Open Heavens 27 June 2018: The Price Of Being A Standard — Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – 2 Timothy 4:16
Read: 2 Timothy 4:14-18, 2 Timothy 3:10-14 (KJV)
2 Timothy 4:14-18:
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 3:10-14:
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 11-12, Acts 18:1-23
Every Christian is expected to be a standard for people around to emulate. Standing out for God as a standard has a price tag attached to it. The price of being God’s standard is comprised mainly of antagonism, loneliness and persecution. In John 16:2, our Lord Jesus Christ prepared our minds for what we should expect if we would be His standard in this world, saying:
“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
We live in times when these words are being fulfilled right before our very eyes.
To live as God’s standard in this world, you have to be ready to walk on the cold road of loneliness sometimes. God’s standards we celebrate today, such as Elijah and Apostle Paul, all faced this reality (1 Kings 19:14, 2 Timothy 4:16). When you choose not to follow a multitude to sin, they will confront and antagonise you because you are different. When they discover that they cannot win you over to their side, they will sideline and isolate you. You must be willing to pay this price to avoid the contamination of the world. Always have at the back of your mind that the Christian race you are called to is an individual race that can be lonely. However, be assured that the Lord will be with you always, and so you are never alone. He stood by Paul in his moments of loneliness and He also strengthened Elijah in his time of despair (2 Timothy 4:17, Acts 27:23-25). You can be sure that what He did for them, He will do for you also.
To live as God’s standard in this generation, you must prepare your mind for it. The secret of not conforming to the standards of this world lies in the continuous renewing of your mind with the word of God. The Holy Spirit revealed this to us in Romans 12:2, where He said:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The reason is that what is in your mind determines what you would become and the nature of life you would live in this world. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood out for God and they became standards and reference point in the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires. Although they suffered a great deal, their sufferings yielded extraordinary promotions (Daniel 3:30, Daniel 6:26-28). Anyone who wants to be a standard of godliness must be ready to suffer all sorts of evil from the enemies of the cross. The good news is that Jesus Christ promised He is with us till the end of the world (Matthew 28:20b).
Prayer Point: Father, please grant me grace to stand firm as Your standard in this crooked generation.