Daily Devotional Rev. Johnnie Flakes,III - August 26, 2009

Good morning,


Our devotion for today comes from Matthew 5:10-12 (CEV) "God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.  God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me.  Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago." 


Wherever you are today , meditate on this; when reading what the Bible has to say about persecution, some Christians think that it doesn't apply to them.  The truth is that all followers of Jesus will have that experience at one time or another.  Persecution simply means to pursue someone in a hostile manner.  It happens when we become the victims of criticism, gossip, or slander because of our righteousness.  If you live a godly life, the ungodly people around you will become irritated and uncomfortable in your presence. They won't feel free to tell their dirty jokes and use profanity around you.  You don't have to parade your righteousness around it will be evident.  People will resent it because they will see qualities in you that they wish were theirs.  The Christ within you will be a rebuke to their own wickedness.


Unfortunately, it is not just the wicked that persecute others.  After all, it was the religious leaders who persecuted the prophet Jeremiah and put him in prision because he spoke for God.  The same thing happened to Jesus the religious leaders were His worst enemies. 


We see similar things today.  Christians often persecute other Christians by spreading gossip and false reports.  All of this is so painful that we are tempted to complain and find fault with God for allowing it.  But Jesus tells us not to be dismayed.  He prepares us for persecution by telling us that it is to be expected.  We should not ask why it is coming, but instead we should ask if there is enough Christ in us to invite it. 


Have a blessed day!


Your brother in Christ,

 J. H. Flakes, III


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