“And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” ~ Luke 12:4-5
Fear of opposition of ridicule can weaken our witness for Christ. Often we cling to peace and comfort, even at the cost of our walk with God. Jesus reminds us here that we should fear God who controls eternal, not merely temporal, consequences. Don’t allow fear of a person or group to keep you from standing up for Christ.
I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
As Luke points out, Jesus is our friend and John says the exact same thing.
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. ~ John 15:14-15
As the old hymn written by Joseph Scriven in 1855 points out:
Jesus is our friend for all eternity….all we have to do is pray….
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
….and it goes on….
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer
James MacArthur says:
Just as Abraham was called the “friend of God” because he enjoyed extraordinary access to the mind of God through God’s revelation to him which he believed, so also those who follow Christ are privileged with extraordinary revelation through the Messiah and Son of God and, believing, become “friends” of God also. It was for His “friends” that the Lord laid down His life.
Jesus is our model for love. Intimacy with Him is the motive for loving as He loves. If believers obey His command to love, they enjoy the intimacy of His friendship. Note that friendship, unlike sonship, is not a once-for-all gift, but develops as the result of obeying Jesus’ command to love.
As long as you have Jesus is your friend, and love like Jesus loves, then no one can bully you into keeping silent about your faith. No one can stop you from STANDING UP FOR JESUS!!