A Real Witness makes Difference in Actions - 1 Peter 3:13-14
July 5, 2023, 9:53 AM

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."

When we have made the Lord the focus of our affection it changes how we live, which becomes a witness to others. The advice that Peter gives to slaves is true for all. For in doing what is right and good, people will give you respect more often than not. However, even if they do not, Jesus said you will be blessed if you suffer for doing what is right and good. It is better to be blessed at the hand of God than it is to be blessed at the hand of others. It is better to be harmed at the hand of others than to be harmed under the discipline of the Lord. Let Jesus be Lord over all your life and your actions.

In Philip Yancey’s article, he shared the story of an ex-prisoner named Basil. In 1962 he was publishing gospel tracts and had been witnessing and giving them away. The KGB in Russia arrested him and sent him to a labor camp. He was perplexed. Why would God punish him for serving Him? Then one morning he saw God had given him a new opportunity. Every morning before sun-up prisoners from the labor camp had to assemble in an open space for roll call. Camp commanders insisted on strict punctuality from them, but not from the guards. As a result, thousands of prisoners stood outdoors for several minutes each morning with nothing to do. Basil decided to preach daily to a captive audience. He had from 2 - 5 minutes before guards arrived. It may have taken him two weeks to deliver a sermon. Many Prisoners came to faith in Jesus Christ. He said, "Yet, there were many years when I had no encouragement. The words of Alex Leonovich from his broadcasts I carried in my heart and encouraged me when my hands were tied behind my back."

I also heard testimonies from persecuted Christians in Russia and wondered what right did I have going there teaching pastors who were willing to follow Jesus when He said to come and follow. Some gave up their jobs, their families, their rights to higher education, and their freedom and went to the worse prisons of USSR, because they knew Jesus was Lord of their lives. They witnessed there. They preached there. They prayed there. They longed to see a Bible. They passed secret messages. They gave away their food and took care of some of the sick. Basil's prayers, work, and witness were being realized. He lived out the Lordship of Jesus in action.

Application: Those are my heroes of the faith. Continue to pray for persecuted believers throughout the world who give of themselves to God and others whatever the cost.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that as any of Your body suffers, it touches all of Your body. Open doors for their testimony and encourage them through visible fruit.