The Kingdom of Heaven
"Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs" (Matthew 5:10).
Have you ever been persecuted because of your faith in Christ? If so, how did you respond?
While Francis Xavier was preaching one day in one of the cities of Japan, a man walked up to him as if he had something to say to him privately. As the missionary leaned closer to hear what he had to say, the man spat on his face.
Without a word or the least sign of annoyance, Xavier pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his face. Then he went on with his important message as if nothing had happened. The scorn of the audience was turned to admiration.
The most learned doctor of the city happened to be present.
"A law which teaches men such virtue, inspires them with such courage, and gives them such complete mastery over themselves," he said, "could not but be from God."
Supernatural power and enablement by God's Holy Spirit make that kind of behavior possible for every believer. Furthermore, that kind of behavior probably will do more to attract and influence an unbelieving world than words ever can.
With Christ as our example, love as our motive, and humility as our covering, let us depend on God's Holy Spirit for the wisdom and strength required to respond to mistreatment in a Christ-like way. Then, and only then, are we in a position to reflect honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bible Reading: Matthew 5:7-12
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: Mindful that millions of Christians have died as martyrs getting the message of God's good news through to men, and remembering that "all who live godly lives in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, "I will not shrink from whatever the Lord may have in store for me today as His witness. Drawing upon the supernatural resources of God, I will demonstrate by my words and witness that I belong to Christ.
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