Appreciating What Suffering Teaches – Part 13: Readings – 5
All the way from Syria to Rome I have been chained to a detachment of soldiers who have behaved like animals towards me. I tried giving them money, but the more I gave them the more roughly they treated me. Quite honestly, they are like a pack of leopards, enjoying their role as hunters, with me as their prey.
Well, that has some advantages. I may as well get used to “leopards” now—it will be lions, and real ones at that, when I get to Rome. So I can make some progress towards preparing myself spiritually and mentally for what lies ahead.
All I pray is that when the moment comes the lions will be quick about it. Some Christians have suffered torments because the animals have toyed with them. If my lions are like that, I shall antagonize them!
Forgive me for writing like this, but I do know what is best for me. No power, human or spiritual, must hinder my coming to Jesus Christ. So whether the way be fire, or crucifixion, or wild beasts in the arena, or the mangling of my whole body, I can bear it, provided I am assured it is the way to him.
And it is! All the riches and power in the world cannot compare with that. So far as I am concerned, to die in Jesus Christ is better than to be king of the whole wide world! Do not try to tempt me to stay here by offering me the world and its attractions. Just let me make my way upward to that pure and undiluted light For only when I get there will I truly be a man.
100 Days in the Arena, Ignatius of Antioch (c. A.D. 35-c. 107), David Winter, Harold Shaw, Day 37.
Sunday’s coming. Do you have your sermon ready? Is it relevant? Will it effectively motivate your congregation to walk more in step with the Master? What about that Sermon Series you’ve been thinking about?
Or, if you’re someone who plans well ahead, have you asked yourself what you will preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon?
David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help. We offer a wide variety of Sermon Starters and Full Sermons that will give you Sermon Ideas to help you prepare for regular Saturday or Sunday sermons, Mid-week Bible Sermons, and Sermons for special occasions.
We also offer assistance as you create Topical Sermons, Sermons Series, and sermons for special times of the year. We have resources available to help you with Advent Celebrations, Advent Sermons, Christmas Sermons, Easter Sunday Sermons, Patriotic Sermons, and more.
For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Just click here.