Daily D – Matthew 5:10
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)
I returned home from Anaheim, California last night where I attended meetings related to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was good to sleep in my bed with my pillow. Somehow, I slept right through my alarm this morning. Travel, late nights, and early mornings wear down a person.
An observation: Some people appear to have a persecution complex. They think anyone who disagrees with them is persecuting them especially if the idea at debate leads to a vote and they lose the vote. I’m pretty sure this is not what Jesus was talking about in this verse and the two following.
Disagreement is not persecution. Neither is it persecution if people make a strong reaction to your belligerence. Peacemakers (verse 9) are not belligerent.
Here is a simple truth for today: We cannot act like jerks and call other people’s responses toward us persecution. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” Do not miss, “because of righteousness.” Fighting, shouting, and other belligerent behavior is almost never a matter of righteousness.
In other words, persecution for righteousness is not the same thing as strong responses to when we behave like jerks.
I will not be a jerk.
Our Father, deliver us from belligerence. Make us more cooperative, collaborative, and agreeable. Empower us to do the right thing in the right way always and allow the chips to fall where they may. Save us from a persecution complex that sees every disagreement as an attack. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”