Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.

Go with the Flow

Apr 12, 2024

I had a neat opportunity to speak at Disciple Now, a conference for middle- and high-school-aged students held at a church that I have spoken at before. My topic was “The Cost of Discipleship.”

Discussing Truth

As I was putting this talk together, I came up with some questions that I wanted to ask the youth. When I was a school teacher, I always encouraged discussion because I wanted to hear where the students were coming from. I wanted to see if they were correctly processing the information I was teaching them. Discussions are a great way to accomplish that. Also, you want to encourage young folks to participate, so they know that their opinions matter. How they form their opinions is very, very important.

We talked about the importance of having a biblical worldview, making sure that we know what our Bibles say so we can apply what we learn to our lives. It was a very encouraging group to speak with because these young people had a good handle on the Bible for their age. There were a fair number of homeschooled students there. Typically, homeschoolers are very good at knowing the Scriptures. The church that hosted the event also knows the importance of teaching the Word of God in their Sunday school classes. And the public school kids had a good grasp of the Scriptures as well.

But, in truth, the responsibility for teaching truth to kids should fall on the shoulders of parents. Do you want your kids to grow up to be mighty in the Scriptures? Then, make the Bible a big priority at home. As a matter of fact, make it the most important book in your household. Then you will have a great chance at raising some warriors for Jesus Christ!

What Comes Out of You?

Acts 18:24

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

One of the best compliments you can ever receive is that you are mighty in the Scriptures. You find out what people are “mighty” in when you meet and talk with them; it just seems to ooze out of them, whatever “it” is. But to be mighty in the Scriptures, you have to spend plenty of time studying them!

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The word study does not mean “read”; it means “to exert effort towards” or “a careful examination of” something. “Digging deep” would be a good way to look at it. We live in days that are loaded with false teaching everywhere we turn. You can find a false teacher with the click of a mouse. So, if you know how to rightly divide the Word of God, you will be both protecting yourself from false teachings and making sure you aren’t delivering false teachings when you speak.

Mighty in Truth

Apollos was an eloquent man. Remember that we learn things by practicing. I tell people all the time to practice, practice, practice. When it comes to public speaking, or having conversations in general, it takes a lot of practice. Any chance you have for either yourself or your kids to speak in front of a group, regardless of the size, is an opportunity they should have. The more comfortable they are speaking to a group, the more eloquent they will become in delivering truth to others.

Through the years of my life, whenever I meet young people who are mighty in the Scriptures, almost every time there are two parents behind them who love the Lord, love their Bibles, and have taught their children to love them, too. Thanks, moms, dads, and grandparents, for your faithfulness to your families through the years!

Go With the Flow

Sometimes, when I am asking questions of a group, I will ask a question in the opposite way. Since this talk was about “The Cost of Discipleship and Persecution,” I asked them, “What don’t you, or what wouldn’t you, get persecuted for?” Sometimes, when you ask a question of a group, a ton of hands pop up. Not this one! That is why it is a good question. They were going to have to use their brains to do some processing. But then, a very interesting answer came from one of the students. He said, “Go with the flow.” What a great answer from Simon.

If you don’t want to get persecuted, just go with the flow. Don’t raise your hand in class when the professor or another student says something unbiblical. Don’t say anything if some of your buddies are wasting their lives playing video games. Just let them keep on going. You wouldn’t want to lose a friend, would you?

One time, in a coffee shop, I asked some Christian college students, “If one of your friends started going out with a guy that you thought wasn’t good for them, would you say anything to them?” They spoke up immediately and said, “Yes.” They didn’t want one of them to get into a bad relationship that would pull them away from God. Those are good friends.

That is one of our major problems today: it is so easy to just go with the flow. We don’t want any pushback. We don’t want to lose friends. We don’t want to be mocked or laughed at. We are supposed to be in the world but not of the world. But, of course, it is much easier to be in the world and of the world. It just makes for a smoother existence during our time down here before we get to Heaven.

The only problem is that it isn’t biblical.

Are You Speaking Up?

Matthew 5:44

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

John 15:20

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Persecution is just part of the life of a believer. Sometime use a search engine to search out “persecution of Christians around the world.” You will be fascinated by what you find. In certain areas of the world, you will be persecuted just because you are a Christian. Very true in many Muslim-run countries.

But really, to be persecuted, you only have to do one thing: share your faith. Tell others about Jesus. Let people know that Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven. Rest assured, not everyone will love what you say. The persecution will soon follow.

2 Timothy 3:11,12

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.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

One question I ask believers is, “How is the persecution going in your life?” If they are having some, it is a good thing. If there is no persecution, then one of two things is happening: either God is giving you peace on all sides, which is a beautiful time in life, or you are not living godly for Christ Jesus. When you live godly for Christ Jesus, persecution becomes a regular part of the Christian life.

Please pray for those young folks. There are already a few of them who are doing mighty things for Jesus in their soul-winning efforts. I know God wants to use more of them in great ways as they become mighty in the Scriptures and as they begin to care about where people are going to spend eternity.

And, last question for you: “How is the persecution going in your life?”

Until the nets are full,

P.S. And don’t forget, great is your reward in Heaven when that persecution comes into your life! Live boldly for the Lord Jesus Christ, go for it, and don’t look back!!

P.P.S. Rodney, a friend of the ministry emailed me and said, “I would rather be hated for telling the truth than be loved for telling lies.” Rodney has figured it out. That is why he is on the streets, witnessing and handing out tracts. And great is his reward in Heaven!

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