Thursday, November 2, 2017
Matthew 5:11-12: [Jesus is saying,] “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Yes, the title is backwards. Usually we hear "The ends justify the means." This sentence means, "Whatever I have to do in order to get the results I want, that is what I'll do." It is a method. It is not the best method.
Now we're reversing it all. We all go through struggles, trials, and tribulations. People pick on Christians. It happens more often than it does not. Some persecution is subtle. Some is "in your face." As Christians, we face trouble because of who we are. Mostly, we face trouble because of Jesus, in whom we believe. The struggles are because we love Jesus and we know and believe that Jesus loves us. And instead of saying, "Poor me, I don't like that fact that people don't like me because I believe in Jesus. So to stop it, to blend in with everyone else, I won't stand up and stand out with Jesus," we say, "I will continue to stand up and stand out with Jesus. I know my reward for faith in Jesus is heaven and life with Him forever. So I'll go through the suffering, the struggles, and the troubles. They'll only make my faith stronger and my hope in Christ more visible."
So stand up and stand out with Jesus. Dear God, give us strength to face the challenges as we focus on the reward of heaven, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.