Preparing to Suffer for Jesus

Acts 21:1-14

The story of Mariem Ibrahim has been making headlines this week. She’s the Sudanese lady sentenced to die by hanging because of her refusal to renounce Christ. Thankfully, her story is gaining the attention of others around the world. She is a physician, married to a Christian man from South Sudan who is also a naturalized US citizen. This past Tuesday, Mrs. Ibrahim gave birth to a baby girl, their second child. Both children are in the prison with their mother. The judge said he would show mercy and wait until the baby is weaned before Mariem is executed, but she is to be beaten with 100 lashes sometime in the near future for having relations with a non-Muslim (her husband!). Mrs. Ibrahim told her husband that she would rather die than disown Christ.

It’s hard to read about Mariem Ibrahim without wondering, “Would I be willing to do that? Would I be ready to suffer, even die, for the cause of Christ and His gospel?” What if this lady condemned to die were your daughter or sister or wife? Would you still consider the gospel of more value than life itself?

In our passage for this Sunday, Acts 21:1-14, the Apostle Paul said, “For I am read not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” What motivates a Christian to say that? How do we prepare for suffering the cause of Christ? Join Pastor Larry McCall as we think about this issue. We don’t know what lies down the path of God’s providence for our lives, but we can be prepared to suffer.