I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). Could I be so foolish as to stand and proclaim my sacrifices and suffering for Jesus? I must declare there are no sacrifices. There are only benefits. Anything set aside for His sake is overshadowed by His abundance. In Peter’s second epistle, he wrote of a group of people who knew Christ and turned aside. It was so shocking to him that he quoted an old proverb, “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). Whatever risk I have taken, whatever safety I have refused is no sacrifice at all! I would not return.
We are blessed, congratulated, and in a fortunate place in the midst of persecution. Therefore, you and I should rejoice and be exceedingly glad. Jesus presents three fundamental reasons for this perspective. One is FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS. Persecution becomes a sign of my intimacy with Him. Any thought that “Jesus died for me and I get off scot free” is gone. I have the mind of Christ. I have joined Him in such oneness that the power of His life is sourcing me. Inevitably I will embrace His suffering as well. I cannot join Him in His life without joining Him in His death. Our self-sourcing desires to utilize all the provisions of Jesus without identifying with His nature, which sources the provisions. It cannot be! The health and wealth so-called gospel has been present in every generation. The core of sin, self-sourcing, generates it. His involvement in persecution and sacrifice to redeem the world will become mine. What a privilege to suffer for Jesus’ sake! I am a Jesus pusher!!!