Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:24
King Cyrus had given the Israelites permission to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The people in the surrounding area began to be afraid. They that if the city was rebuilt, the Israelites would revolt and break away. They persuaded the king to force the people to stop the building. After a lot of pressure, the Israelites stopped the building of the temple.
In the eyes of the world, Christians are a dangerous threat, even though Christians are to love everyone, including their enemies. The threat comes in that Christians do not believe in or act the way the world does. Jesus had set a standard that was different from that of the world. This has a severe effect on the lives of those in the world and they do not like it.
People in the world try to accuse Christians of hate because they do not conform to the world's standards of living. For many years in America there has been the term of "political correctness" being used. Believers are threatened in many ways to give in to the world's way of living.
Sadly, many believers have given in to the pressure to conform to this world's standards. They feel the threats of job losses, jail time, lawsuits and more, and choose to change their words and standards. Churches, and many believers, now allow open sin as acceptable in God's eyes, changing the Word of God, and doing what God clearly says not to do.
As the Israelites gave in to the pressure to stop building the temple, many believers today give in to the pressure to stop building God's kingdom. They stop being His witness out of fear of those in the world.
The world will do their best to put pressure on you to turn from Jesus and follow their ways. As the world puts on the pressure on you to give in to their ways, you must make a choice as to who you will follow.
Will you follow Jesus, who gives life?
Or will you follow this world, which brings only death?
I pray today that you will stay focused on what God wants you to do; that you will only live for God; that God will give you strength to overcome pressure to turn from Him; and that you will continue to build His kingdom.
Written By: Tom Arn
Tom has been writing a devotional blog, http://www.insightsfromtom.com, for three years. He has been happily married for 24 years with eight children, (three now adults), one of which is going on two years old. He has worked in many different areas of the church and in many different jobs throughout his life. He has a great love for God and for His word and to let others know about Jesus.