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[November 26]
I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake. Acts 9:16
IS ANY other service than that of our Lord ever entered on these terms—promises of suffering? Surely not. Yet how honest for the Lord not to call his disciples under any misapprehension of the facts! We are called to suffer with him—to sacrifice ourselves, our earthly interests—to share his cross, and by these experiences to prove that we have been begotten of his Spirit, and that it has been shed abroad in our hearts and constituted us copies of God's dear Son. Faithfulness to this cause insures the reward of joint-heirship with our Redeemer in his kingdom; nor can those kingdom honors be hoped for on any other terms. The apostle understood this, and seems to give the thought also that the more any of the Lord's followers can share of the sufferings of Christ, in the flesh, proportionately will be his share in the glory which by and by shall be revealed to us—in the "members of his body." The expression, "For my name's sake," is comprehensive. It includes everything connected with the divine plan, of which Jesus, the Messiah, is the center. It includes sufferings for the truth's sake, because the truth is vitally connected with the "only name." It includes the brethren because they have named the name of Christ and they are under his name as members of his body. It includes all the work of the millennial kingdom because he is the Head of it all, and his name, his honor, is associated with it all. Let us, therefore, be glad of any sufferings which come to us directly or indirectly, because of our faithfulness to the "precious name" and these various interests which are associated with it. Z'09-86 R4356:4(Hymn 177)