Daily D – Matthew 5:11-12
Matthew 5:11, 12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (NIV)
Why would anyone ever dislike you? You are one of the most likable people on earth, right?
A coworker and I attended a meal earlier this week and were given the gift of baseball caps associated with the team in the city where we partner. The next night, we attended a baseball game between two other teams. If we had worn our new hats to that game, someone, and possibly many someones, would have taken exception to our fashion statements since both of the teams we saw play are regional rivals to the team we would have represented.
Those fans in that stadium would have been offended because of our alignment with a rival team. It would be like wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey in Philadelphia or Washington DC. People would be offended not because of anything we said or did, but because of who we aligned ourselves with.
Jesus says here we are blessed when people say and do mean things toward us because we are aligned with him. He says, “You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble,” (The Message).
No matter who you align yourself with, there are some people who are not going to like it. Best to align yourself with eternal values, those which stand the tests of time and eternity. If I am going to be criticized, let it be because I stand on the right side both now and forever.
Who are you offending today?
I will offend those opposed to all of God’s goodness, mercy, and grace.
Our Father, align my heart and mind with yours. Make me offensive only to those who have taken a steadfast stand against you. Empower me to live in such a way they come to see the positive alternative of knowing and experiencing you. Draw them to yourself so that they too may join your team now and forever. Amen.
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2 Corinthians 3:17, 18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:23, 24 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.