Why would anyone want to become a Christian during these first three centuries? Persecution was fierce and universal. Yes, it has been so since the very early days of the Church of Jesus Christ, and we need to be informed as to how it is spreading rapidly today. The book of Acts tells us how serious fierce opposition has been since men and women were born again.

In the beginning, there was nowhere to hide, and there was no social benefit whatsoever in being disciples of Jesus Christ.

These early disciples enjoyed and appreciated communion with God, through Jesus Christ. As they were loved and empowered by God they became salt and light, challenging many forms of darkness.

Regarding this calling of God, holy as it, and depending upon our answering His holy call, they discovered it to be all of grace.

God seldom calls a person to do what by human ability he is able to do. We see that in the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah. Read their stories as recorded in the Bible.

Almighty God provided them with what they needed, to do what they were called to do.

When today’s disciples wonder what it is all about at times, this clear guidance shines – fix your eyes on Jesus. Keep running your race faithfully, and keep your eyes on Jesus who is the trailblazer, the author and finisher of our faith.

There are times when the disciple has to make that deliberate decision to look away from all else to Jesus Christ, the Saviour.

In the book of Hebrews these disciples knew the meaning of endurance. As they ran their race they were able to overcome various pain barriers – two of which can be ‘growing weary’ and ‘losing heart’.

They did not have an easy time. Neither did Jesus Christ.

Be prepared for struggles and keep focused and faithful. After reading some of these passages in Acts which record the persecution confronting the early Church read again Hebrews Chapter 11 and remind yourself of how it has been since Jesus Christ birthed and launched His Church.

Amidst the worship and praise and joyful singing there is another reality from which we dare not hide or run away

We do not run to come in first, but to finish faithfully.

“Almighty God, even as we worship You and praise You – we remember the reality of discipleship – of being a disciple of Jesus – that calling for which we give You thanks – that life of disciplined discipleship in Christ, as we seek to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In Jesus name we pray. Amen”