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Bible with Cross ShadowBefore we move on from the Beatitudes, there is something more the Lord would have us recognize about the blessings of the persecuted. It is of particular importance to the church in America. Though it is not a saying of Jesus that we must do; it is something we would be wise to consider in this regard.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

A friend of mine was one of the first to enter Communist China when the bamboo curtain was opened for business with the West. He went in looking for the remains of the church that had been targeted for destruction by that evil government for many years. When he found them, he praised their endurance against the persecution. Their response surprised him. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowJesus closed – perhaps we could say summed up – the Sermon on the Mount with a very strong encouragement to “do these sayings of mine”. And so, it is interesting that He begins by talking about things that cannot be done. He begins by instructing us in the way we ought to be.

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:1-12

As mentioned in A Storm is Coming – These Sayings of Mine, the Beatitudes are not so much things to do as they are attitudes of the mind, or states of being. I cannot “do” poor in spirit, or meek. Even “those who mourn” and “the peacemakers” are descriptions of people, not actions.

So, what do we do about these sayings? Is there a way that we should respond to the Beatitudes? Or, are we left to simply hope the blessings will one day be ours? Read the rest of this entry »

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