DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-01-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:11-12
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 11 “How blessed you are when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! 12 So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you.
APPLICATION: This Scripture was also referenced in Ps. 119:85–87. While I love to look at commentaries to help me better understand the Scriptures, I was totally blessed and excited when I read this comment by one on this passage: We are to live in such a way that people have to lie when they speak evil of a believer in Christ! Wow!! If only we could live in such a way that this commentator’s statement would always be true of us. Interesting that Jesus had just listed a number of contributors to a life of blessing (the beatitudes), then He followed that with this eyeopening statement – warning us that we will be hated for looking, sounding and acting like Him. In fact our friends, family and peers will even lie to accuse us falsely of not doing what we preach. This generally happens when one is envious of our lifestyle, or they wish that they could acquire some of the characteristics they see in us. What seems so opposite in this, is that our kids seem to look for the most popular peers to follow after. Most often this leads to serious trouble, as they are coerced into doing things quite different to those things taught in the home by their family. Our natural instincts would lead us to depression when others are mean to us, or show jealousy towards us. But Jesus wanted us to be encouraged when we see these things as a Christian, because it is evidence that our Christ-like behavior is having an impression upon our peers. When this happens, Jesus assured us that it is then that we should be encouraged, and rejoice, because it is a moment when we should realize that it is more than us shining through, because greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world. And although the world may seem to jeer at folk who seem different than they are, yet we should be reminded that Jesus working through us will save the lost, encourage the downtrodden and lift up the broken-hearted. Friends, if all that our friends see is plain old ‘us’, then there’s nothing to change their heart. Oh that their eyes would be opened to the love and example of Jesus in every word we speak, and every unexpected action that we take, for it is only Jesus who can make a difference in our world.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus in us and evident through us, can change a sinful and troublesome world. Let’s learn to step aside and let God have His perfect will in and through us, for His glory alone!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand and lead me through this troubled world. There are many that I will come into contact with who will need a lot more than I could ever do for them – for they need You. Please use me as an instrument through which Your light will shine, and Your love will be evident, to even the unlovable. People are looking for something better than what they find in the attention grabbing actions that they take every day. They want to make a difference in someone’s life, and that’s where You kick in, for it is only You who can change a sinful heart and a life filled with worldly desires and evil. Oh that You will create peace in the hearts of many today as you touch lives and make a difference in them for the Kingdom. May I be one of the first to be impacted positively for You and may I make a difference where there seems to be no hope. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!