Passage: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
7) Matthew 5:12: “great is your reward in heaven” when you are insulted, persecuted, and spoken falsely against
Matthew 6:3-6, 16-18: God will reward you when you give to the needy in secret, when you pray in secret, and when you fast in secret.
Luke 6:22-24: “great is your reward in heaven” when you are insulted and rejected as evil
Luke 19:11-27: “Everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.” The two men who made the money grow were given cities to govern as well.
1 Corinthians 3:8-15: “Each will be rewarded according to his own labor.” “If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.” Basically, what you put in, you get out.
Colossians 3:23-24: “Work with all your heart as working for the Lord since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Hebrews 10:35; 11:26: “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”
Hebrews 11:6: God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
8a) Half personal question. My answer: The Bible tells us to rejoice and be glad and to not be surprised and you are blessed because of it. Not sure. Haven’t truly been insulted or persecuted because of my beliefs. But I have had false things spoken against me because of my beliefs (see Conclusions for full explanation).
b) Personal Question. My answer: Luke 19, 1 Corinthians, and Colossians are some of my favorites that I whole-heartedly believe in. I believe those who have will receive more because they are good stewards. You will be rewarded according to your labor whether lazy or not. You do work for God. I know I will receive God’s reward because I believe in Him, His word, and His son.
Conclusions: Again, a lot of looking up that just takes time. Great lesson to remind us that it’s the end game that matters, not what happens to us here on Earth. We need to act with this in mind continually. Then the daily dramas won’t be so dramatic anymore.
I pondered question 8a for a while, mainly because I felt bad because I haven’t been persecuted because of my beliefs. Then I remembered the story I just shared with you all (read HERE) any maybe that could be persecution.
Then I read a commentary that asked the question: if no one speaks evil of you, are you living a life that the Beatitudes describe?
Well, put that way, yeah, people speak evil (or not nice things–evil is a bit strong in my opinion) things about me all the time because I do tend to offend (not as much anymore. I have learned as I’ve gotten older!).
And then I thought: we never know what others say about us behind our backs. We never know how we come across to others or sometimes even if we do offend others.
There’s only one solution to this: to live your life as the Beatitudes describe with the goal of being more and more like them. Yes, you will offend people along the way because the world does not value these character traits and most people act the opposite of them in fact.
So, if you are a Christian, then we all have been persecuted because we all have had people who “falsely say all kinds of evil against” us because of God. This is a consequence of living a Godly-life. Of having the Holy Spirit indwelt who shines Him everywhere we go. And it is “because of me”, because of God. Because we are His. Because we belong to Him.
And isn’t it wonderful?
So I say, “Say what thou wilt”. For He is mine and I am His. And there is nothing more wonderful in all of Creation.