“"I have been crucified with CHRIST; and it is no longer I who live, but CHRIST lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

2 CORINTHIANS 11:24-28
“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, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches”

ACTS 20:24
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the LORD JESUS, to testify to the gospel of the grace of GOD.”

A good measure of our belief system is how much are we willing to take in terms of suffering, and how much are we willing to give in terms of sacrifice?  CHRIST calls upon us to follow Him, deny ourselves, and to take up our cross. When we choose to honor and please CHRIST with our lives, we will not be the most popular or pleasing people. The world will hate, ridicule, and persecute us.
But regardless of how they treat us, we choose not to conform to this world for JESUS embraced suffering, even death on the cross to redeem and rescue us that our lives may be changed from sin’s deformities and transformed to become like CHRIST Himself!  People should clearly see us as those who belong to CHRIST, who bear His image and His likeness for the glory of GOD!!  

Persecuted But Not Abandoned,
Pastor Wally & Sister Mattie