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Uh, Oh, Here they come again...

Does it ever feel like the attacks keep on coming? So much so that when your phone buzzes, you think, "Here they come again"?

I want to encourage you today! Jesus said something about these attacks that can bring hope. 

Jesus was a great teacher. He had the wisdom of heaven, and thankfully, He shared that wisdom with His followers. In Matthew 5 the multitudes continued to flock to Jesus, so He went up on a mountainside and sat down; Rabbis in that time used to sit down to teach. He wanted to teach them about the kingdom of God. 

Questions from His listeners would have been, "Am I eligible to enter the Messiah's Kindom? Am I righteous enough?" The only standard of righteousness the people knew at the time was what was being taught by the scribes and Pharisees; they taught that righteousness was earned by living according to the law, but Jesus, in His teaching, showed a different way of living. 

Jesus taught that followers of His kingdom would be dependent on God, humble, obedient, merciful, pure of heart, and peaceful. All of these things were the complete opposite of those religious leaders who were also listening to the message! Jesus was putting them on blast right then and there. 

Then He says something specifically to His followers:

11 God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. 12 Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago. 

 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), Mt 5:11–12.

Faithful followers of Christ will stand out in a crowd because they will live differently than the world. In fact, Jesus lets them know that they will be misunderstood to the point that they will be persecuted; Others will mistreat them and spread lies about them! 

Have you ever been there? Your intentions are good. Your heart is pure in a particular situation, and yet you find yourself being attacked? Well, guess what? Jesus says, "Be happy and excited!" because this is nothing new. People have been mistreating God's chosen forever. You're part of an elite group of faithful followers of the truth. 

We should be encouraged by the words of the greatest teacher because we can know that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Don't give up or allow evil people to get you down. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord; that's where your help comes from! 


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