When people think about church, they usually do not think about suffering. Some may think about hymns or prayers. Some may think about a place that cares. Some may even think about a boring old building filled with out of touch people.

What if, when we thought about church, we remembered a young woman from the 3rd century, Saint Perpetua, who believed in a loving God with such faith that she chose to be tortured and put to death rather than recant her belief?

Would we look at those old buildings differently?

Take a moment today to think about faith and church differently, and consider how many have suffered and continue to suffer so that we may worship and serve Christ.

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But the scripture that says it was credited to him wasn’t written only for Abraham’s sake. It was written also for our sake, because it is going to be credited to us too. It will be credited to those of us who have faith in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over because of our mistakes, and he was raised to meet the requirements of righteousness for us.

Romans 4:23-25

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Many of us have heard the saying “give credit where credit is due.” It makes sense. If you do something great, then you want to get credit for it.

So what about faith? Should we get credit for having more faith, because we deserve it? In today’s passage Paul is talking a lot about being credited. What he says last in the passage is the most shocking. We are credited because of what Jesus does for us. Jesus was handed over because we didn’t do what we were supposed to do. Yet by Jesus’ resurrection, we get credited as righteous. We are saved because of his response to our failing.

You may have heard that grace is received and not deserved. It may seem strange. You may say, “but I’m pretty good… I probably deserve it.” What we are talking about though is this credit. We didn’t earn it. Jesus did. And he gave it to us. His suffering, then, is linked to our faith.

Stephen Mazingo

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God, may I be ever grateful for the credit you have given me in the grace of Jesus Christ. Where I failed, he suffered, and where he rose, he gave to us the honor he deserved. Thank you, dear God. Amen.

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Be a comfort to those who are suffering. Take time to have compassion, as Christ has compassion for us. Let the sacrifices of many and the passion of the faithful be your guide and strength. Go into the world.

Stephen Mazingo

Stephen Mazingo was born in Jacksonville, NC. He attended his church youth program and diocese events, and it was through these experiences that he decided to pursue the track to priesthood. After graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary, Stephen served his first post as a missionary of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Matlosane, South Africa. Stephen then served as Associate Rector at St. James Parish in Wilmington, NC from 2008 to 2012, and was called to St. Peter’s in Fernandina Beach, FL in January 2013.

Wondrous Love: O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

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