Persecuted

Posted on August 30, 2016 by Karah

2abdf4f7-8286-4af9-8794-5d94f18e58f2Pause

List what you’ve learned about the character of Christ-followers through the last few week’s devotions. Thank God for the ways you see Him building you into the person He has called you to be.

Think about a time when you were treated unfairly. What happened? How did you respond? Journal a few thoughts.

Read Matthew 5:10-12 in your Bible. Underline the phrase “persecuted for righteousness are blessed.”

“Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” —Matthew 5:10

Ponder these questions:

Persecution n. = To treat continually in a way meant to be cruel or harmful; especially to cause to suffer because of belief.

Consider the definition of persecution. Would you ever consider someone going through persecution to be blessed? Why or why not?

What is the difference between being treated unkindly in general and being persecuted for your faith in Christ? Which is described here? Explain.

Today’s Scripture passage describes persecution that comes into believers’ lives because they are living righteously. Why is it important to recognize that persecution is not the result of sin?

Persecution comes to God’s children because their lives contrast with the ways of the world. How does your life and the things that are important to you differ from the things the world values?

Respond

Instead of asking God to keep you safe and happy, ask Him to give you boldness and strength. The early believers prayed for this while under threat of imprisonment (Acts 4:23-31). Pray that you would live boldly for Him, even when it isn’t easy.

Set aside specific time to pray for believers around the world who are being persecuted. See www.persecution.org and www.imb.org/pray for prompts.

For learn more, read 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 and Philippians 4:11-12.

Behind the Story

Matthew 5:10-12 doesn’t promise that every wrong in the world will be righted immediately and that everyone who is treated unfairly will receive an earthly reward. Rather, these verses declare that those who are treated unfairly because of their faith in Christ will receive a heavenly reward.

The Point

Kingdom citizens will face persecution.


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