Thursday, April 7, 2016

Luke 6:22-23

Luke 6:22-23
Blessed are you when mankind should hate you and when they should set themselves apart and when they should revile you and when they should cast out your name as evil for the sake of the Son of Man.  Rejoice and leap in this.  For behold! Your wage is great in heaven.  For their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

We are blessed in persecution.  That sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?  But that is literally what Jesus says.  When people hate you – assuming you’re are being hated because of your life in Christ and not because of your sinful nature – you are blessed.  When people set you apart – in other words, when you are ostracized – you are blessed.  When people say that you are evil, you are blessed.  This really requires a mindset on heaven.  It’s not easy hearing people hate you for what you are trying to do in the kingdom.  It’s not easy listening to your name be slandered because people don’t like how you are living out your faith.  It’s not easy being welcome because of how you live out your faith.  But in the end, we will be blessed because in the end it is not the opinion of the people around you that will matter at all.  What matters is whether you will live eternally with the Father.  That is why we can be blessed in the midst of our persecution.

Is it easy for you to focus on blessing when you are despised by the people around you?  Are you good at remembering your blessing as you live?

Second Thought:

What is interesting is that Jesus tells us how to react.  This is the only one of these teachings on blessing in which Jesus feels the need to tell us how to respond.  We are to rejoice.  We are to leap.  I think there is a reason Jesus tells us how to react.  Persecution is never fun.  Our gut instinct is never to be happy – much less leap for joy – in the midst of persecution.  We need a reminder.  We need to make sure we take Jesus seriously on this one.  That’s why Jesus tells us how to react.

How do you rejoice in suffering?  How do you rejoice and be glad in the midst of your suffering while still being genuine about who you are in Christ?

Third Thought:

Then Jesus reminds us that our wage is great in heaven.  This world is temporary.  This world is only several decades old for us.  Heaven is eternal.  Heaven is never going to end.  If our focus is on heaven, we should be able to rejoice in the midst of our suffering.  At most, we suffer for a few decades.  But we will live with God forever!

What does the expression “your wage” mean to you with respect to heaven?  What are you looking forward to the most in heaven?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 6:24-26
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