TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (Psalm 8:1 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• King David was called a “man after God’s own heart”* and he wrote approximately half of the Psalms. While a good chunk of them are psalms of lament, David consistently turned his writing back to praise for God. Other major themes of his writing include psalms of praise, trust, hymn, thanksgiving, and wisdom. If you’ve read the Psalms of David, you know that he was a man who was focused on God and even in his darkest moments, leaned on his Rock and Redeemer.
I wonder if anyone ever accused David of being “too Christian.”
That’s today’s topic. I’ve recently heard this a lot in conversations. Friends who have described other people they know and have said of them, “They are almost too Christian.”
And I can’t help but wonder — can you be too Christian?
As I pondered whether to write about this — God put a Francis Chan sermon clip in front of me titled, “Is There Such a Thing as a Casual Christian?” And in it, Francis Chan shared about Christians in India who have been persecuted for their belief in Christ. For those Christians, given what they have to endure for their faith, the question was, “Why would you lose everything for something you don’t really believe? It doesn’t make sense to be casual [about faith in God].”
Friends, we have it so easy here. While antagonism towards Christianity is definitely on the rise in America, we don’t face imprisonment and beatings for our faith. Our freedom to believe in God is still protected by the US Constitution. And yet, I wonder….
As I reflect on the abuses of those who have been persecuted for their faith in the past, were they “too Christian?”
How about Stephen — the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death because he refused to renounce Christ? (Acts 7:54-60).
What about Peter? Tradition tells us that he was crucified upside down.
Let’s look at Paul’s life — he wrote to the Corinthians, “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things (2 Corinthians 11:24 – 28a). I’d call him a persecuted Christian yet he wrote most of our New Testament. Was he “too Christian?”
History of Christian persecution has continued non-stop through the years and all over the world. We can move forward to more modern times….
- In Afghanistan, Gayle Williams was killed by the Taliban because she worked for a Christian organization.
- In Iran, Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, faced death for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ. He served prison time for over three years before being released.
- In Pakistan, three nurses were killed at the Christian hospital where they worked.
- Also in Pakistan, six Christians were burned alive by Muslim militants.
These aren’t way back events — they have all happened within the last 20 years.
Christianity is highly persecuted in North Korea, China, Cuba, and many more.
Are all of these people who have been tortured, imprisoned, and murdered for the sake of Jesus “too Christian?”
As we proceed with our day — let’s consider what it might mean to be “too Christian.” Let’s ponder if it’s worth it. Let’s see what Scripture has to say:
- 1 John 2:6 — “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
- Galatians 2:20 — “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:18 — “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
- Romans 8:29 — “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
- John 3:30 — “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
These are just a few of the verses that tell us to be more like Christ. There are many more in the Bible. If the term “Christian” means “follower of Christ,” and there are those who have willingly set the example for us — those who have refused to renounce Jesus despite the costs — shouldn’t we feel some degree of shame for even considering someone could be “too Christian.”
Lord, please let people accuse me of being too Christian.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being worthy of being followed. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform you to be more like Christ. Ask Him for the opportunity to be a light in the dark, dark world. And pray for those Christians around the world… the ones for whom the decision to follow Christ becomes a life and death decision. Pray that God will equip them. And pray too that if you were ever in their shoes, you’d be enough of a Christian that you too would be willing to lose everything.
*1 Samuel 13:14
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.