and hypocrisy will be discussed below explicitly.
1. Persecution (Philippians 1:12-14)
Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Philippi while he was in prison. Because of his inability to visit the church as a result of his imprisonment, he decided to give them a progress report of the ministry. What is the letter? “I He said in his letter that what has happened to him is to have served to advance the gospel. This means that if Christians suffer, he or she suffers for the gospel. The joy was that of suffering, which could be in the form of hunger, violence, injustice, evil plots, isolation, and denial, eventually turning out to advance the cause of the Gospel, instead of hindering it. Paul’s reaction to his prison experiences and troubles is astounding.
The experience did not slow down his preaching assignment nor did he give in to regret dejection or complaints. The other brethren were encouraged to proclaim the word with more boldness and zeal. From its inception, the church has been faced with persecution. Jesus Christ was persecuted.
Friends, in the process of accomplishing a task, are you persecuted, ridiculed, mocked, misrepresented, and criticized? Are you denied, forsaken, called names (proud, pastor’s Bingo, etc) seeming fed up? Paul’s experience in prison was enough for him to ignore his service to Christ but he restored to keep his hope alive in Christ.
Amid those challenges, we are expected to keep our hopes alive with the assurance that the glory that shall be revealed at the end of the age will be more glorious than the present suffering.
2. Salvation (Luke 19:6-10)
Jesus was only about twenty-five kilometers (25km, i.e. 15 miles) away from Jerusalem where he performed the last of His public miracles – the healing of a blind man. As He continued His journey and went through Jericho, there was a rich chief tax collector named Zacchaeus.
He was a man of high status in his community. Every effort Zacchaeus made to see Jesus was unsuccessful because of his small stature and the crowd that followed Jesus. However, he did not relent; out of desperation, he devised another means as he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree along Jesus’ route.
The invitation to Zacchaeus was such that he could not resist. Immediately, Jesus commanded him, and he hurriedly came down from the tree and welcomed Him with great joy into his home. The people who had witnessed the event murmured to one another saying, “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!”
Ultimately, Zacchaeus’ action pleased Jesus. He declared, Salvation has come to this house today, for this man also, is a descendant of Abraham. Jesus chose to abide with Zacchaeus, a tax collector rather than a priest or Jewish leader.
His presence made a great difference in the life of the family of Zacchaeus. He saw Jesus as the true riches rather than his accumulated material things. This motivated him to willingly relinquish fourfold all he had wrongfully acquired. This was a radical change in the life of Zacchaeus.
Brethren, have you invited Jesus Christ into your life? Do you invite Him into your affairs at all? How often do you let Jesus about plans, objectives, and goals? How long have you invited Him to your home, business, profession, and career, academic?
What percentage does Jesus occupy in your life? That is the reason your home is always hot, your business is paralyzed, and your profession/career is lagging because Jesus is not there. He is always at your door knocking. Will you allow Him in?
3. Resurrection (Mathew 28:8-10)
Some time ago, I read an interesting and inspiring story from devotional material. It is said that the School of Divinity at the University of Chicago organizes an annual program called The Baptist Day.
The elderly preacher then calmly told the lecturer, “Neither have you tasted my Jesus.” In a moment, the crowd of listeners excitedly rose in praise of the elderly man’s wisdom
Friends, have you tasted Jesus? How is he, sweet or bitter? Jesus Christ appears to many Christians in many ways: Which way is yours, savior, provider, protector, keeper, redeemer, overcomer, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, giver, healer, deliverer, or everything?
If you cannot see the resurrection of Jesus more than historical disposition, you are yet to taste the authenticity of Him. The Apple the elderly preacher used as a symbol of Jesus Christ. The way you see Jesus Christ is the way He will work in your life. What do you think Jesus Christ is? Bless you!
4. Hypocrisy (Mathew 7: 1-6)
The Sermon on the Mount about the lifestyle of the citizens of the kingdom is all-inclusive. Jesus warned the disciples against judging other people in an arrogant and fault-finding way, especially as they too had their weaknesses.
He said to them that they should not judge others so that God will not judge them for God will judge them in the same way as they judge others, and he will apply to them the same rules they apply to others.” The exhortation to “first take the log out of your eye” was a necessary warning.
It emphasizes the importance of regularly evaluating our actions and motives before we can help our Christian brothers and sisters identify their deficiencies without hypocrisy. It is also an admonition to those who call attention to little faults in other people, whereas they are engaged in greater sins.
This meditation did not condemn divine, civil, and all forms of interpersonal judgment but it will be a good thing if we can first and foremost judge ourselves, our actions, and our attitudes before we pass judgment on others.
Brethren, do you judge people out of pride, criticism, and self-righteousness? Before you point fingers at the little faults of someone, do you examine yourself whether you are better?
Have you tried to evaluate your daily behaviors and whether they are acceptable to God and society? Think of your characters first, then help others in love. Bless you!