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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson

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."

Isn’t it strange—no, tragic, that so many people start out on fire for the Lord only to have that fire sputter and dim to a flicker or less. The things of God used to hold the highest priority—but that was long ago.

In His first public sermon Jesus gives us the steps to victorious Christian living. Today’s Scripture is the culmination of following His first steps of the Beatitudes, or as I titled today’s issue: Be-attitudes.

Recently I heard a minister use them in a sequential manner. Beginning in verse three of Matthew five, we have these beatitudes: poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and finally, those who are persecuted.

These are attributes that must be developed in order to develop true spiritual maturity. To be poor in spirit means that we become empty of self and see ourselves as poor, destitute beggars who will perish without the salvation that the Lord gives.

When we see ourselves as poor and needy we will begin to mourn for our sins that separate us from God. This leads to a spirit of meekness and total dependence on the Lord to lead, guide and direct.

Our meek dependence upon the Lord will lead naturally to a hunger and thirst for righteousness. As we develop a hunger for the things of God we will begin to see the needs of those around us and we will experience the spirit of mercy.

Isn’t this a beautiful progression? As we see the lost and dying around us and exercise mercy we will find the things of this world hold less and less appeal. That leads to our being purified. The pure in heart will see God in a way they have never seen Him before.

I hope you have your Bible open to Matthew five so you are able to follow the sequence of spiritual growth. It is not until we develop a pure heart that we are able to become peacemakers. It is not the United Nations or any other political body who will bring about peace—it is God’s people living out His plan for our life with joy and delight.

There is more! Dare I say it?—PERSECUTION! That doesn’t seem right does it? Humanly speaking we expect God to protect us and keep us from attack. Nope! God’s people have always experienced persecution.

Reading Christian biographies, I discover that the period of persecution is usually when the greatest spiritual fruit is produced. The important thing is how we react to persecution. Crying and moaning when persecution arises is the normal reaction. But what does Jesus say? It is our Scripture for today. Jesus says that we are to rejoice! We are to be ecstatic! Why? Because our reward is in heaven! Praise the Lord!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil


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