Friday, May 9, 2014

Word of the Day... May 9, 2014...

Three Kinds of Persecution
"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me" (Matt. 5:10-11).

Jesus mentioned three broad categories of suffering that Christians will experience. The first is persecution. "Persecuted" (Matt. 5:10) and "persecute" (v. 11) both come from the same Greek root meaning "to pursue" or "chase away." Over time it came to mean "to harass" or "treat in an evil manner." Verse 10 literally reads, "Blessed are those who have been allowing themselves to be persecuted." You are blessed when people harass you for your Christian stance and you willingly accept it for the sake of your Lord.

The second form of suffering is "insults" (v. 11), which translates a Greek word that means "to reproach," "revile," or "heap insults upon." It speaks of verbal abuse--attacking someone with vicious and mocking words. It is used in Matthew 27:44 of the mockery Christ endured at His crucifixion. It happened to Him and it will happen to His followers as well.

The final category Jesus mentioned is slander--people telling lies about you. That's perhaps the hardest form of suffering to endure because our effectiveness for the Lord is directly related to our personal purity and integrity. Someone's trying to destroy the reputation you worked a lifetime to establish is a difficult trial indeed!

If you're going through a time of suffering for righteousness' sake, take heart: the Lord went through it too and He understands how difficult it can be. He knows your heart and will minister His super-abounding grace to you. Rejoice that you are worthy of suffering for Him and that the kingdom of heaven is yours.
I really liked this devotional from John MacArthur today.  Many Christians in these last days are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.  What are some of the things that we can do when we are persecuted by unbelievers, many who really want what we have but are frustrated and don’t know how to reach out to God.  The first thing we can do is count it all joy.  The Holy Spirit is working and people are becoming aware of their sin and they are lashing out. The next thing we need to do is get on our knees and begin to pray for them. Pray for those who treat you unkindly, asking God to forgive them and grant them His grace.  Pray that you might always treat others with honesty and fairness.

Throughout history God Himself has endured much mocking and slander. Read 2 Peter 3:3-9, God created mankind this way—of course, He did not have to, but chose to—we have the free will to disobey Him, blaspheme Him, and, yes, even mock Him. But we are warned in Galatians 6:7 that God will not always be mocked. The blasphemy and derision are temporary. There will be a day of reckoning, and, ultimately, a man reaps what he sows.

We have the ability to choose good or evil, right or wrong. God also gave us a solution, a way out of sin and into eternal life. Jesus Christ has provided the means of restoring a loving relationship with God, through His sacrifice on the cross.  I like to keep the cross of Jesus Christ in mind when people mock me.  I feel so lucky that I found Jesus as my Savior and it is worth anything I have to go through here.  Like Paul said I count it all joy. Am I at this place yet? Well lets just say that I am a work in progress and the Lord knows my heart.  I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day.  God bless you!!!


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