Skip to main content

A Lesson On The Persecuted (Beatitude Series Part 8)

"Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs." Matthew 5:10

Who of us has been persecuted for our faith? We see it in other countries across our world, as people must make a choice, much like the disciples. It's a choice of living out our faith. In many cases it's a choice of life or death.

Many times family will not accept us because of our faith. We can lose friendships because of Christianity. But friends, that doesn't mean we give up. It means we live our lives in prayer. It means we live in such way that through each word and action Christ's love is seen.

Sure, I've been called names. I have been gossiped about because of my walk in faith. But I have never faced real persecution as others have. So, that brings me to my question at heart. Am I then truly living out my faith for all to see? That's a hard question for me. Have there been times where I have hidden my faith? I really don't think so, but then if I rephrase the question to, "Has there been a time where I just didn't move when the Lord asked because of fear or has there been a time when I made the choice to remain quiet when I should have spoke?" I must answer those questions with a yes.

Paul never held back. He shared his faith with all he met. Everyone who crossed his path knew of his faith. I think Christ should be upon our lips in every conversation. Should I stand in front of my local post office, Bible in hand, and shout scripture to all coming in for their mail? If the Lord calls me to, yes, I should without fear and with trust. Until, Christ calls me to do so, I can still share His Word by walking in His love, to every person I meet, friend or foe.

"You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For what is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

Before I can be persecuted I must be living my faith for the world to see. I cannot hold back. I cannot live a hidden faith. My relationship with Christ is personal, but to live out my faith, is to bring glory and honor to Him. That means moving out of my comfort zone. It means making myself available. It means allowing the Lord to create in me a living vessel to share His message and love.

Persecution can be physical or verbal. Are there people who do not like me because I am a Christian? You bet.  Being a Christian doesn't mean your perfect. Goodness, I am far from that. I am a sinner in need of grace. I am a work in progress. I am daily trying to give my life to Christ and surrender myself to His will and purpose for my life. It's not always easy, but His strength makes it possible.

Sacrifice is a choice. Now, with sacrifice, I must ask myself, "Do I give until it hurts?" Meaning, do I feel it when I give or do I just give easily? The more sacrifice, the more faith. I think that's where we see the persecution happening in other lands. People of faith are willing to give all. Am I always willing? To be honest, I must say, no. I hold back. I limit God. I keep my hands closely wrapped around what is important. It is my daily prayer to be used of God. To let go and let God is not just a nicely wrapped Christian phrase. It's an anthem for the Christian life.

"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

I am to walk without fear. I am to live each day with intention and purpose. I am to call upon the Lord for strength in my walk. I am to listen to the Holy Spirit's guidance. I am to walk with a determination to make a difference. To give my all in every situation life brings forth.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If any one wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward watch according to what he has done. I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." Matthew 16:24-28

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…