Context: the Story we find ourselves in.
We have received the baton of faith from many people of good faith who have come ahead of us. We are standing on the faith shoulders of some we know and many we don’t.
I love history. My family has had more than one instance of dragging me out of a museum.
Two days ago, a friend told me he’d done some research that revealed his grandfather six times removed may have owned the house where British Commander Cornwallis signed the surrender papers that ended the Revolutionary War.
That’s great stuff!
I want to know how people in the past navigated faith and life with hope, courage, and resilience. So, I found this interesting from one of the daily sources I monitor, “Today in Christian History”:
January 25, 98: Upon the sudden death of Emperor Nerva, Trajan takes the throne. In 110, he asked Pliny the Younger to investigate a new superstition, “Christianity.” Pliny’s report of a relatively harmless though widespread cult led to moderate persecution—and the first recognition that Christians were distinct from Jews (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).
That last phrase caught my attention: “the first recognition that Christians were distinct from Jews.” That reminds me of Acts 11:26: “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
I want my life with and for Christ to stand out in the best of ways, in the right way. It ought to be our goal that our confidence in Christ, our obedience, and our acts of love reflect back on our Father and bring him honor. See Matthew 5.
I pray that my Christlife and yours would be “widespread,” touching every part of our lives with the presence and power of his Spirit. That nothing about us or our connections to our ministry and this world would not be infused with his goodness.
I pray that in no way would we be seen as “relatively harmless” but, instead, “turning the world upside down” for his Kingdom (Acts 17:6). Actually, that should be “turning the world right-side up.”
God, may we know you personally and intimately so that we walk with you obviously and serve you boldly today and every day!