FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
Jesus makes it very clear in these verses that we will experience persecution. Jesus understands that people may be wary, or even afraid, of the things that Jesus teaches. Jesus also understands that His disciples will face persecution simply for being His followers, especially when they are living out what He teaches. Jesus is letting them know that if they choose to accept and follow His teachings, then they will experience times of hardship and persecution in this world.
In the beatitudes, Jesus teaches about a kingdom which is upside-down from the way our world works. Those who are poor are blessed, and those who are persecuted are blessed; this is completely backwards from the way we understand that things should, and do, work. When we really start to live our lives the way that Jesus teaches us to, it is different, it is revolutionary, and we will face persecution because of it. Jesus gives us hope letting us know that our ‘reward in heaven will be great.’
- Praise God for who He is
- Confess your sinfulness and need for cleansing
- Allow His Spirit to draw you near
- Listen as He speaks to you
- Pray that God helps us to understand Jesus
- Pray that God helps us through persecution
- Thank God for hearing you
- Trust that God is at work to accomplish His will
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