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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Attitudes that Must Be

(Be-Attitudes, Pt. 4 of 4)
    "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." (Matt. 5:10-12).
    These words must have shocked Jesus' audience. It would seem that the world would welcome people who were humble, meek, compassionate and pure. However, revelation and experience teaches us that the Christian character provokes opposition. Jesus warned His disciples, "Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves" (Luke 10:3). He even warned, "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you..." (Luke 6:26).  Later, God warned, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2Tim. 3:12). Jesus even said some of these enemies will be family members! (Matt. 10:36).
    The truth is that the Truth has always been in the minority, and has always been rejected by the majority. And, it will always be that way.  Those of us who dare to be different from the world will be resented. The Christian character makes the worldly-minded person feel "uncomfortable." And it must be that way. What value am I to the Cross of Jesus Christ if I leave a person feeling comfortable in his sins?! 
    Though Christians may be rejected, resented, and even persecuted, we have God's promise that to them belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.
    For the past four articles, I've been writing about the "state of blessedness," and there's only one place where it can be had:  "in Christ."  That is, you cannot be comforted, inherit the earth, be filled, obtain mercy, see God, be called a son of God, or enter the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you are in Christ. And, the only way the Bible instructs us as to how to get into Christ, is by means of being buried with Him in baptism (Romans 6:3;  Galatians 3:27).  People can argue with that all day long, but at the end of the day, the Bible will read the same.  If one will believe, and is willing to publicly confess his belief, and is willing to repent, i.e. turn his life around and begin following God's Word, then that one can be baptized into Him, and begin building a state of Blessedness.                                 Stay Hungry - - Toby Miller

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