THURSDAY 28TH DECEMBER, 2017 READ – DAY: Luke 22:35-71; Night: Neh 7
THEME: BLESSED ARE YOU
TEXT: LUKE 6: 22 – 23
HYMN: EMHB 402 – Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still
Persecution is a reality. The early Christians suffered extreme persecution. During the first century, almost all of Jesus’ disciples suffered martyrdom for His sake. Today, Christians are still facing persecutions in many parts of the world and our nation.
In John 15:18-20, Jesus warned His disciples to expect persecution.
Paul warned Timothy that persecution would come to all those who truly lived faithful lives (2 Timothy 3:12). Peter warned believers not to be shocked when they are persecuted (1 Peter 4:12).
The sad reality is that many times Christians are not persecuted for their Christianity but for their lack of the fruit of the Spirit! Neither does this beatitude mean “Blessed are those who are persecuted for wrongdoing.” Some people suffer because they make poor decisions, but that’s not persecution. Not everyone that claims to be persecuted is actually undergoing persecution; some are simply reaping the consequences of their lusts, foolishness and arrogance.
The promise has been given “… for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” If you suffer because you stand for Christ, you will get the Kingdom of God. It is yours. “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…”(1 Peter 4:14). Therefore “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Luke 6:23).
MEMORY VERSE: Luke 6:23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”
PRAYER: Lord, we pray for everyone suffering for Your Name and Your Kingdom, that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You will comfort and strengthen them and make them to be overcomers in Jesus’ name.