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The Cost of Christianity

The expression “to stick out” arose sometime during the 16th century. By the middle of the 18th century, a new idiom replaced this older phrase. Subsequently, “to stick out like a sore thumb” was conceived. In the context of Christianity, to stick out means to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, Matthew 5:13-16. However, when you take a stand spiritually, don’t expect a pat on the back or a round of applause.

Amid honor and dishonor; in defaming and evil report and in praise and good report. [We are branded] as deceivers (impostors), and [yet vindicated as] truthful and honest, 2 Corinthians 6:8.

Apparently, Roman persecution of Christians spread to ancient Greece. Based upon what the apostle Paul had experienced and seen, openly expressing and sharing your faith often faced consequences. Believers were confronted, demanded to stop talking about Jesus and if they continued many were arrested, beaten and died as a martyr. This was the cost of being a Christian in the first century.

[We are treated] as unknown and ignored [by the world], and [yet we are] well-known and recognized [by God and His people]; as dying, and yet here we are alive; as chastened by suffering and [yet] not killed; 2 Corinthians 6:9.

Yet, the apostle Paul was prophetic about how future people of faith would suffer. As if reading an account from a modern newspaper, Paul talks about being branded as an imposter, deceiving atheists. If you’re active on social media, then you’ve seen individuals of the faith community vilified as controversial, dangerous and extremists. Nonetheless, if you are sold out for Jesus, 1 Peter 3:15-16, this is the cost of Christianity.

by Jay Mankus

Operation Going Dark

Going dark is military lingo for the sudden termination of communication.  This decision is designed to prevent enemies from detecting chatter or revealing the location of a squad or unit.  While communication appears to have ceased, in reality contact has moved from a public channel to a private communication channel to avoid eavesdropping from opposition forces..

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life,” John 8:12.

While military operations have code names, physical operations focus on a specific part of the human body.  As for me, I will be having cataract surgery on my right eye to improve my vision.  Initially, I will be going dark, forced to stop writing until the healing process enables me.  Starting next Friday, this site may not post a blog every day.  I’m not sure what the future holds, but God willing daily devotions will resume in His time.

The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it], John 1:5.

The third example of going dark is the least pleasant option.  Whether through curiosity, disobedience or rebellion, some people will turn their back on God.  This decision blocks the light of truth, distorting right from wrong.  The longer individuals remain separated from God, going dark becomes a lifestyle not just a term.  May this blog serve as a warning to urge wanderers to turn back toward God’s light.

by Jay Mankus

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