21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2).
In 1896 by Charles Sheldon, a pastor of the Central Congregationalist Church in Topeka, Kansas, wrote the original a slogan which has become so popular in our day: “What Would Jesus Do?” It was the tag line for his book, which through the years since has sold more than 30 million copies. The title of that book was taken from today’s Scripture: In His Steps.
What would Jesus do? Well, He would “suffer.” What would it be like for us to follow “in His steps?” Well, we would suffer. For what “purpose” have we been “called?” To suffer. As Christians, just what are we supposed to do? Suffer. Kind of makes this more than just a tagline or slogan, doesn’t it?
If we are not suffering in some way for the sake of Christ and His Gospel, well then, I’m afraid we’re not following Him very closely. After all, didn’t He tell us that if they hated Him they would hate us, too (John 15:18—“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”)? Didn’t He warn us not to try to make sure everyone liked us (Luke 6:26—“Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”)? Certainly we are not supposed to seek out persecution, but if by our following Jesus it does not seek us out in some way, well then maybe something’s wrong about our walk with Him.
Lord, we are so grateful that Jesus suffered for us! Help us, should it be required of us This Day, to gladly suffer for Him. Amen.