DATE: May 7, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 5:11-12 – ESV - 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names… well, you know the rest.
They say there is a lot of truth to those old saws, there are times when I wonder. Truth is, no matter what the proverb says, I don’t like being called names. My initial reaction to being called a name is to reply in kind, and if necessary escalate the verbal battle into a full out war.
You probably do better than I do, don’t you? Yeah I thought so.
I can remember one lady who did much better I
A lady with whom I visited many years ago, gave me an insight into how a Christian is supposed to deal with anti-Christian behavior.
The lady I am speaking about was from India. That’s where her mother still lived.
The lady shared how her mother had been persecuted by the neighbors when she converted to Christianity. No, the persecution wasn’t violent, or bloody. It's just that people shunned the mother and her little ones.
Seeing what their parents were doing, and taking their cue from the older members of the troop. the village children soon began to call the Christian family names when they walked to the market.
One of those children yelled out "You're the ugliest old woman I ever saw!" The mother’s reply was most remarkable. She stopped, turned and said, "Isn't it wonderful how my Savior can love an ugly old woman such as me!"
What a fantastic response!
Now I don’t know what that lady looked like on the outside, but I know on the inside, the part which God sees, she must have been beautiful.
She would have been beautiful because this lady had the risen Savior in her heart and Jesus had transformed her. Where this lady might once have been devastated by the children’s cruel comments, now she was able to respond with a strong statement of faith in her Redeemer.
I share that story with you because there are a lot of Christians who, right here in our country, are being persecuted in harsh ways and subtle.
We can learn much from this lady. Rather than folding or getting furious at such an onslaught, we, like this woman should rely on the Savior to give us a response.
In so doing we turn away the criticism and bear a powerful witness to the Christ. Then, when we’re done, we can rejoice and be exceeding glad that the Holy Spirit has used us to tell the Savior’s story.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, by the Savior’s actions the ugliness of sin has been washed from my soul. Now may I powerfully share the Savior so the world may know of Your love. With a thankful heart, I pray. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html