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Bless Those Who Persecute You-Part II

Bless Those Who Persecute You-Part II
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 14

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals which are revealing 25-ways to bring glory and honor to God - these are actually duties or responsibilities for every Christian. We find these 25-ways in Romans 12:9-21.   

Today we will be continuing to look at Part II of this study.   We are looking at the 1st of our duties as Christian men and women to "All People" including every Christian believer, or non-believer that we come in contact with.  And that first duty is also our 14th way to honor God.  

14.    Bless those who persecute you (Rom 12:14)

We ended Part I of this study by giving an example of Jesus dying for our sins upon the cross of Calvary.  In His last words, He asked that those who were persecuting Him, be forgiven of their sinful acts.  This was the supreme example of showing us how to bless those who persecute us. And some would argue that "only Jesus who was God in the flesh, could do such a thing, and they would say that we certainly could not."

I would respectfully disagree and say to them, that God has not asked us to do something that He will not equip us to do.  And we are given proof of this very example in the book of Acts.  Stephen was the first to be Martyred in the Christian faith - He was a man who "Loved" and followed Christ with all his "Heart," his, "Soul," and his, "Mind" (See Matthew 22:37).  And as a result, his physical actions followed his heart, soul, and mind, and he was stoned to death for his bold public statement of the Gospel message.   But as he was dying, he imitated Jesus as he interceded with a prayer of blessing for those who were persecuting him.  

Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:60 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, chances are that we're probably not going to be stoned to death for sharing our faith in Jesus and telling others about the Gospel message - but we are definitely going to face persecution from others who don't know Him as their Lord and Savior.  Jesus warned us that this would happen and He told us that there would be some who receive what we have to say - just as some received what Jesus had to say, and that there would be some who persecute us for what we say - just as they persecuted Jesus for what He said.  

 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20 (NKJV)

There is something very important that we should understand and continually remember; when we are being persecuted, it is directly from Satan - he is the true enemy and the essence and origin of every form of evil.  We are warned of him in 1Peter.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Every one of us would do well to pay close attention to the word "Adversary" here in this verse - Because "Your Adversary" means, "Your personal enemy."  So knowing that we have a "Personal enemy" that is looking for ways in which to devour us, we should be ever so careful, looking for, and expecting every form of attack.  The enemy will even use those who are close in our life to bring these attacks against us - It could be our neighbor, our family members, and our loved ones, or just about anyone.  

The safeguard to our relationships is just to remember that any form of evil that is coming against us is an attack from the enemy - not the person who is doing the act.  When you realize that the person is simply being used by the enemy to do "his" dirty work in an attempt to get you to stumble, you will be able to respond in a way that this verse is asking us to do as God's children, and that is to:  "Bless those who persecute you"

I want to encourage you today to think about the big picture when someone is coming against you in persecution - think about the fact that the enemy is tempting you to respond in way that is not in God's will - and that makes it sin.  Think about what Jesus would have done, and then ask God for the wisdom, discernment and strength to respond in the proper way.  God knows what you are facing, and He has a perfect plan - and that plan consists of you being a blessing to others.

Hey you might stumble several times, but don't stop seeking God for the ability to be what He has called you to be.  Keep reading the Word of God so that you can be transformed to think and act like Christ.

STUDY QUESTION:  According to 1Peter 5:8, who is our adversary or enemy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to look at others who persecute you differently knowing this?

APPLICATION:  Don't allow the enemy to pull you into his schemes by retaliating evil for evil.  When persecution comes upon you, stop immediately and seek the Lord for wisdom and discernment in handling the situation.  Seek to glorify God in every action.  Continue to read the Word of God so that you will be prepared and equipped to do every good work.

Father, Thank You for giving me the strength and abilities to be what You have called me to be.  Lord, let me see the opportunities clearly when they are presented so that I may be what You have called me to be.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000