- Have you ever felt "persecuted" for your beliefs?
- What did you do to overcome it?
- Who else do you know that was persecuted for their beliefs?
Reading: Matthew 5: 10-12
When Jesus' disciples began spreading the good news following the resurrection, many faced persecution. Paul, the writer of the Epistles, was jailed for telling about Christ. What risks these early believers took to let people know about the risen Lord!
Throughout history many have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. They had such great faith that they endured the persecution because they knew the truth. As this verse in Matthew says, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
We, too, often take persecution for our beliefs. When we try to spread the gospel or lead a godly life, we can take heat for our actions. We may also be held to higher standards and when we do something "un-Christian" we may be persecuted to greater degrees.
Despite this treatment, we must continue to do God's work and try to live a Christ-like life. It may be hard to take the comments of others, but we must pray about it and ask for guidance in our lives to overcome it. Because the kingdom of God will belong to us, as well, if we continue to do what God requires! --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Read Matthew 5: 1-12, the complete text of the beatitudes. As you read it, pray the words to God, asking for strength in times of persecution.