BLESS THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOUFrom The Heart
Publish date: 08/01/1999
Matthew 5:10-16 (NKJ)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
When you are born again, filled with the Spirit of God and doing the works of Jesus – don’t think that it is going to be an easy ride. The devil stirred up the religious folks against Jesus and he will stir them up against you. You cannot afford to get angry and to fight with people, because they are not your problem. Neither can you back away from the truth and the power of God or compromise. You have to realize that you cannot take persecution personally. Be bold to let your light shine brightly. God will specially bless you for your patience and your faithfulness and people will acknowledge your good works and glorify God.
Matthew 5:21-24 (NKJ)
21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,' and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.
22 "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
It is important that you walk in love and forgiveness toward your brother (or sister) in the Lord. If you have hate, anger and bitterness in your heart, your fellowship and relationship with the Lord will be negatively affected. We cannot have boldness in the presence of God with unforgiveness in our lives. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJ)
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Most people are kind and pleasant to those they love and who love them, but God says that we should love, forgive, bless and pray for those who are mean to us and who persecute us. When you bless your enemies, you demonstrate that there is something different about you – different than the rest of the world - you are a child of God. When you are angry and bitter, you are all bound up and in debt to the one you hate. When you bless your enemies you are released and free. They have no power over you. When you walk in forgiveness and bless your enemies – they have no power to affect you negatively. You are lifted above the fray.