11For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.—Hebrews 13:11-13
I like comfort. A comfortable chair. A comfortable bed. A comfortable temperature in the room. I like to be comfortable. However, pursuing comfort in my Christian walk presents a problem.
Christianity is not supposed to make our lives easier. It’s just the opposite according to the Bible. It makes life more difficult for a lot of reasons. When we follow Christ, we are told to be different. This causes us to “swim upstream.” Because we will be different, we can expect certain things to happen that aren’t easy or at all comfortable. We should expect mocking, slander, and opposition. Why? Because that is what Jesus our Lord experienced (John 15:18-25). Our best life is not now! Our best life is not here! We always have access to the Lord’s joy, comfort, and peace, but easy and physically comfortable, no.
Take what the writer of Hebrews wants us to know. “Jesus suffered outside the gate” for our sins. The key word there is “outside.” Not safely inside or on the fence. He went outside of the comforts of the walls of heaven to be sin on your behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus didn’t pursue the comfort of this world. He went “outside the camp” for you and me. And He tells us He expects us to do the same for His name.
“Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured”(Hebrews 11:13). So, what does it look like to “go outside the camp” in our lives today? We“bear His reproach” by standing up for Christ. We tell people we are Christians. If we are believers, and not baptized, WE GET BAPTIZED! We bear His reproach by telling friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about Jesus’ sacrifice for their sin. They may not like it and just may “stone you outside the camp” like the people of his day did to Paul. More likely, we just won’t get included in many social settings–and that hurts too. Regardless, we need to bear His reproach by living for Him and shedding the things that are holding us back from pursuing Him.
So I have to ask myself and you, “What are we living for? Comfort or Christ?”
— Hayden Norris
· How frequently am I uncomfortable for Christ’s sake?
· What does this indicate about how I live?
Prayer – Father, ever since the Fall when sin entered the world, humans have battled their overwhelming desire for comfort at all costs. I am no different, Lord. But You say that I should be “outside the walls” of comfort as I am supposed to be different than the world. I can’t do that on my own. You must help me find the strength and courage. Thank You for helping me live for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.