Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2013 Matthew 5:12

 Matthew 5:12. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 
Oh Friends, do you realize that in a mere 2 months we’ll be into the new year of 2014? This year of 2013 has really passed by quickly, and today I’m asking us to check on how we’ve done on the main New Year’s Resolution we made back in January; the promise to walk more closely and sincerely with Jesus than we did before. I’ve also been encouraging us to reflect on it every month rather than at the end of the year. That way we have time to catch up on and/or make amends to any aspect(s) on which we we’ve been lagging. 
 
And what about the resolution we made last week eh; the one to try and change the world a little bit everyday? Have we been doing anything about that? I surely hope so. And if you have, then you’re also working on the first one, because making a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world everyday, is indeed walking closer with Christ, since that’s exactly what He did, and also desires of us.
 
Anyway, your reactions and answers to those questions above are between you and our heavenly Father. I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. (smile)
 
And today we’ve come to the last part of the Sermon on the Mount that deals particularly with the Beatitudes. Today’s Bit: ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,’ follows from yesterday’s.
 
That Beatitude informed us: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt.5:11) And we saw how many believers are being persecuted, even unto death, for just believing in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
 
Now none of that is easy my people, but Jesus is telling us that we should rejoice and be exceedingly happy when we’re persecuted for following Him. Why? Because our reward for standing steadfast and strong in faith down here on earth, will be great in heaven; also that’s how the heathen and false believers persecuted the prophets that came before us. 
 
Now that last part is certainly true as the Good Book records all the persecution the early prophets endured, including Jesus, and the general church after that. But Friends, standing strong in the face of persecution, especially if and when it’s unfair, is definitely not that easy. And the promised rewards way up in heaven at some later date, doesn’t make it any easier for most of us, because we’re still living by sight and not by faith as we ought to.
 
It’s only when we have a real strong, steadfast and mature faith in Christ, will we be able to truly consider those rewards in heaven, against the persecution here on earth. And that can only come with time, constant communication with Almighty God, delving deeply into His Word, writing it indelibly in our souls, then trying to live by it.
 
And Friends, we’re so lucky out here in the Western world to be able to freely worship the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob without any fear of serious repercussions, but many others in distant lands are not so fortunate. And please, please, I sincerely implore us not to get too lost in that freedom which we now take for granted, because if you haven’t noticed, it’s being slowly eroded by the evil powers that be.
 
At this juncture in our evolution, the LOVE Revolution, we need to stand up even firmer and stronger against the forces of evil, so that we don’t lose what our forefathers gave their very lives for; the right to worship in freedom and peace. And that’s no joke Friends, because more and more everyday, prayer and God are being removed from schools and public places.
 
Therefore it’s imperative that we stop being as complacent as we are about it, and instead be very vigilant and pro-active if we don’t want to lose those rights. For remember, whatever freedom that’s been won, can always be taken away, and the evil minions of Lucifer are just chomping at the bit to take away our freedom to worship.
 
Now listen to the scholars’ interesting take on our Bit. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! But as we’ve said above, it won’t just happen automatically, we have to work seriously and consciously on it.
 
Now I have some scriptures to share, but they’ll make the Bit too long, so we’ll address them tomorrow, our great God in favour. In the meanwhile, please let’s concentrate on truly following Jesus, doing the things we know we ought to do, so that we can gain all those rewards laid up in heaven for us.
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us, and give us His everlasting peace and divine wisdom, so that we can greatly glorify His Holy Name and further His glorious kingdom down here on this wicked, ungodly earth. Much LOVE!
 
…to successfully handle persecution…we must focus steadfastly on what Jesus has done for us…and on the heavenly rewards He’s promised…