Knowing Christ, Growing in Christ, Going with Christ, Showing Christ

Blessed are the persecuted…

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12

“Persecution is an inevitability, being a follower of Jesus. ”

This is what we heard on Sunday morning. We thought about how, where we live, we more commonly experience persecution in subtle ways. I acknowledged towards the end of my sermon that the reality is that for many of our brothers and sisters around the world, the risks of living for Jesus are extreme. On Monday, I noticed that an article had been posted on The Gospel Coalition website giving up to date information on the countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian. For these believers the cost of following Jesus is high. So I thought, as God has been speaking to us on this it would be good for us to respond in prayer.

Follow the link below to hear what persecution is going on.

As you read, pray.

Pray for God’s protection in their circumstances and to reach out in power to change their situation.

Pray too that they would know the immense blessing promised by Jesus on that mountainside. Pray that their hope would be in their heavenly home with God. Pray that they would know the presence of Jesus as they identify themselves with him. Pray that they would know joy because they are not wasting their lives but living for a greater kingdom.

Pray for ourselves that we would not fall into spiritual complacency but that we would instead boldly proclaim Jesus and live out his righteousness – whatever the cost.