Matthew 10:22 - Enduring To The End By Focusing On Christ!
Matthew 10:22 - Enduring To The End By Focusing On Christ!
Matthew 10:22 (NLT) And everyone will hate you because of your
allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.
A relationship with God is our only means of finding
fulfillment and satisfaction in life. But it isn't always easy. One of the
most frustrating aspects of that relationship is couched in Matthew
25:5: "The bridegroom was a long time in coming." The primary purpose
of this parable is to depict the return of Jesus, but the dynamic
of waiting applies to so much more. Abraham waited long years for
God to fulfill a promise. Joseph waited a lifetime for his dream to
become reality. The Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years before God
delivered them through Moses.
One of the keys of life with God, apparently, is waiting. We
can be encouraged by the fact that, according to Hebrews 6:12, it is
"through faith and patience" that we inherit God's promises. Delay is not
his denial of those promises. It's part of the process of fulfilling
them. [NIV Once A Day Bible re Mat. 25:5]
Endurance grows out of commitment to Jesus Christ. Jesus
predicted that his followers would be severely persecuted by those who
hated what he stood for. In the midst of terrible persecutions,
however, they could have hope, knowing that salvation was theirs. Times
of trial serve to sift true Christians from false or fair-weather
Christians. When you are pressured to give up and turn your back on Christ,
don't do it. Remember the benefits of standing firm, and continue to
live for Christ ... Standing firm to the end is not a way to be saved
but the evidence that a person is really committed to Jesus.
Persistence is not a means to earn salvation; it is the by-product of a
truly devoted life. [Life Application SB]
One of Jesus' favorite words was a Greek word often translated
"remain," "stay," or "abide." It describes a profound, intimate, and
enduring relationship. For example, Jesus used this word when he said,
"You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings"
(John 8:31). The idea is that our lives are fully formed by Jesus'
word. Jesus described how the Son is in the Father and the Father is
in the Son (John 14:10-11). Likewise, when we remain in Christ, the
Son is in us, and we are in the Father and the Son (John 17:21).
Both the Father and the Son come and make their home within us. This
mutual indwelling is precisely what it means to remain in Christ. We
cannot gain the permanence of our relationship by our own effort. This
relationship is only made permanent by the gracious initiative of God
indwelling our lives through his Spirit. This means commitment on the part
of both God and us. God's dwelling in us and our dwelling in God is
not a fleeting or temporary commitment but an enduring, permanent,
and eternal relationship (see 1 John 2:14, 17). [One Year NLT SB]
Enduring by Keeping Focused On Christ
Toddlers are notorious for their short attention spans. Older
children and especially adults, however, can fix their attention on
something for quite some time. Have you ever tried to pull a ten-year-old
away from a favorite video game? Or how about trying to pull an avid
sports fan away from the game of the week?
It is with this kind of absorption that the writer of Hebrews
says we should fix our attention on Jesus. Unlike video games and
sporting events, focusing our entire attention on Jesus can benefit us in
many ways, the most important of which is a deep relationship with
God. Refocus your eyes on Christ.
Jesus suffered tremendous humiliation, injustice, and
physical pain to do God's will (Hebrews 12:2-4). Strangers arrested him
for crimes he didn't commit, beat him, mocked him, and spat on him.
Friends deserted him. His heavenly Father left him to die alone. He died
slowly and painfully in the company of common thieves. He became an
offering for our sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). That is the price Jesus
paid to obey his heavenly Father.
The struggles you endure to follow Jesus are real. It takes
energy and commitment to say no to sinful desires, to do good deeds
that you don't want to do, and to discipline yourself to pray and
study God's Word on a regular basis.
When you feel discouraged in your Christian life, think of
Jesus and all he went through to do what God wanted. Then take heart
knowing that you can do what God requires of you by his strength and
grace. Stay focused on him. [The One Year Through the Bible Devotional
by Dave Veerman re Heb. 12:1-6]
As long as you focus on Me, you are safe. If you gaze too
long at the myriad problems around you, you will sink under the
weight of your burdens. When you start to sink, simply call out "Help
me, Jesus!" and I will lift you up.
The closer you live to Me, the safer you are. Circumstances
around you are undulating, and there are treacherous-looking waves in
the distance. Fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. By the
time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of
My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today's waves.
The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future!
Stay close to Me. (Phi. 4:7; Mat. 14:30; Heb. 12:2) [Jesus Calling by
Let Me prepare you for the day that stretches out before you.
I know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only
vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map showing all the
twists and turns of your Journey. You'd feel more prepared if you could
somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better
way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today: Spend
quality time with Me.
I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will
thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion
each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with Me,
whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus, you
can walk through this day with your focus on Me. My abiding Presence
is the best road map available. (Exo. 33:14; John 15:4-7) [Jesus
Calling by Sarah Young]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
SPECIAL VIDEO CLIP ON SEEKING GOD:
EXCELLENT BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES BY DR RON CLOUZET:
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series: