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Foundations For Our Future #26

Foundations for Our Future (26)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

 

The Lord has given his disciples seven beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-9), each of which is directed at revealing the character of those who will follow him and receive “the kingdom of heaven.” But in the next three verses he shows us that the cost of following him may be very high indeed. It may lead to persecution.

The spiritual condition of being persecuted “for righteousness’ sake” (v.10) is to be blessed, Jesus says. Now he amplifies that teaching by making it doubly clear that this blessing comes only to those who suffer on his “account” (Matthew 5:11). He is not describing the outcome that attends our foolish errors, our mistakes , or our manifold sins. He is describing what happens when we are “falsely” accused, when we have done what is right and true according to the Word of God, and “evil” words are uttered against us.

Within days of the Resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost, opposition was building against the early church. There were some who “were enraged and wanted to kill” the leaders (Acts 5:33). When the apostles were arrested and beaten, then freed, they returned to the company of disciples “rejoicing that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41).

Let us pray today to know the difference between not getting our way, and suffering on the Lord’s account.