The Crown of Life
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled? And Jesus, answering them, began to say: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you…’” Mark 13:4
James’ question in our scripture today led Jesus into His eschatological (end-time) expositions. James and the other disciples could not comprehend that the magnificence and grandeur of the temple they were looking at cannot compare to the kingdom of eternal life of which Jesus was alluding. And when Jesus told them that neither the stones of the temple nor the surrounding magnificence of Jerusalem will remain when the end time comes (Mark 13:1-2), they sought to know the signs. Among the signs he enumerated, Jesus warned: “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. And you will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake…” (Mark 13:9). James witnessed the persecution of the early church.
The road to a glorious destiny is tortuous. Apostle James was martyred by the sword. But it’s quite instructive for us that he kept the faith like a legion of the saints departed. It’s instructive, especially for Christians in some countries where Christianity is witnessing serious persecution today. The fate of many churches and missionaries hang on the balance because of the activities of persecutors like the Boko Haram and similar sects. Therefore, you and I, every Christian is called upon today to reflect on the tension under which missionaries live in troubled zones today; particularly in the Muslim society. The church needs the intercession of the saints; that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church in this era. Missions and missionaries need our support spiritually and materially. Sainthood is about ultimate commitment in the service of God. How can you be of service to missionaries in the embattled areas? Service to God is glorious.
Liberation Thought: The road to a glorious destiny is tortuous but the end is fulfilling.
Further Reading: Acts 7: 54-60.
I pray for all Christian churches all over the world, particularly those in the northern part of Nigeria; that the Lord will deliver His church in this era of persecution.
O Lord let me overcome in the days of adversity and persecution in Jesus name
In the last day let me not lose the crown of life