This is All Temporary
This is All Temporary
Words hurt. False accusations cause damage. Character attacks, wrong assumptions and venting leave behind a trail of heartache. It seems so unfair and just plain wrong. Then… we read about Jesus and what was said and done to Him, and we wonder why wouldn’t others say mean things about us? We are not perfect like Him. If He was persecuted, surely we will be as well.
We have been studying each of the verses in Matthew entitled “The Beatitudes”. Each one describes how we are to live – who we are to become – now that we have repented and accepted Jesus as our Savior. Jesus sat on the Mount of Beatitudes and spoke with the disciples about this new way of life. People began to gather around and listen as He shared about being poor in spirit – recognizing that we are hopeless without Jesus and that it is only our Savior who can fill us and complete us. We are to mourn our sinfulness and like Jesus - seek to live a life of obedience to our heavenly Father. We are to be humble and meek, hungering and thirsting for His righteousness, merciful to others and pure in heart, not selfish and arrogant. We are to be peacemakers, living in His perfect peace and having harmony with others. These verses offer us big shoes to fill and seem almost impossible. Yet it is possible to enter into the transformation that a relationship with Jesus offers us. (If you have missed the previous posts – go back and read through them, starting here.)
Then as we get to Matthew 3:11-12 we read:
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult you 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 that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This is hard, but it is a part of our journey. I am not a psychologist and have no concrete evidence or scientific proof of this, but it seems to me that others often assume that we do, say and feel the same as them. They simply do not understand the change that is taking place as we deepen our relationship with Jesus. The persecution that comes is due to their lack of understanding. As these Beatitudes explain, we are becoming pure in heart – no longer seeking praise for our performance, position or power. We are seeking to offer praise to our Savior and enter into His presence. Our life transforms from being all about ‘me’ to being all about Him. Others may not be able to even imagine that, leaving them to believe and maybe even say we are fake or self-righteous or not who we say we are.
Persecution doesn’t always look like being beat in the street and crucified on the cross. For most of us it looks like being left off the guest list, shut out of someone’s life, criticized repeatedly, whispered about behind our back and being the anonymous subject of a social media rant. Not fun at all. However, in God’s word He lets us know this is something we will experience because of our deep committed love for Him. As painful as it may be, it pales in comparison to the promises we receive of unconditional love, peace that passes understanding and the rich inheritance that is surely ours. Blessed are those who love Jesus with all of our hearts, all of our souls and all of our minds.
So, this Christmas season what does He want from us? He asks us to be glad and rejoice because the persecution we experience affirms that we belong to Him and gives us a unique opportunity to glorify our Lord and point others to Jesus.
We can love those who say “Happy Holidays” because they don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas. We can be merry regardless of our circumstances because this is all temporary. The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We can be joyful because the cradle leads to the cross that offers all people hope. The hope of the world came down on Christmas day!
Join us on this Journey to Live the Abundant Life
We need each other. Let’s encourage one another as we learn to take steps closer to our Savior!
Be sure to subscribe to this blog and you will receive a weekly post in your email.
Do you know Jesus? If there is any question, download the Plan of Salvation and read through the scriptures. I would love to chat with you about it. Feel free to reach out to me.
Let's stay connected. Follow Master What Matters via our Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram, and subscribe to us on YouTube (just look for the Master What Matters logo).You are invited to visit the Marketplace where you will find the book - Saved by Grace, Now What? and graphic tees. (All tees on sale until… !)