Today’s Date: Jan 5, 2010
Reading: Gen 11 – 13:4, Matt 5:1-26, Psalm 5:1-12, Proverbs 1:24-28 NLT
Title: Blessings Under Fire
S – Scripture: Mt 5:11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. v12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven…”
O – Observation: Matthew 5:1-10 recalls that Jesus saw crowds gathering and went up to the mountainside and sat down. Then his disciples gathered around him and he began to teach them (the blessings of God). There are many times in our life that we will be judged. No one promised that when we gave our hearts to the Lord and accepted him as our Lord and Savior that our lives would be at peace and we wouldn’t have any problems. Accepting Christ is a choice, God gave us free-will. With that said, it’s a challenge to have people mock us for being Christ followers. v11 says that “God blesses you” when people do bad things against you, just because you are a Christian! Then he says we are to be happy about it? Yes, that’s what it says, yet we all know it’s not as easy done as it is written. Many Christians are persecuted by their own family and friends, some are disowned and some killed. What can we do in situations like these?
A – Application: There’s no one simple answer for me. However I am fortunate that I live in a country that allows me to freely worship Jesus Christ. I see the mocking and persecution affecting me in several ways – verbally, physically, and spiritually. Words, I could ignore. Lies, I would want to defend my honor. Physical attack, I would want to self-defend. These can all contribute to what the devil really wants, which is the fight for us to turn away from God. Living the ways of the world is easy compared to living a life based on Biblical Worldviews (See Truth Project links below)*. This is why some people go back to the ways of the world, and worse yet live a façade, giving the impression to people that they are Christian but they make life choices, often behind closed doors, that are easier for them, and are what the bible calls, “lukewarm”, however God would rather we be one or the other, not both. The reason I have continued to choose Jesus is that I know my reward is in heaven. This is my calling. I have been chosen as one of the King’s kids. The bible says that I am not to retaliate, vengeance is his, says the Lord. Mt. 5:16 says that “I should let my good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise my heavenly Father.” I need to watch my words and actions as they reflect who I am as a follower of Jesus.
P – Prayer: Father, thank you for choosing me to be one of your followers. I want to know you and do your will. Help me to turn the other cheek, to live by Biblical values and truths*, and never be ‘lukewarm’ in my walk with you. Help those who have chosen to follow you and are being persecuted for their faith. Protect, guide, and strengthen those of us who know your Truth yet are challenged by the world to seek ourselves instead of Mt. 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
I pray Romans 12:2 – God’ will – I strive to, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.