Page Five: “Blessed Are The Persecuted” 08/19/2012
So, practically speaking, the LORD’s example is one that puts the righteous should to should with those who spoke the truth to those who refused it. And is it any different today?
Please don’t think that the world will always receive the message of life. Oftentimes they will persecute the messenger. They will persecute you simply because they are convicted by the truth of both what you say and what you live.
And Jesus clarifies what happens when you do have a true righteousness in your life with these words.
John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
(21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
First, the example of the prophets.
Second, the promise. Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Not only will there be a reward awaiting you on the other side, but it will indeed be a great reward.
Folks, personal and practical righteousness is worth it. Why? Because this world is not all there is. The world beyond the gates of death will be the world of true rewards.
God knows our hearts. He knows what we have given ourselves to. He wants us to walk in true righteousness because one day that righteousness will be honored when we stand before Him.
So, the question today is this. Does your righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees?
Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteous-ness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
And are you among the blessed who, as Jesus said, will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
No, persecution is not something that any of us would want to experience. Yet, God’s word plainly teaches us that just like He faced it, we too will experience persecution.
John 15:18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
(20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
Christian, what will you do this week when you face persecution? Will you remember the word that Jesus spoke?
The blessedness is yours because that’s what He promised. Shall we pray?