HBS | Harvard Business School’s Elevator Pitch Builder advertises, “You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?”  What would your elevator pitch for Christianity include? How about Paul’s words to Timothy: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” ? Will that leave the audience wanting more?
Counter-Cultural | Godliness, not suffering, is the goal of the Christian life. Yet in this culture – that often rewards those who are “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”  – those who long to be like Christ will be persecuted and slandered. As Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you … Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” .
Eternity | As we’ve seen this week , our lives are short and eternity is long. If we long to be like Jesus in this life, then our lives might end up looking a lot like his. He was born to a teenage mother, came from a small town, was mocked and homeless throughout his ministry, never married or had children, was betrayed by one of his closest friends and then murdered. This is the God we worship – “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” .
Include | Why did Paul warn Timothy and Jesus warn the disciples about this part of the Christian life? Jesus explained, “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away” . In other words, as we aim for godliness and the eternal rewards that it brings, we ought to endure hardships as crucibles – knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope .
Prayer | Lord, We rejoice that our final destination is your kingdom. Yet we must endure many trials before we enter into your presence. When we are slandered for our obedient pursuit of godliness, therefore, let us rejoice insofar as we share in Christ’s sufferings that we may also rejoice when his glory is revealed . Amen.
 See HBS Elevator Pitch Builder. |  2 Tim. 3:12 ESV |  2 Tim. 3:2-5 ESV |  John 15:18, 20 ESV |  843 Acres, He Set Eternity on All Hearts. 16 April 2012.; 843 Acres, What Currency Counts Beyond the Grave? 17 April 2012.; 843 Acres, How the Love of Money Disguises Itself. 18 April 2012.; 843 Acres, Our Days Pass Like Shadows. 19 April 2012. |  Is. 53:3 ESV |  John 16:1 ESV |  Rom. 5:3-5 ESV |  1 Peter 4:12-14 ESV. See also Acts 5:41 (where the disciples “left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” ESV).