MATTHEW 5:12 _for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Do you ever feel like you’re the only one? Everything that has to do with suffering, trials, and persecutions always comes to you. Everybody else has it made. Even if they do suffer for their Christian values, it’s short lived. You’re the only one for whom it goes on and on. Whenever something bad or hard comes around, it always falls on you. If someone gets the blame (for something they didn’t do), it’s always you. And, you’re the one who was doing right. The ones spouting the blame are the ones in the wrong.
According to Jesus, not only are you not the only one – but it has been going on since long before you were born. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament prophets and points out they, too, were persecuted for standing up for God’s truths. It is not something new. It is something that has been and always will be a part of a disciple’s life.
Go ahead and rejoice – you’re in good company!
God of comfort, I’m sorry for the times I whine, when I should praise. Help me thank You when I am persecuted for Your sake. Help me know the difference when I am persecuted for my own sake, and help me change my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows who is persecuted—I’m not the only one!
MATTHEW 5:12_for great is your reward in heaven…
Here is what Jesus knew was in store – great is your reward in heaven. Awesome! He didn’t keep this as some kind of mystery to be revealed after your death, but said it plainly.
Jesus-disciples have something to ponder: Do you believe in heavenly rewards? If you do believe, you have another question to ponder: Do you believe this life can result in heavenly rewards?
If you have never considered this, go to a Bible reference and see how many times heavenly rewards are mentioned. If you are only interested in the rewards of this life, which you can also find reference to in the Bible; make a change in your thought pattern.
Think this way. Compare your time on earth, even if you live a hundred years, to time in eternity. Now compare a hundred years of earthly rewards to an eternity of heavenly rewards. Read that last sentence again. What do you see?
Don’t overlook Jesus’ description of your reward – great!
God of promises, I want to know all the truths You teach in the Bible. I know my earthly life is very short in comparison to eternity, and I know I can’t make myself good or clean or righteous, but I know You can do it all. I praise Your name! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ holds heaven’s rewards—For eternity!
MATTHEW 5:12_Rejoice and be exceeding glad…
Maybe Jesus is a little confused. Rejoicing because someone speaks evil lies against you? That’s just not normal! If Jesus is anything (which He is … everything) He is not normal. Don’t be offended by that. Jesus is not normal because normal in this life is sin. Jesus came to turn the world upside down – He did!
Jesus is about to take His teaching to the next level, repeatedly showing how various types of hardships or suffering (all experienced because of choosing to be a Jesus follower) result in being blessed. Jesus says to rejoice and be glad. He’s even taking glad to the next level – exceeding glad! Exceeding is above and beyond what is expected, or required, or should even be considered.
Jesus knows what is in store. He knows if you line up with His sufferings you will be blessed. He knows what kind of blessing that will be.
The biggest part of following Jesus is to trust Him. You have to believe He knows more than you. That’s why Jesus can say something like rejoice and be exceeding glad.
One True God, I know all lives come with suffering, but I know not all lives come with blessings. Help me make the choices in life which line me up with Your blessings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows my trials—He helps me follow His path!
MATTHEW 5:11_and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
A new light is shed on persecution. This is not persecution because you think you’re right and your persecutor is wrong. This is persecution because you believe Jesus is right! This is about being falsely persecuted. This is about having all kinds of evil lies spread about you because your enemies hate Jesus and His teachings … and His disciples.
Who was lied about more than Jesus? From the time of His conception to His ascension into heaven He was maliciously verbally attacked.
Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath, when actually He was the Sabbath. Jesus was accused of blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God, when actually He was God in the flesh. Jesus was accused of being out of His mind, when actually He possessed the very mind of God. Jesus was accused of demonic possession, when actually He freed captives and put demons to flight. Jesus was accused of inciting riots to overthrow the Romans, when actually He taught His disciples to pay taxes to Caesar and obey their authorities.
The One who promises the blessing is the One who understands everything about persecution.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for all You suffered in order to teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ was falsely accused—He bore it all for my sake!
MATTHEW 5:11_and persecute you…
Christian persecution is certainly nothing new, and as long as there are disciples. persecution will continue. All lives, whether Christian or not, suffer hardships, heartbreak, emotional and physical pain. The difference in the Christian life is blessings.
The Christian has the promise of eternity in heaven.
The Christian has Jesus’ promise to be blessed when persecuted for His sake.
The Christian has overcoming power to withstand persecution … that makes rather than breaks. Psalm 46:1 (KJV), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It is the Christian who experiences this promise.
The heart of the Christian learns to love unconditionally. This kind of heart does not boast of persecution in order to gain martyr status. The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit inside a human heart is incredible. The reason it is incredible is because when the Spirit entered this heart – it was desperately wicked!
A new heart is willing to forgive and learn to love its persecutor. A new heart begins to look like Jesus.
You can’t top that!
Loving God, Please give me a heart like Jesus. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loved His persecutors—May I gain that heart!