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“You’re more than happy when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows that following Him may not be a “bed of roses”. He tells us about it in advance. We may get persecuted. We may even be martyred. It happens every day. Will you “sign up” to follow Jesus if you know that tomorrow someone may kill you for believing Him?

Of course, living in America makes if feel like this isn’t an issue; that it can’t happen to us. Because of that we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t happen to anyone any longer.

Now here is the rub. Jesus also knows the benefit of being persecuted. Persecution drives (the deeply committed) deeper into His Father’s world.

“You’re blessed (more than happy) when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:10 The Message)

“You can be glad when people put you down for me. All heaven applauds.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows that if we are radically committed to Him, we are going to get in trouble. We will get put down, people will lie about us, we may get kicked out of places or we may even get killed. We should count the cost of following Jesus. Yes, there is a cost but Jesus is also clear on the benefit.

We will be pleasing Him.  Everyone in Heaven will cheer and we will be in good company!! What is better than know we have pleased Jesus?

“You can be glad when people put you down for me—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like what you are doing, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:11-12 The Message)

“Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed with someone who is not your wife.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows something and he wants religious people to understand it. Who we are is a result of what we think. If we think about committing adultery, we have done it. What makes us “UN-virtuous” is what we think, not what we do.

This is a huge thing to grasp. Jesus knows, for religious people, it is way to easy to “get around” moral rules and still violate the principle God has in mind every day. We need to change how we think (repent) about God’s word.

“Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed with someone who is not your wife.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.” ~~Jesus

Jesus demands that we get our life in order before we can see God in a real way. He knows it is not about what we look like or what we own. It is all about changing our mind about who is in charge and loving God in every way we can. We must love each other. That is what matters.

May my mind and heart be right.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:8 The Message)

What is your God-created identity?

March 25, 2013 1 comment

Jesus had a great way to simplify what He was saying. He was very direct and didn’t beat around the bush.

So, He challenges us to grow up. We know we are children of God and live in His World (Kingdom). We know He is in charge of our lives when we let Him be. So what is holding us back? Actually doing what we know to do. Jesus challenges us to live out our God created identity. We are His children. Are we living like it?

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48

May we grow up and live our God created identity every day.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , ,

Be childish or grow up? Which is it?

We have heard from Jesus to be like a child. We also hear Him challenge us to grow up. Which is it? Be a child or grow up?

Well, I think it is yes / and Yes, we need to have the faith of a child and we need to grow up. It isn’t either / or. We need to live generously and not focus on ourselves (like children can). Just the way God lives toward us.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48

Categories: Devotion Tags: ,

“When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does.” ~~Jesus

March 7, 2013 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to do things differently than the way people of this world do things. He is not subtle at all. He knows our friends and acquaintances, even our families, will give us a hard time. Following Jesus guarantees that for sure. What should we do? We devote our whole energy to praying for them. That is the way of Jesus. When God is in us, that is second nature to us.

Jesus challenges us to be like God, to love like God. He gives us the power.

“When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

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